This month’s wellness news: a nifty app, cold-weather training gear and the world’s largest geothermal pool
moment of mood
There are plenty of wellness apps to choose from, but the fall launch of J Balvin’s Oye deserves special attention. The Colombian reggaeton star is known for his music, as well as openly discussing his own struggles with anxiety and depression. Its app is a nifty approach to assessing and understanding moods, and it offers creative solutions on how to deal with them. After a user describes how they feel, their state of mind is interpreted as a unique color-gradient image and prompts for mindfulness readings, exercises, and notifications. Registering Anger, for example, takes you to an article on the meaning and purpose of this feeling and an explanation of when it works and when it doesn’t. Users also receive a movement exercise that helps them process the emotion.
Oye subscription, $12.99 per month up to oye.co.
Taking its smart fitness mirror to the next level, Lululemon recently launched Studio, a membership program that gives users access to classes from eight different fitness brands, including Pure Barre and boxing-focused Rumble. There’s a library of 10,000 classes available for streaming on the device, which also connects to heart rate monitors or smartwatches so users can see data in real time.
Lululemon Studio subscription, $49 per month, Mirror, $995 until lululemon.com.
Athlete (athletica.gapcanada.ca) launched a cold weather training collection designed with Olympic athlete Allyson Felix. Felix, who does most of his cold-weather training in Vail, Colorado, has focused on creating pieces that combine protection from the elements with freedom of movement. “With these pieces, I really feel like I can just train and not think about what’s on me,” she says. The collection includes a seamless hoodie in anti-microbial anti-chafing fabric and softshell pants in water-repellent recycled nylon.
The “well-being” divide
A 2021 report from McKinsey shows that wellness is a concept and the industry is booming. The consultancy estimated the global wellness market to be worth US$1.5 trillion, and a survey of consumers from six countries found that 79% of respondents thought wellness was important, 42% of them identifying well-being as a top priority. What’s really on the rise, though, is the luxury side of the business, including everything from gadgets to social clubs. For example, a standard Oura ring, which tracks sleep, heart rate and activity markers such as steps, costs US$349, but you can get a Gucci-branded version for more than double that. The Global Wellness Institute has studied the trend and notes, “This growing ‘Wellth Divide’ [could] further damaging the image of wellness at a time when there is so much hope and energy around it, becoming less elitist and more inclusive.
Who needs Iceland when you have your own lagoon? This is the hope of the Quebec company GeoLagon (geolagon.com), which plans to build the largest geothermal pool in the world at Petite Rivière Saint-François in the Charlevoix region. The site, which will include cottages that can be owned or rented for short stays, will be powered by geothermal and solar energy. Visitors will have access to mineral-rich thermal waters and day and night swimming opportunities, “with views of the mountains by day and evening under the light of the moon and stars,” says founder Louis Massicotte. , which plans to open four sites in Quebec and 10 others in Canada within the next five years. Of the first place, Massicotte says that Petite-Rivière is symbolic because it is in the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve. “For me, this is the best place to create the first energy self-sufficient tourist village thanks to our ecosystem based on the energy of the earth and the sun.”