Saturday, June 8, 2019, will mark the eighth annual Global Wellness Day (GWD) celebrations and the fifth time the special day is being celebrated internationally. This year, thousands of locations across the globe, including hotel and spa chains, fitness centers, yoga studios, associations, foundations, hospitals, schools, senior living homes, governments, celebrities, and businesspeople will be celebrating GWD with free, non-commercial, health and wellness activities for the public. With the motto; “One day, can change your whole life!” the theme for Global Wellness Day 2019 is community and kids’ wellness with the goal to increase good deeds and decrease worldwide depression.
Founder Belgin Aksoy’s dream of celebrating a day dedicated to wellness has inspired an international network of over 87 GWD Ambassadors, 25 Key Supporters, and four Advisors (distinguished Advisors include Mary Bemis, founder of Insider’s Guide to Spas), who are lifestyle-oriented entrepreneurs and wellness professionals, to organize complimentary wellness events around the globe. Cayman Islands, China, Peru, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Dominican Republic are some of the new countries that are on board for this year.
The theme for Global Wellness Day 2019 is community and kids’ wellness with the goal to increase good deeds and decrease worldwide depression.
Aksoy explains that her idea from the beginning was that wellness is not a luxury, but the inherit right of every individual.
“We go to school from the age of two, hoping that the education system is going to help prepare us for our future,” says Aksoy, “but nobody is teaching us how to live, how to breathe, how to be mindful, and how to love ourselves as these are things that are essential to be a happy adult in the future.”
“In an era where global consumer culture is mostly damaging the concept of childhood, and kids are ending up unhappy and unsatisfied,” Aksoy continues, “we want to encourage children to integrate wellness practices into their lives on a daily basis and to carry on those practices throughout their lives.”
Look for the hashtag #globalwellnessday to follow what happens from one end of the world to the other on June 8.
Below are a number of global celebrations planned for Saturday, June 8th, 2019.
Azerbaijan: This year, the GWD team has planned a celebration focusing on community and family wellness with activities such as 5K Family Marathon, spinning classes, morning meditation, and Zumba, as well as healthy nutrition, slow food, ketogenic diet and detox workshops, along with fitness and dance classes for kids. In Baku, Bilgah Beach Hotel & Resort and in Gusar, Shahdag Mountain Resort along with five other hotels, will be also be celebrating Global Wellness Day on June 8th.
Brazil: This year the GWD team’s goal is to draw attention to the GWD 7 Step Manifest with a number of activities such as mindful walking, water marathon, awareness seminar on recycling, experimental cooking calls with a well-known nutritionist, digital detox lecture with psychologists, and workshop on better sleep techniques along with many other events organized in Kurotel and throughout Brazil.
Canada: This year various events will be organized throughout Canada. JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and Eminence Organic Skin Care will host a rooftop workout session with Nike Master Trainer and fitness influencer, Betina Gozo. Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and other partners such as Lululemon, New Balance, SoulCycle, Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary, and many more will be inviting guests and the community to connect with their mind, body, and soul during the week leading up to Global Wellness Day, with “A Week of Wellness” activities. Ronald McDonald House, British Columbia, will be receiving a selection of organic produce for pediatric patients and their families. Noel Asmar Group will organize breathing classes for employees, while Cocoon Spa will be celebrating GWD with breathing classes. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto will offer guests and the community an on-site Farmer’s Market and a series of other activities such as yoga, fitness sessions, and healthy lunches to name a few.
Cayman Islands: This year will be the first time GWD is celebrated in the Cayman Islands. The event will start with a community-wide beach clean drive and then continue with activities such as pilates, balance and breathing exercises and mental wellness awareness seminar. Other hotel brands such as Kempton SeaFire Resort & Spa, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, and The Westin Grand Cayman Beach Resort & Spa will be supporting and celebrating Global Wellness Day to help spread this new message and notion throughout the island.
China: GWD will be organizing its first event in China, incorporating the Chinese culture and traditional healing rituals. Various activities, such as Tea Ceremony Kids Club, where kids will learn to unwind and relax, seminars on healthy diets and Chinese herbal medicine, traditional Chinese brush handwriting workshop to help calm the mind, Kids Choir to bring the community together, football games, Chinese square dancing and yoga classes will be organized.
Costa Rica: Having the support of San José Municipality and Curridaba Municipality along with many other associations and foundations; seminars on nutrition, mental health, clean environment, Ayurveda lifestyle and wellness in the city of San Ramon will be organized. Activities such as forest therapy, yoga, breathing exercises, aromatherapy, walks along the beach, beach cleaning, bike rides with children, planting trees, and mindfulness will take place throughout COSTA RICA to raise awareness and bring the communities together.
Dominican Republic: This year GWD will take place at Los Establos with complimentary activities such as a 5K community race starting from Eden Roc, painting corner for kids, “Adopt a Tree” event for families, meditation, yoga, stretching and mindfulness classes, fitness trainings, dancing, nutrition and beauty workshops, as well as a community wide football tournament.
Ethiopia: GWD, with the support of Tilla Health Club, will be organizing a 20K group cycling activity starting from downtown Addis Ababa, a yoga session, HIIT classes involving short bursts or intense exercise, and a healthy brunch for the participants focusing on the importance of nutrition. In spite of a challenging political situation, GWD Ethiopia is inviting more organizations to get involved and working hard to arrange educational events for low-income communities.
France: A series of events across France will take place such as the “Born to Ride” race starting from Bréhat to San Sebastian, yoga classes to the public will be offered by Le Tigre Yoga Club, a range of Wellness activities in all Thalassa properties, Accor Headquarters and all LUXE brands will also be offered. Meanwhile, Conquer Your Day will organize a boot camp in Paris and seminars on healthy habits, beauty treatments with the support of Biologique Recherche and many more will be organized. Once again, the cities of Belfort and Enghien Les Bains will be supporting Global Wellness Day.
Germany: Along with many other locations, GWD will be organizing a nature hike through the Bavarian Alps on June 8th, while the partnering hotel brand Sofitel Hotel will be doing a charity drive.
Hungary: GWD celebration activities will take place in 12 cities and 30 locations, focusing on wellness lifestyle, healthy dining, and healing water in 2019. The main event will take place in Budapest City Park with an aim to set the Guinness World Record with a huge event featuring activities such as senior citizen fitness training, aerobics and yoga classes supported by IWI—International Wellness Institute, and all-day event including seminars on “wellness movement”, benefits of thermal Budapest Baths, fitness trends, aromatherapy, active ingredients in beauty and “smart plate of kids”—Kids nutrition. Other locations and brands celebrating GWD in Hungary will be Four Seasons Hotel Budapest, Aria Hotel Budapest, InterContinental Hotel Budapest, Kempinski Spa Budapest, Gellert Bath Budapest, Mandala day Spa Budapest and Mandala Spiritual Bath Budapest, among many others.
Israel: GWD will hold an event on a rooftop in Tel-Aviv overlooking the Mediterranean sunset and a refreshing and healthy ambiance featuring a massage corner, healthy treats, and all-natural popsicles. Special guest speakesr Dan and Lonah Chemati Salpeter, who are the top Israeli track and field Olympic Athletes, will speak about fitness, health, and overall wellness. Additionally, four startup companies will be presenting their wellness technology.
Japan: This year’s theme is “enjoy” with three areas of focus: Food Shokuiku, Workplace Wellness, and Cultural & Historical Aspects. Hilton Tokyo Bay offered a Wellness Menu featuring healthier dishes at Employees’ cafeteria and also a Power Nap Space for quick rest and refreshing. GWD Japan team is planning to once again have Kids Karate event at Okinawa Karate Kaikan on the celebration day. This year GWD Japan team will be featuring Okinawa and Kyoto and conducting their celebrations in these cities as well. Marriot Hotel Osaka, Hilton Hotel Tokyo Bay, Spa Joule at Hyatt Regency, Biologique Recherche, Lululemon Athletica, Shangri-La Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, sportswear brand Asics, along with associations such as Nihon Aesthetic Kyokai, Japan Nutrition Foundation, CIDESCO Nippon, and American Chamber of Commerce in Okinawa will be supporting GWD throughout Japan.
Kenya: This year will be the first time GWD is officially celebrated in Kenya. The event will act as a wellness information hub where all participants will have access to wellness experts. GWD Kenya has partnered with The Wellness Project Africa to run free wellness checks throughout the event for all participants. Two panel discussions on “Physical Health & Inner Health” will be held, as well as yoga and Zumba to illustrate that working out can be enjoyable and relaxing for everyone.
Maldives: One and Only Reeth Rah Maldives is planning a very colorful celebration event in 2019 with warm-ups, followed by karate class, circuit training, paddle board activities, and a fun football game with all participants. Other resorts that support GWD include: Joali, LUX* Resorts and Hotels, Jiva Grande at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives, Jiva Spa at Vivanta by Taj—Coral Reef, Maldives, Six Senses Spa Laamu, Six Senses Spa Kunfunadoo, Anantara Kihavah Villas Maldives, Mandara Spa, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru.
Mexico: There will be four large GWD celebrations in Mexico this year in San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosi, Tecate—home of Rancho La Puerta and Patzcuaro. This year’s celebration in Tecate will be in the historic public park of Tecate “Parque Migule Hidalgo”, which is in the heart of the city. 5K public GWD race, healthy cooking workshops, Zumba, yoga, as well as a fun variety of games and activities for children, dances, arts & crafts workshops showcasing the Mexican culture will be the focal point of the celebration. In San Luis Potosi an all-day event featuring Fit Camp, mindfulness seminar, meditation and yoga will take place.
Montenegro: This year in Budva and Herceg Novi the GWD celebrations will start with yoga classes, SUP Fitness, and continue with seminars on health food, importance of blood sugar, beauty, hair and make-up sessions. A Run 4 Fun marathon in Budva will be organized, and a specially prepared kids program will be prepared.
Netherlands: A series of events for kids and the community in general is being planned including: visits to elderly care facilities, 5K walking activity with kids in primary schools, outdoor massages, “wellness for everyone” activities in hotel spas, and seminars on workplace wellness with the GWD 7 Step Manifest in 7 days.
Romania: For the 2019 Global Wellness Day, Romania will be organizing several wellness activities in spa and wellness centers. The spa and wellness centers will offer “Wellness Journey” on the 8th of June, which will consist of: Introduction to meditation, breathing exercises, walks in nature, stretching, dance, Zumba, mini-spa treatments, healthy nutrition, and healthy sleep workshops.
Russia: This year the main site for GWD festivities will be in Moscow at the First Educational Complex college for beauty therapists. Focusing on wellness for the younger generations, students and teachers will be conducting gymnastic sessions, master classes of massage, and lectures on wellness lifestyle for the public. Other activities in various towns and cities such as Solnechnogorsk, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Sochi, and Tiumen will take place with the support of local authorities and municipalities, one of the biggest health and wellness resorts “Kliuchi,” Technical College of Service, Regional Medical College, Ural School of Massage Technologies, Western Siberian Center of Massage Technologies, and many more.
Serbia: GWD’s main event will be held at Sijarina Spa in Medvedja. The Medvedja municipality will organize activities for all ages including fitness sessions, nutrition advice, visits to elderly people’s homes in distant areas, and workshops on the negative effect of technology (Digital Detox). Indoor and outdoor activities will also be held featuring basketball, ethno dance, gymnastics, hiking tours, and ritual of drinking “Sijerina spa water” from the spring.
Slovenia: This year GWD Slovenia will emphasize wellness and a healthy lifestyle and partner with Higher Vocational College for Cosmetics and Wellness Ljubljana, College for Hospitality and Tourism Maribor, and Histria Botanica. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy healthy food, exercise within nature, join in essential oil making workshops, and also try various massage treatments.
South Africa: Rated the unhealthiest and most stressed country in the world, South Africa GWD team is working towards changing these statistics. This year, GWD will be focusing on community, and with the help of sponsors, will be collecting clothes, food, toys, and much more for those in need. The team will be attending schools to speak about wellness, mindfulness, nutrition, and good deeds and also visiting elderly people’s homes to pamper them with special massages. Global Wellness Day will be celebrated across South Africa with the support of spa groups such as Camelot, Gingko, Amani, Guvon, Spa & Wellness Association South Africa, Isa Castens Academy, The Westin Cape Town, the Taj Hotel Cape Town, Fancourt Hotel and Spa in George, along with many others. Maureen Grosvernor from APPSolve will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in August and taking the GWD logo to the summit!
Spain: In 2019, GWD will be celebrated in 30 to 50 locations in northern and southern regions, as well as Canary and Balearic Islands. The strategy this year is to try to include the largest number of celebrations throughout the entire geography of Spain, including governments, public and private schools, spas, and wellness centers.
Switzerland: GWD will be organizing activities in various locations with activities, such as herbal hikes through nature, nutrition lectures, complementary blood sugar readings, family friendly activities, along with family fitness drumming, Hatha Yoga, and meditation. Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Hotel Bellevue, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina, Four Seasons Geneva, Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, as well as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will be among the brands and associations supporting and promoting Global Wellness Day in 2019.
Thailand: GWD is once again organizing a Medical Mission with Chiva-Som to the village between Thailand and Myanmar board to support the disadvantaged community with efforts to educate, develop, and encourage local sustainability. GWD’s mission will be to provide medical aid, education, support, and micro-business opportunities to people living in remote locations and to endeavor to create a positive impact on their lives, providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and materials to become self-sustainable. A Pre GWD Event “1000K for Wellness” where hotel guests are invited to log all kilometers they run, cycle, or row within the Anantara properties. The main GWD celebration will be taking place at Sattahip Beach, Chonburi with yoga, swimming, paddling activities, and health checks and kids art exhibition.
Turkey: This year the event will take place outside of Istanbul and in the Aegean coast of Turkey at Kusadasi, Love Beach. A celebration at the beach featuring yoga, pilates, Zumba, Crossfit, kids’ fitness and all day fun activities, such as kite-making workshops, will be on the forefront. GWD will also team up with local elementary schools to organize a “Kids’ Wellness Art Exhibition” on June 8th. The three days leading up to GWD, a 50K marathon will be organized where different celebrities, athletes, and Paralympic runners will participate. At the same time, smaller GWD celebrations will be organized in various cities with the support of brands, such as Park Hyatt, Radisson Blu Tuzla, Hilton Istanbul, Swissotel The Bosphorus, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Richmond Hotels, St. Regis and many more.
United Kingdom: GWD will be hosting a community wide outdoor yoga event in Norfolk, Devon, and Cornwall. Creating awareness on the importance of mindfulness “Celebrity Guided Meditation” recordings with UK celebrities, such as actor Danny John-Jule, singer and presenter Rachel Stevens, actress Tamsin Greig and radio presenter Gideon Coe will be made available on June 8th with free access. To show that they are giving importance to the wellness of their community, the students of the University of Derby in UK, will be celebrating with walking, Tai Chi, and yoga activities on campus.
United States: GWD celebrations are organized throughout the different states of USA within the leadership of 18 GWD Ambassadors of USA.
Four Seasons Hotel, Los Angeles at Beverly Hills will be participating in Global Wellness Day for the fifth year in a row with a day filled with fitness, spa, healthy food and beverage, and sustainable fashion initiatives led by top wellness experts and brands. Highlighting the hotel’s increased wellness initiatives including the dedicated Wellness Rooms and Suites in partnership with Delos, new plant-based Folia Menu by Matthew Kenney and Solluna Juice Bar by Wellness and Lifestyle Expert Kimberly Snyder. World-renowned Artistic Director Jeff Leatham will then lead a floral session for attendees as the perfect way to celebrate nature’s beauty. To conclude the day, intuitive healer Deganit Nuur will lead a powerful, guided meditation to help attendees solidify the lasting impression of wellness from the day.
La Jolla: This year’s theme will be “Enjoya La Jolla” and it will shine the light on health, wellness, beauty, fitness, nutrition, and living the best life possible. Once again, the GWD team will partner up with the La Jolla Village Merchants Association and have the entire village celebrate Global Wellness Day from over 30 merchants in a .3 mile radius—from athleisure wear to fitness clubs; from juice bars to Sky Yoga studios.
•Chicago: Hyatt Corporation will be celebrating Global Wellness Day with their 70+ properties and corporate office locations around the world. A company built on the values of family and community will be organizing wellness activities for everyone.
•Florida: Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, a leading global vacation company, will be celebrating Global Wellness Day by offering various wellness based activities and celebrations at their resorts and corporate office locations around the world.
•Montana: A true community event, for the fourth year in a row, The Wave Aquatic & Fitness Center in Whitefish, Montana will host a full day of events on GWD starting with a yoga flow class and pilates. The day continues with open swim time for children and families, arts and crafts with a “wellness for all” and “a well world” theme, and group exercise, such as cycling.
•Ohio: GWD in Ohio will organize an event within the Cleveland Museum of Art called “Parade the Circle.” There will be live music throughout the all-day event and GWD will conduct two 20 minute breaks between the music featuring a family Tai Chi class and family Line Dancing activity. During the “Parade the Circle” event the GWD booth will also have two jump rope teams coming to demonstrate jump roping moves and to engage the attendees in a challenge to jump for 30 seconds and also offering a “Make Your Own Jump Rope” activity for families. Another activity taking place will be “Healing Arts” which will be staffed by medical professionals who will answer health and wellness questions for the participants. The practitioners will include a functional Medicine Doctor, an acupuncturist, an energy healer, an aromatherapist, and a health coach, among others.
Vietnam: Supermodel and well-known TV host and actress Phuong Mai will be giving her support to help spread Global Wellness Day. Prior to GWD the team will cooperate with Vietnamese celebrities to create awareness. June 8th activities such as dance, pilates, and yoga are planned to take place on rooftops, parks, and the beach for GWD. To help participants connect with nature, gardening tours will be organized followed with healthy treats. During a seminar on healthy choices a “Smart Choices Challenge” will take place, while wellness workshops focusing on better sleeping techniques, mindful management, herbal remedies, and weight balancing, relaxation and stress management will be organized. Many other activities on June 8th will take place at Pullman Vung Tau, Caravelle Saigon, Alba Wellness Valley and InterContinental Da Nang.
Zimbabwe: In its second year GWD Zimbabwe will be focusing on a holistic full day wellness retreat for the whole family. Activities such as Zumba, yoga, and outdoor spa, massage treatments in nature, along with mental wellness and meditation seminars will take place. Healthy cooking classes and a healthy food market will also be available to educate both adults and kids. For children, specially prepared children’s yoga, drumming, and dance sessions, “wellness” treasure hunts and breathing exercises will be available. Believing “wellness is for all” GWD Zimbabwe will be organizing an outreach session to elderly people’s homes to entertain them with music and dance, to pamper them with mobile spa treatments, and to help them relax with breathing and meditation sessions.