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We might think hay fever is fairly benign and boring. It can be. It can also cause misery to around a quarter of us every Spring and Summer; affecting sleep, daytime performance and exams on top of the unpleasant symptoms. It can also cause life-threatening asthma in those who have both hay fever and asthma, particularly in thunderstorms (very small particles are in the air at our level and trigger it) and the additional risk of COVID in this mix means that we must be on guard for those with both conditions, whatever their age.

The numbers have trebled in the last 20 years. Around 25% of adults are said to suffer from hay fever and up to 15% of children. Often it can be overlooked in children, the symptoms mistaken for a cold. However, unlike with a cold, hay fever won’t cause a raised temperature and will last a lot longer – weeks or months rather than a few days. Sufferers tend to be affected at roughly the same time every year, and other rarer causes include certain medications or thyroid disease. It’s usually worth trying an antihistamine if you suspect hay fever which can then help with the diagnosis.

Skin prick tests can be helpful and IgE levels to specific pollens can help in diagnosis – a raised total IgE suggests allergy of some sort, while not specific.

We’re just heading into the start of the hay fever season 2021. Its proper name is Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (swelling and inflammation in the nose caused by allergy) and it can affect the eyes, throat, ears and head. So there’s one overall cause encompassing a wide group of smaller causes – pollen and all its subtypes. Birch tree pollen is the most allergic (peaking in April) and grass the most common (peaking around June/July).

How does it start?

You generally inherit an allergic (atopic) tendency from a parent who is also affected, they may have eczema or asthma rather than hay fever. This makes you susceptible though you may never develop it. Pollen though is out there in the air – if you go outside between March and October you’ll be exposed. 

When you’re first exposed, nothing outwardly happens. The cells in your mouth, nose, throat and eyes are busy getting sensitised inside you. When they encounter the same pollen (allergen) again, special allergy cells called mast cells are activated, burst and leak all sorts of chemicals leading to the allergic response we see with the runny eyes and nose. The fastest and biggest volume of these is histamine, hence treatment with antihistamines. It’s only one of the chemicals and the others work slower affecting things like sleep and a reduced sense of smell for example.

So essentially if you’ve got it, you’re likely to keep getting it. You can’t completely avoid pollen, though you can massively minimise your exposure to it. It usually starts in childhood, peaks in the teens and can reduce as we go into adulthood. It may even disappear.

What can I do?

Weather forecasting, calendars and clocks are your friend. The Met Office produces predicted pollen calendars for each type of pollen – not just tree, grass, weeds or moulds (and they come in that order across the year), they show us the range for ash, birch and every other pollen. They can do this because pollens are released when the plants or trees are growing and these vary a bit year on year with changeable weather. You can roughly predict which you’re allergic to from when you’re most affected. If you’re worst in April, Ash and Birch are the likely suspects. The Met Office also provides a pollen count via the weather forecasts, which will generally be higher on hot and humid days. Thunderstorms cause pollen to break up into very small particles which can easily get deep into the lungs and are low down in the atmosphere and very concentrated.

Pollen counts vary greatly across the day. The pollen counts are highest from 7-9am as pollen is released from plants and trees and 5-7pm as the air cools and the pollen sinks down again. Try to stay inside at those times with windows closed. At least try and stay away from woodland, parks, grassed or rural areas. Bring washing inside before 5pm. Try and plan outdoor activities in the middle of the day when the pollen has risen up a bit.

Keep down pollen in your environment.

We know that pollen is in the air and constantly circulating and settling. Frequent hoovering and damp dusting help keep pollen low in the house. Keeping windows closed helps as does a pollen HEPA filter in the hoover or air filter. Pollen filters in the car and not circulating air from outside help. Wipe pets with a damp cloth as they can carry pollen on their fur.

Other environmental factors can make hay fever (and asthma) worse, such as smoking, exhaust fumes and air pollution. Bush fires in Australia hugely increase cases and their severity. Coastal breezes wash pollen inland so coast-dwellers tend to have fewer and less severe symptoms.

Minimise pollen on yourself.

The thing I’ve found most effective was close-fitting wraparound sunglasses. It is also effective to change outdoor clothes as soon as you get home (not leave them and their pollen lying around!) and shower and wash your hair, or at least wash your face. It is virtually indestructible on dry clothes, so water helps reduce the spread.

Another great tip is putting vaseline around the nostrils which traps a lot of pollen preventing it getting in. Salt water sprays can flush out pollens as well.

Prepare – treat BEFORE you get the symptoms.

As soon as you get symptoms the irritation is already well-established and it’s a challenge to get on top of it. Take antihistamines or steroid nasal inhalers at least two weeks before past experience leads you to expect symptoms. Antihistamines best treat the histamine symptoms (itching and runny noses) and milder cases, and are easily available cheaply over the counter.

Nasal steroid sprays can help relieve nasal congestion and sinus swelling. Combinations of antihistamines and steroid spray are becoming available. 

Eye drops (cromoglycate on prescription) can help runny eyes since constant rubbing can cause significant swelling of the white of the eyes.

Nasal decongestants should only be used for a few days at a time as they cause rebound congestion when stopped (you end up worse off than before). 

If you have asthma always carry your reliever – symptoms can become very serious very quickly. Take your preventer regularly, and treat hay fever symptoms aggressively as this can make serious asthma attacks more common. 

Colds, hay fever, COVID and weather can all combine to make asthmatics very sick very quickly. 

These aren’t working or it’s getting worse.

See your GP to look at your whole history and check for other causes or arrange testing.

If medications aren’t controlling it a specialist referral for medication optimisation or desensitisation treatment may help. Desensitisation is repeated injections of your pollen trigger under the skin in increasing doses to overcome the allergic response. Very new developments are looking at putting the allergy under the tongue rather than skin.

Unfortunately, some sufferers will become sensitised to more and more pollens or other allergens outside the hay fever season and then have a full year-round version resulting in perennial allergic rhinitis – no let up all year. 

Need more allergy advice? Juno is here to help. Download Juno and start a conversation now.

Does your little one suffer from eczema? Well as it turns out, around one in five children do. The dry, itchy skin can make them miserable and as a parent you just want to make it go away. Whilst there is no definitive cure for eczema, as it differs person by person, there are many ways to help treat and soothe the itch.

As always, our specialists are here to help. Here are their best steps to prevent and soothe flare ups and manage your child’s eczema:

After more tailored advice? Download Juno now and chat to a specialist in minutes.

What does a birthplace choice actually mean? From the very start of pregnancy your midwife will ask you what your preferences are. For most women at the start of pregnancy the choice between home, a birth centre and hospital birth is like trying to choose what type of sushi you want. Over the years providing midwifery care, I have often been asked: 

“If I choose to birth in a Hospital birth will a doctor look after me? Is it safer?” 

“If I want an epidural in a birth centre does it mean I can’t have one?” 

“What do all these options even mean?” 

Choices, choices, choices.

As midwives we ask the question so thoughtlessly, but on the other side women and their partners feel they are signing a 24 month contract with a dodgy mobile phone company! It is important to remember no matter what choices are made, no one will hold you to them if things are different on the day. For this reason you should view your choices as a wish list. Unfortunately, when pregnant, everyone around you suddenly seems to be a professor in midwifery. 

They will feel very much obliged to give their stance on how pregnancy, birth and beyond should be. It is so essential to make the decisions based on your own values that are right for you and your family. There is no need to base judgements on someone else’s experience or perceptions of safety. No pregnancy, birth or baby is the same and your birth journey is unique to you.

Your birth. Your way.

As much as birth is a physiological event, it is just as much psychological – like running a marathon. Therefore, being comfortable in your surroundings is very important as it often will impact on how a labour will progress. It is well documented that fear of labour will inhibit the pregnancy hormones needed to sustain contractions. This is why focusing on relaxation in labour is vital for your pregnancy. There can be factors beyond control which will determine where a birthplace may occur – even with best laid plans. 

Hypnobirthing is a prove practise to get you relaxed no matter where, what or how your birth will be. There are several factors that may influence your decision of where to give birth, personal to you. As Juno Midwives, we are here to support and help you to make the best choice for you. Here are some facts to aid you in your decision making, no matter what stage of pregnancy you are at.

Home birth.

Planned home birth is often viewed as controversial as it opposes the common belief and assumption that it is safer to give birth in hospital. However, research shows women wanting a home birth in low risk pregnancies is safer than hospital births. It also has considerable benefits for both mother and baby: greater satisfaction from the birth, lower intervention rates, better emotional and psychological well-being, aiding maternal and child bonding. For home births to be deemed as safe, careful planning is needed ideally between 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. Home births have the added benefits of having the midwife attend to you, in fact two midwives at the birth in your own environment with all the safety equipment required for a birth…Just make sure to cover the beige carpet!

Birth centres.

Birth centres share the same principle as home births and they can be found across the country as either standalone units or as part of a maternity unit. These units are intended for uncomplicated pregnancies and are attended by midwives only. They aim to create a relaxed ‘home from home’ environment, often designed to have large birth pools. And like home births, women who labour in a midwifery led unit are more likely to have a normal birth with less intervention. Birth centres, otherwise known as midwife led units, can provide the bridge between home birth and obstetric led units. Although, it is important to note if either a home birth or birth centre is no longer suitable in pregnancy or in labour, referral is made to the hospital. The reason for this may include long labour, bleeding, requesting an epidural etc.

Hospital birth.

Hospital births may also be referred to as labour wards or a delivery suite. Like supermarket lipstick and designer lipstick, whatever the name – they all do the same thing! During a hospital birth you will be cared for by midwives, whilst an obstetric and anaesthetic team is on hand for women who may have pregnancy or non-pregnancy complications and women requesting epidural in labour.

If there is one message to take with you, keep calm and relax. Midwives and obstetric teams are here to be in partnership with you to ensure you and your birth partner have the best experience possible. This is why Juno provides such an important service. If you do have any questions, just ask Juno to point you in the right direction and find the best birthplace for you.

Download Juno now.

Juno is nothing without the healthcare professionals that operate it. It’s time to meet the midwives that make our midwifery service so special. Thanks to their contributions to Juno, they can ensure that every parent-to-be gets the guidance they need, when they need it. Each of our midwives are proud supporters of our healthcare system, with many also working with the NHS. By using Juno, they can release the pressure on it and make sure it is protected. They champion the importance of midwifery and allow new parents the possibility of accessing prenatal advice, wherever they are. I think it’s fair to say – we love our midwives!

Midwifery has never been more relevant than in this moment. In a time when restrictions hinder our access to health information, online support has never been more vital. Pregnancy can unearth a host of dizzying questions that can be anxiety inducing for any mother. Whether it’s a niggling query that keeps you up at night or a new pressing concern, Juno’s midwifery team is here to help. Each of our expert midwives have different skills and experience to give the best range of advice. This includes a variety of expertise in birthing styles, from a range of settings (hospital, community, etc).

Meet the team

Midwifery on Juno may have only just begun, but we have already seen many expectant mums turn to our midwives for support. It already appears that our service comes at a crucial moment for healthcare and our midwives think it’s an important step for midwifery. Here is an introduction to our excellent team of midwives and the variety of experience they boast.

Experience midwifery in moments and download Juno now on IOS.

Are you an Android user? Sign up to the waitlist here.

We are living in a constantly evolving world with regards to technology, social media and people looking for support online. As a midwife, I have seen over the past few years how important it is for us to have a presence online so that we can offer online medical support and reassurance when people need it most. I’ve noticed it even more since the start of the Pandemic. 

All services within the NHS are overstretched due to Covid-19, meaning you are now seeing more and more women unable to access maternity care when they need it the most. Which means it is perfect timing to find alternative routes to access professional advice alongside your normal maternity care. 

Finding the right medical advice online.

I came across an article from the BBC recently about maternity services and how they are suffering during the pandemic. You can read it here. Women are struggling to access the care that they need, during the most important time of their lives. Our maternity services were stretched prior to the pandemic, so it is no surprise to see women turning to facebook groups for support from other mothers. Whilst having this support network is important, it is also imperative to note that this is not professional advice. This means women are potentially being given the wrong advice when looking for support from friends, family and social media groups. 

By creating Juno – we will be able to give vital support and advice via an app so that women and parents-to-be can choose to access medical advice in a quick, safe way. Not only that, it also gives us as midwives a voice online to be able to support women. In a tech-heavy world, where everyone picks up their phone to google symptoms, I believe this is vital support that we need to implement nationally for everyone in pregnancy, postnatally and beyond.

The importance of midwifery.

Women are missing face-to-face appointments with their midwives, consultants and some are going months without seeing a healthcare professional because of the pandemic. As a midwife, I know how much this will increase anxiety levels for women and their families. If we can provide an online service like Juno to run alongside NHS care, this will help reassure and alleviate anxieties in pregnancy. I absolutely love being a midwife and caring for women and families. We become midwives because of our compassion and how passionate we are about maternity care.  This is why we’ve created a service to offer online support as much as we possibly can. With lots of medical services now offering online consultations and advice – it’s about time midwives had an online presence too!

During pregnancy, you have so many questions that need answering and that’s what we are here for. Early pregnancy, when you haven’t met your midwife yet, is the most common – as you have so many symptoms in the first trimester and it is nice to be able to access reassurance if you need it. We also find that a lot of women come to us between 16-25 weeks of pregnancy. You normally don’t see a midwife during this time and there are so many questions you may have.

Why Juno is the future.

Juno midwife chat in app

I had one woman access advice online who was pregnant for the first time with twins. She was bleeding in early pregnancy and was very worried about losing one or both of her babies. I gave her support, reassurance and guidance throughout her whole pregnancy and she gave birth to two beautiful healthy babies. She felt that having access to midwifery support whenever she needed was invaluable and helped her enjoy her pregnancy more. This is why our Juno midwifery advice service will be invaluable for families and why I am so excited to be a part of it.

So if you are planning to have a baby, pregnant or have a newborn baby, please download Juno and contact us whenever you have any questions you need answered. We are currently available 8am-8pm, 7 days a week and run a fast response service with highly experienced midwives available at the touch of a button. 

Download Juno Now.

Sound the klaxon and stop the press! Midwifery advice is coming to Juno!

Recently we’ve been thinking hard about how to better help parents-to-be across the UK. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right pregnancy advice, at the right time. But we want to change that. We are partnering up with Ask The Midwife to provide fast guidance for new mums throughout their pregnancy journey. 

Ask The Midwife’s Hannah Harvey (BSc) is joining Juno to ensure that the advice given is trustworthy, friendly and reassuring. With all her experience, she brings a team of expert midwives to be at hand when parents need them most.

What is Ask The Midwife?

In 2016, Hannah Harvey created Ask The Midwife as an online platform to give women access to midwifery advice whenever they needed it. Whether it was guidance during early pregnancy, or after birth with their newborn baby, Ask The Midwife aimed to bridge the gap with online interaction between midwives and women. Whilst having over 10 years experiences practising midwifery, Hannah is also a mum-of-three (and nearly four!). We couldn’t think of anyone better to help lead Juno, pass on her expertise and help parents with their questions or concerns.

At Juno, we are determined to continue Hannah’s endeavour to give reassurance, support and accurate and up-to-date information for every parent-to-be. We think that midwifery advice should be readily available at all times and if pregnant women are in any doubt, they can just ask Juno. Together, we hope to become a refuge of reliable guidance for parents throughout pregnancy and beyond. 

Hannah Harvey

Why midwifery matters.

During pregnancy, a midwife can’t be there all the time to answer your questions. There are always moments of doubt and worry over what is happening to your body and baby. We want midwifery advice to be easily accessible, delivered fast and unique for every user. Here are some key figures about midwifery and its use within the UK:

These statistics clearly show that adopting a midwifery service is a step in the right direction for healthcare. With the help of Ask The Midwife, we hope to meet the demands of midwifery advice and help as many pregnant parents as possible.

Like what you see? Good to hear! Sign up to the midwifery waitlist now!

Juno is bursting with excitement and pride to reveal Dr. Shruti as our Clinical Lead. She joins the rest of Juno’s expert team of paediatricians to deliver reliable and exceptional advice to parents. We are delighted to have a professional with the calibre of Dr. Shruti to help guide and shape Juno going forward. With a wealth of experience at her disposal, she also brings together our network of highly qualified paediatricians for a better, coordinated care.

Dr. Shruti is described as ‘the full package, with great communication and clinical skills. She has an enthusiasm for working to improve and change practice, as well as being a kind and approachable colleague.’

Background.

“My constant drive and motivation are some of my strongest attributes fuelling achievements in my career thus far.”

“Uniquely, I am dual qualified in General Practice and General Paediatrics. My plethora of experience places me in a privileged position to better understand the complexities and challenges faced by both primary and secondary care in our incredible, yet overburdened, healthcare system.“ 

“This makes me perfectly placed to join Juno! My vision is to integrate the different interfaces of healthcare with technology in this evolving digital era. I aim to lead the transformation and delivery of  specialist healthcare advice as we know it.”

Leadership.

“To better manage the challenges faced by health organisations in the current climate of the NHS, I have undertaken formal training in leadership and management, a particular area of interest. This has enabled me to adopt a positive, reflective and resilient approach to my leadership and handle any challenge with a sense of calm.“

“I will apply these skills in my role as Clinical Lead of Juno, to facilitate collaborative partnerships between clinicians, but most importantly to deliver easily accessible and exceptional standards of patient-centred care. Championing patient safety is paramount every step of the journey.”

Juno.

“This app enables parents to access expertise at their fingertips, empowering them to manage common conditions with confidence. This enables a reduction in unnecessary visits to the GP and A&E, with better experiences and outcomes for children and their families. I genuinely believe Juno is going to revolutionise accessibility to specialist healthcare advice as we know it.”

“I am extremely excited to join such an incredibly passionate and committed team, whose ethos, values and behaviours align with my own high standards and expectations. My belief is that every interaction is not only an opportunity to teach, but also to learn. With the help of the powerhouse behind Juno, I hope to learn a lot.”

I think it’s safe to say that people across the country are a tad unmotivated. After a disruptive Christmas and the emergence of a New Year lockdown, morale is low. We are in desperate need of inspiration! As a writer, writing this, I can honestly say, “I need inspiration!” Well, after days mining the internet for every ounce of creative content, I can happily say, “Humans are amazing!” We are resourceful, resilient and unrelenting in our endeavour to procrastinate into infinity. There is no limit to our creativity and ways to support and inspire each other, even in our darkest moments. Remember those things called art, theatre and music? Good. Need some culture in your life? Well, you’re in luck. Here is the very best virtual art, theatre, music and culture you can find online in isolation.

Tour iconic destinations

Exploring cultural cities and landscapes of the world was so 2019. The majority of people haven’t been able to leave their local area for almost a year and we all need a healthy dose of escapism. Whether it’s taking a tour of Rome’s Colosseum or yomping over the incredible sights of Machu Picchu, You Visit has everything you need to indulge the explorer inside you. I have absolutely no shame in sharing that I watched an entire tour of New York City, starting in a helicopter before being led around the city by my virtual tour guide Maria. So why not take the family on a guided tour now? It was informal, fun, addictive and I’m on my way to Barcelona now.

Explore The Royal Academy of Arts

Nothing beats seeing art in person. Physically stepping into galleries and absorbing the artwork with your own two eyes is unique as it is meditative. However, The Royal Academy of Arts is providing multiple experiences to cater to our art health during isolation. As well as virtual tours within the historic RA building, there are also plenty of other ways to experience art in the RA from every conceivable angle. Watch this dizzyingly insightful video about the RA’s Summer Exhibition presented by Grayson Perry. It gives an engaging introduction to art and is the perfect kickstart for anyone needing a bit of creative inspiration.

Watch the National Theatre online

We’ve all completed Netflix over the last year. We have even enjoyed some of those TV shows we promised to ourselves never ever to watch (Selling Sunset). So what is there to watch next? The National Theatre has a catalogue of breathtaking performances available for rent or subscription. From Warhorse to Shakespeare’s Othello, there is no better fix of culture than some of the finest actors in the world treading the boards. I know what you’re thinking, is this perhaps a bit pricey just to get a culture fix? But to have unlimited theatre for a year, at only £83, is well worth it. Just think, a single ticket in the West End could cost double that amount! Help the theatre industry and give yourself enriching entertainment.

Listen to the best quarantine concerts

Music cleanses the soul. At times music has been our primal source of joy and escapism, however, at other times it seemed our patience was wearing thin. Playing the same songs by the same artists was no longer a source of joy, but a medium of tedium. But the most important thing to remember is that there is so much more music for you still to be discovered, or an artist you haven’t heard of, or a song you haven’t memorised in entirety. The New York Times posted an article containing the 10 Best Quarantine Concerts Online which shows an incredible breath of music ready to inspire. There is something for everyone on this list with a huge mix of genres and watching these performances live is just the icing on the cultural cake.

Download Juno now.

School closures can be a nightmare for parents. Forget dealing with a global pandemic, now parents everywhere are asking themselves, ‘How do I educate my child?’, ‘How can I work with my kids at home?’, ‘How can I keep my kids healthy in lockdown?’ All fair questions – without too many answers. Every parent at some point needs a helping hand and a little inspiration to keep their children learning in isolation.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your kids preoccupied and happy whilst learning lessons at home.

Teaching At Home

Welcome back to your second term as a teacher. “Never again!” you shouted into your pillow when schools finally opened again. Alas here we are again, stuck at home and teaching our kids a lesson in…well…anything. Luckily this time around, the BBC are doubling their efforts by airing lessons on CBBC from January 11th. Not only that, but parents will still be able to peruse the BBC Bitesize website for interactive ways for children of all ages to learn from home.

Personalised Story Time

Story time can get a bit stale. “How many times has that tiger come for tea?!” Why not jazz up story time and put your child in the story itself with Wonderbly. There are a huge variety of stories for your children to inhabit on their website, giving bedtime stories a brand new personalised meaning. It’s a unique way to teach younger children the morals of stories and is definitely a special treat to distract them – at least for a little while.

Art Club For Children

As well as being the winner of Dave’s Best Joke of The Edinburgh Fringe 2019 and one of Sweden’s funniest comedians, Olaf Falafel is also an incredible illustrator and children’s author. During the first lockdown in 2020, he ran an Art Club for kids that proved immensely popular, inspiring kids of all ages to pick up a pencil and draw to their heart’s content. His brand of art is inventive and even touches on many famous artistic styles throughout time. You can check out all Olaf Falafel’s Art Club episodes and books right here.

Keeping Kids Healthy

Need access to a child health specialist but apprehensive to go to your local GP during Covid-19? Many parents are faced with the same anxiety. However, remote child healthcare is now here! Thanks to mobile app Juno, parents can now quickly and easily access a network of highly qualified paediatricians from the comfort of their own home. This app removes the arduous process of waiting weeks for an appointment and gives reassurance when parents need it the most. It has already garnered a hugely positive feedback from parents – just have a look at the most recent review:

“One of the best apps I have. I’m a new mum to twins and navigating an entire household of covid. This app has been nothing short of sanity saving. So reassuring, with detailed quick responses from caring and experienced paediatric consultants. Highly recommended.” – Hanfantasticxxx, 03/01/2021

Juno start a conversation screen on device

Download Juno now.

2020. You will not be missed!

Whilst it’s incredibly easy to dwell in the past and revel in just how bad 2020 was, I’m not going to. Instead, I think it’s important to focus on how 2020 might have changed us all for the better. As we have become more remote in our work and lifestyle, it has forced us to look more inward. Keeping physically fit and mentally fresh has never been more important for the sake of ourselves as well as our family. This blog is dedicated to health trends, fitness tips and wellness exercises to be healthy and happy in 2021.

Circadian Rhythms

If 2020 was the year of sleep health, 2021 will surely be the year of circadian rhythms. What are circadian rhythms? I hear you ask. Circadian rhythms are innate physical, mental and behavioural shifts over a 24 hour cycle. All these natural changes respond primarily to light and dark exposure and affect most living things on our planet. And before you start palming this off as nonsense, please see that the 2017 Nobel Prize for Medicine was won for the discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. See, science.

Whilst sustaining a strong circadian rhythm will not eradicate our insomniac woes, we predict it will have an incredible impact on human health in 2021. With light as the central part of the solution, you can improve your circadian rhythm simply by adopting exposure to bright light when you are meant to. Products by Lumie have been constructed to give you a boost of light during the day, whilst dimming lights in the evening improve your circadian health. Restricting your eating times to when it is light will also have a positive effect on your health, as is setting a consistent bedtime (if that’s possible). 

It won’t be long before an array of apps are brought out to help measure and manage our natural biological clock. An app called Timeshifter is already optimising circadian health and eliminating jet lag for travellers with healthy light and eating habits. Start 2021 with some light therapy and reset your biological clock for better physical and mental health.

Light exposure is key to a healthy circadian rhythm.

Reconnect with Nature

Isolation has become such a prevalent part of my vernacular. It seems I can’t go a day without mentioning ‘isolation’ or ‘self-isolating’ at least once. So after all this time stuck indoors (isolating), it’s not just important to get outside but integral to our wellbeing. We require a renewed freshness and vitality or, as the Japanese say, “iki-iki”. We should follow their lead and make our connection with nature an important health prerogative in 2021. 

‘Forest bathing’ became a Japanese national health programme in 1982, promoting millions of people to walk along healing forest trails. Studies support a host of health benefits: reducing blood pressure, lowering stress, improving cardiovascular and metabolic health, enhancing concentration, memory and energy. Nature is the mother of all health kicks.

In Britain, we are spoiled by some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. With national parks and rambling trails at our disposal, it’s time to make nature an important part of 2021. Simply go for a walk, surround yourself with nature and start to feel healthier again.

Our connection with nature is good for health.

Join Online Fitness

This one isn’t necessarily ground-breaking, or innovative, or even new! But it is important. Often during 2020 it felt like we reached our limit with online fitness classes with Joe Wicks haunting us eternally in our dreams. However, there is an absurd amount of online fitness alternatives to be found online to help rejuvenate our interest and boost our physical fitness. Whatever level you are you can find something for you.

The Nike Training App is great for long or short workouts, focusing on strength, endurance or mobility. There is plenty of variety to get yourself started, keep you enthused for a long time and it’s completely free. Youtube has everything you need when it comes to online fitness. As long as you can stand the barrage of ads, it’s free and gives plenty of variety to your workout.

Do you miss that yoga or pilates class? Chances are they are still doing the class, but online. After a quick search on Instagram, you will be able to find a live zoom workout that works for you. Finding a local class is a great way to help your physical wellbeing and support an independent trainer.

Online fitness is here to stay.

Increase your Immunity

For some reason (pandemic), increasing our immunity and metabolic health has become a prime objective for 2021. But what exactly is metabolic health? Metabolic health, in essence, means balance. Having good metabolic health suggests that you have the ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, body weight and blood pressure. Having an unhealthy metabolic health directly could increase a person’s risk of a stroke, heart disease, diabetes or even COVID-19.

As it happens, your metabolic health and immunity are linked. Scientists have found throughout the course of COVID-19, people who are metabolically unhealthy seem to be more at risk of getting severely ill when they do get infected with the virus. This is surely a wake up call for many of us to improve upon our metabolic health and therefore our immunity.

How do we improve our metabolic health? A bit of exercise doesn’t hurt, but the best remedy is the food we eat. A ‘flexitarian diet’ is a trendy and laid-back way of eating food that removes the stress of all-or-nothing diets. It is inclusive of all food groups, but moderation is the key. If you like meat, have meat! But in small quantities. This eating scheme is a unique way of allowing someone to feel like they’re making a difference (for the climate, planet, animals, etc.), without restricting their entire lifestyle. Improving our metabolism and immunity is not about going to extremes, but finding that happy balance.

Flexitarian diet is the new, non-fussy alternative.

Child Health Tech

Every year we come across a new hoard of health apps to help guide us, protect us and improve our way of life. Babylon has become almost a norm for people wanting quick access to GPs without having to go to your local surgery. This is testament to Babylon’s use and innovation in the healthcare market. However, whilst this service has improved the immediacy of healthcare, it still doesn’t have the specialist care some users require. Cue the parents.

When it comes to child healthcare, anxiety-driven parents need a specialist opinion. Juno was created to fill this void and provide parents with a reassuring way to get advice on their child’s health. Boasting an entire network of GMC & MRCPCH registered paediatricians, it gives parents that clarity and confidence they desperately need. Like Babylon, it is an entirely remote service that saves parents that arduous journey to their local GP and gives them all the guidance they need from their phone. With paediatricians responding to a parent’s concerns in less than 5 minutes, it’s a quick and reliable resource of child healthcare.

Yes, the country is still in tiers. Yes, there is still a worldwide pandemic. All the more reason for apps like Juno. And with more health applications on the horizon for Juno, this highly rated service is still free for the time being. Download and sign up for better child health in 2021.

Juno start a conversation screen on device

Download Juno now.