Health & Wellness Tips For 2021
New Year. New blog to keep you happy and healthy.
By Robin Hill
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Download and sign up for better child health in 2021.