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Medichecks 2021 health and wellness predictions

The new year will bring us lots of health and happiness! What trends do we expect to see this year?

Well… we’re not sure about you, but we certainly did not see that coming. Our 2020 health and wellness predictions were thrown off course by a pandemic, and everything turned a little upside down - though, for many of us, the pandemic gaveus a chance to pause, reflect on our lives and rediscover what truly matters: family, friends, and our health.

Looking ahead to 2021 gives a new sense of optimism. Things may not have automatically reset as soon as the clock struck 12, but after a difficult year, we are all looking forward to happier and healthier days ahead.

Here are our health and wellness predictions for 2021.

1. Shots, Shots, Shots… we mean vaccinations.

Rejoice! The vaccines are here. So far, sufficient orders have been placed to vaccinate around 50 million people across the U.K. Healthcare staff will have priority, alongside vulnerable individuals, so some may have to wait in line for their shot.

However, the vaccine is not just an excellent bit of science. The vaccine represents the prospect of meeting safely with loved ones once again, enjoying time together and regaining a new sense of normality after a challenging year. The vaccine will do wonders for our social lives, mental health, and overall sense of wellbeing in 2021.

2. WFH (working from home), how about EFH (exercising from home)?

We are proud to say that this was a prediction we got spot on – we predicted that 2020 would see a rise in home-based workouts - and Joe Wicks certainly did not disappoint. During the pandemic, Joe took the UK by storm with his fun and interactive classes, which were suitable for both children and adults alike.

Although we have a vaccine, rushing back to the gym is not on everybody’s 2021 agenda - but this is no excuse for moulding back into the shape of the sofa…

Home-based workouts soared in 2020 and many people have now established successful new exercise routines to fit perfectly around their work lives. HIIT class on your lunchbreak? Sure, why not.

Many of our usual gym classes, such as Les Mills or ClassPass, now offer on demand services. Other workouts are available through an endless number of digital channels, includingapps such as Tone It Up and SWEAT, yoga subscription services such as Gaia, many trainers even post workouts live on Instagram….

In 2021, we think home-based workouts are here to stay, and not only this, but we expect to see an investment in home equipment such as fitness bikes. Peloton offer a range of fitness bikes and treadmills which have the added bonus of an interactive screen. You can exercise in real-time alongside your instructor and other members to stay motivated.

Steering clear of the gym in 2021 does not necessarily mean you need to stay indoors. The outdoors offers many opportunities to exercise from wild swimming to hiking, and many outdoor exercise challenges are available. For example, Race At Your Pace offers monthly challenges to take part in. You can team up with friends, challenge yourselves to keep moving, and earn yourself a medal. The outside world is your oyster (or should we say gym) in 2021.

3. Kindness

2020 has shown us that spreading kindness, and being considerate of others, works wonders for health and wellbeing. From supporting our neighbours, wearing our masks, to celebrating our healthcare workers, 2020 has made us value the importance of kindness – it made us feel good too. We predict that the spreading kindness movement will continue throughout 2021 (and hopefully for the years to follow).

The Mental Health Foundation gives ideas for random acts of kindness here.

And we don’t only mean being kind to others, but also to ourselves through self-care. With WFH stress, home-schooling, financial and health worries, it has been too easy to feel overwhelmed in 2020. We have discovered the importance of taking time out for ourselves, managing our expectations and being less hard on ourselves. In 2021 we expect to see an increased uptake of gratitude journals, daily wellbeing planners and digital destressing including remote meditation podcasts.

2021 is all about being kind, forgiving ourselves and embracing self-care.

4. The fall of fad diets

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our bodies are remarkable, and can achieve great things if we simply support them with a healthy lifestyle and diet. So, in 2021, why pin your hopes on unsustainable diets which do not work?

For example, a healthy immune system fends off pathogens, and a healthy liver does all the detoxing we need, without any need for detox diets.

Another calorie-counting, fat-burning, immune-boosting or magical superfood to ‘boost’ our health - who needs it? Our bodies deserve better! Instead, 2021 will be about investing time and effort into nutritious, wholesome, and mindful dietary choices, which are easier to stick with.

Many scientifically- proven, digital, health coaching services are now available, such asSecond Nature, to support us in our health journeys and help us to stay motivated. By doing so, we will achieve stronger and healthier bodies in 2021, which last the whole year, and beyond.

5. Workplace wellness

Although the vaccination programme will permit a return to offices and allow us to reconnect with our colleagues, the pandemic has proven that home-based working can be productive, and in many ways, can offer a healthier work-life balance.

In 2021, we expect to see compulsory remote working transform into permanent flexible working. Smart new technologies are available to boost our productivity and support us to work from home in a healthier way.

Some companies are offering their employees subscription packages for meditation technology such as Headspace.

For those who find it difficult to focus, OmmWriter is an app which blocks off all email and chat notifications and adds soothing background noise to aid your concentration, limiting distractions to your creativity.

You could try employing a digital assistant, such as Amazon Echo or Google Assistant, which are able to make calls, send emails and take notes supporting you to multitask at home, helping the workday to run more smoothly.

The lack of commute means that many of us may be lacking a dose of sunlight to help us stay energised. Remote working means we may even be able to squeeze in a daily lunchtime walk. If you’re not able to do so, Lumie offer special bright lamps to give us a daily, well-needed boost of light and energy.

We predict that 2021 will provide many of us with the flexible working hours, and healthier work-life balance, which we have always sought after.

All-in-all, 2021 will beas much about healing our mental health as it is about strengthening our physical health. We’re looking forward to health and happiness in 2021.