How to be healthier in 2021

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Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
1 January 2021

Planning for 2021 to be the year that you get serious about being healthier? If you’re really serious about making some changes for the better this year then you need to make sure that these healthy habits become routine. Fortunately, Virgin Pulse, the world’s largest digital health and engagement company, has some brilliant tips.


We know mornings can be hard. But establishing a good morning routine is the first step in having a good day, every day. We’re not saying that everyone needs to get up at 4am and run a 10K before they start work. But simple things like making sure you have a nutritious breakfast, some water and maybe a quick stretch will put you in a much better mindset to get going.

Of course, if you enjoy exercising in the morning, then go for it. Set your alarm earlier and get your workout in. But if you’re likely to be more productive for the day with an extra half hour of sleep then that’s fine too. Make sure your routine works for you, or you’ll never stick to it.

A man holding his daughter while cooking in the kitchen
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Richard Branson is a big fan of getting an early start on the day. He says: “No matter where I am, I rise early – usually around 5am. I like to sleep with the curtains open, so the sunlight wakes me. I find natural light to be wonderfully motivating. It’s hard not to be enthusiastic about the day ahead with the sun streaming through the windows.” Find out more about Richard's morning routine on his blog.

Even if you’re working from home, make sure you get up in good time and get ready for work. You don’t necessarily need to put on a suit and tie (we certainly won’t be), but rolling out of bed and joining a meeting in your pyjamas will seriously impact your productivity and your ability to focus at work.


Starting a diet is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions each year. But how do you turn that into healthier eating habits that will actually stick?

“Try not to go it alone,” Dr David Katz, who is on Virgin Pulse’s Science Advisory Board, said in a recent Virgin Pulse webinar. “We’ve all heard in unity there is strength, we all know it is true. So whoever the important people are in your life, talk to them about what you’re trying to do to improve your diet and invite them to join you, and support you as you support them. Benefit from the strength in unity. Often it’s going to be your family or the people you live with but whoever your people are – the people you spend most of your time with, interact with, lean on the most – do it together. Make it a change where you’re mutually supporting each other.”

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Getting good sleep is just as important as exercising or eating a balanced diet. Try following these tips from UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and psychology Dr Matthew Walker, which Virgin Pulse has shared:

  • Set a sleep routine – go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends

  • Get outside and enjoy the sunshine, especially in the morning

  • Do some exercise, even if it’s just a walk or a quick workout

  • No more coffee in the evenings, it’ll stop you sleeping properly

  • Wind down in the evenings, avoid your phone (and other screens) for an hour before you go to bed

A man asleep in bed
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Looking for more tips on being healthier in 2021? Head over to Virgin Pulse.