Here's why you should make your health a priority and how you can do it.

These days, people have fast-paced lives, attempting to juggle the increasing demands of the working world and their family responsibilities. As a result, our lifestyles are generally quite hectic and the effects could be detrimental to our health, if weíre not careful. The key is to make your wellbeing, and that of your family, a priority.

This is especially true if you have people who rely on you to take care of them. The healthier you are, the better your chances are of living longer, and in turn, being able to provide for your loved ones for longer. Along with taking out a life insurance policy and additional protection, such as Serious Illness Cover, there are certain preventative measures you can take to put your health first.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Go for regular checks with your doctor
  • If you haven't visited your family physician for a while, itís a good idea to make an appointment for an annual check-up. Even if there's nothing worrying you, itís best to go for any health screenings that your doctor recommends to ensure that, should anything be wrong, you get early diagnoses and treatment.
  • Men over 50 should have an annual prostate exam, while women over the age of 40 should go for a mammogram every two years. Regular visits to your doctor will help you identify things that you need to keep an eye on and changes you may need to make to your lifestyle to maintain good health.
  • Maintain a balanced, healthy diet
  • The old adage "you are what you eat" definitely has some truth to it. It's important that you realise that whatever food you put into your body can affect your health. Maintaining a balanced diet is key to staying healthy and avoiding developing or aggravating conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Avoid eating excessive amounts of red meat and refined sugars, and try to increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Skipping meals is also a no-no, as starting the day off with a healthy breakfast is the first step to eating better. Itís also very important to drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day, as this helps us to stay hydrated and assists with washing out toxins from our bodies.
  • Exercise regularly
  • While eating healthy is half the battle won, regular exercise plays a big role in improving your health. Exercise not only burns calories but does wonders for your heart, muscles and metabolism. On average, a person should be doing at least 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week. This can be anything from regular walking or running to high intensity interval training and weight lifting.
  • You should always work together with your doctor when starting a new exercise regime and adjust it to your fitness level. Itís important to find an exercise that works for you and that you can stick to. Whether you go for brisk walks around your neighbourhood, swim a few lengths at the local pool, attend yoga classes or lift weights, making regular exercise a part of your routine will improve your energy levels and your moods, while making you stronger, lighter and fitter.
  • Get a good night's rest
  • To reduce your stress and anxiety levels and avoid burn-out, you should take the time to rest. Give your body and mind the opportunity to recharge and replenish your energy levels. Getting enough sleep each night, between seven and eight hours, plays an important role in maintaining good health. A lack of sleep can leave you feeling listless and drained and can lead to a drop in your immune system and you may find yourself falling ill more often.
  • Good health is something you shouldn't take for granted. Being in tune with your body and seeking a medical opinion if you discover something unusual or start experiencing strange symptoms or sensations is a must do. Adopting a healthier lifestyle along with investing in suitable cover from a reputable insurance provider will mean that youíll be better equipped to take care of those you love for longer.

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