With healthcare cost going up in Singapore, we need think of ways how we could stay healthy to avoid that hefty bill even though we may have insurance coverage. This is because more and more insurers are progressing to co-payment for healthcare plans and the more we claim, the higher our premiums will be. Well, the saying goes "Health is Wealth", more than just saving on insurance premiums and spending on hospital bills, us staying healthy allows us to then spend time on things that matter, such as our love ones. Here are 7 tips to stay healthy in Singapore.
1. Eat a variety of healthy foods
Contrary to dieting fads, we need to first understand that we need more than 40 different nutrients in order to have good health. It is not about having a single healthy meal in a week or in a month, instead it is about a balanced choice of food over time!
For example, about half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Fats are also important for good health. However, as we know, too much of it can have a negative effect on our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects. Therefore, the key is to totally avoid trans fat, limit consumption of saturated fats and have a decent intake of unsaturated fats. Finally, fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre.
2. Reduce salt and sugar intake
High salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Eating too much added sugar can also have many negative health effects. An excess of sweetened foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.
3. Eat regularly and with the right proportions
Eating regularly in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet. Skipping meals can lead to excessive hunger and often result in overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks) or unsalted nuts. Giving attention to portion size will help us not to consume too much calories while allowing us to eat the food we enjoy.
4. Drink plenty of fluids
As adults, we need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day or more if it is hot or we have been physically active. Water is the best source, so bring your bottle along with you to work and ensure that you drink enough.
5. Maintain a healthy BMI
Our ideal weight depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer. Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The solution is simply if we are gaining weight, we need to start eating less and being more active!
6. Get up and exercise!
Exercise is a great way to stimulate our health. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. Try to exercise up to three times a week and remember to keep your workouts fun so that it does not feel like a chore.
7. Manage your mental health
Working on our physical aspect of health is great but remember that your mental health is the foundation of our overall health. It is important to manage and assess your feelings on a day-to-day basis. Take a deep breath and relax. Try some relaxing activities such as meditation, listening to music, reading or watching a comedy.
Start with Gradual Changes. Start Now!
Gradual changes in our lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. Try to write down the food and drinks you consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement you made. From there, it becomes easier to assess how you could add in small changes instead of eliminating all bad habits at once as there may be a tendency to return to them all the quicker. So let us all start living healthier today!