By Nixon Shigoli
As the year 2021 draws to an end, this is an opportune time to reflect on and set new goals around personal health and wellness. Reflecting on this important dimension of life can be very beneficial from a self-improvement perspective but also achieving a happy and fulfilling life in the years ahead.
Personal wellness is as important as being physically healthy. Wellness is a term referring to the state of being physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy. Being healthy or leading a healthy lifestyle entails striking a careful balance between all these vital aspects of personal wellness.
With health now considered the new wealth, you should prioritize your health and wellness, as you do your finances, career and relationships. To do this you need a health and wellness plan incorporating key goals and milestones that you will keep track of going forward.
Health is a state of body and mind. You therefore need to take charge of your life and especially the choices you make that have a direct impact on your wellness. Setting the right goals must be preceded by an honest evaluation of your current situation to identify areas that require improvement.
Personal introspection is the first step in identifying your goals. For instance, have you been sticking to a healthy diet? How regularly do you exercise? When last did you have your blood sugar and pressure checked? How have you been managing stress? In answering the above and other questions related to your health, you are able to set meaningful and realistic goals, which will form the pillars of your plan.
You could resolve to eat more vegetables, fruits and consume less meat, or to quit smoking or reduce alcohol intake. A daily early morning jog may be what will help you control weight. All these revolve around deliberate choices you have to make on your way to a better, healthier life.
Apart from setting goals and laying a clear roadmap to attaining them, your health and wellness plan should have the following enablers. First, an illness prevention strategy which is basically the measures you will put in place to keep diseases at bay. Again, this is a matter of making the right choices like reducing sugar intake, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting adequate sleep.
Although it is impossible to never fall sick all your life, being fit is an effective illness prevention approach, particularly with regard to non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular conditions.
Second, prioritize wellness as the cornerstone of a healthy life. Without wellness, there is no health. A case in point is emotional wellness, which puts you in control of your feelings and emotions regarding you and others. This helps you cope with emotional challenges better as an individual meaning less stress, a major trigger of serious health conditions like hypertension and stroke.
Third, embrace digital technology as a tool to help you manage your health. Many factors including Covid-19 have recently accelerated the use of digital platforms in health care. A good example is telemedicine which makes it easier for patients to consult doctors online and access pharmaceutical services at lower cost thus saving money. Nowadays, personalized apps that help you track key health metrics and fitness goals are readily accessible by simply downloading them on smartphones.
Fourth, look for a health insurance partner who supports your personal health and wellness goals. Beyond having your medical bills settled, you deserve a better customer experience that gives you control over your health insurance needs. At AAR Insurance, we have invested in digital transformation to give our clients a superior experience using online and mobile platforms. We have learnt that our clients are increasingly yearning for simpler, more efficient and convenient tools that put them in control of the health care experience.
You need an innovative health insurance provider who gives you the ability, for example, to manage your medical expenses using your phone. Also, convenience and more efficient processes that provide quicker service turnaround, reducing the time you spend at the health facility being treated.
More importantly, invest in a health insurance policy because it protects you and your family financially in case of high medical bills incurred as a result of hospitalization. All said, the benefits are worth sparing time this festive season to put together a health and wellness plan.
(Mr. Shigoli is the MD, AAR Insurance Kenya).