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In celebration of Healthy Lifestyles Awareness Month, Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, reminds all South Africans to live better lives and get those good health intentions back on track.

Committing to being healthy is a great goal but being healthy entails more than just eating a nutritious meal now and then and going to the gym once a month. Because old habits die hard, changing your behaviours is a process that involves several stages. Sometimes it takes a while before changes like healthy eating and regular physical activity become new habits. And, yes, you may face roadblocks (and even the odd doughnut) along the way.


Why Do South Africans Live Unhealthy Lifestyles?

According to research, a significant proportion of South Africans live unhealthy lifestyles. Factors such as poverty, lack of access to healthy food options, education, and cultural norms can contribute to high rates of obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity.


Studies have shown that nearly 70% of adult South Africans are overweight or obese, and rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are also alarmingly high. Additionally, high levels of stress and a lack of access to mental health services also contribute to poor overall health outcomes.


“Living a healthier lifestyle is all about making small, sustainable changes to your daily routine,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“By taking care of your body and mind, you’ll not only feel better but also reduce your risk of chronic diseases and improve your overall quality of life.”

Here are some tips from Hewlett for getting started:

Eat a balanced diet: Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is essential for maintaining good health. Try to limit your intake of processed foods and added sugars, and aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.


Get moving: Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, every day.


Get enough sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, increased risk of chronic diseases, and impaired cognitive function.


Manage stress: Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Try to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a therapist.


Don’t smoke: Smoking is a leading cause of chronic diseases, including lung cancer and heart disease. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Be mindful of alcohol consumption: While moderate alcohol consumption may have some health benefits, excessive drinking can increase the risk of chronic diseases and impair cognitive function.

Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining good health. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day, and avoid sugary drinks.

Stay connected: Strong social connections are important for maintaining good mental and physical health. Make an effort to stay connected with friends and family, and consider joining a group or club that interests you.


Be mindful of your mental health: Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Make sure to take care of your mental well-being by talking to someone when you’re feeling down and seeking help if you’re struggling.


Have fun: Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be all about restriction and sacrifice. Find activities that you enjoy and make time for them in your life.


“By incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to living a happier and healthier life. Remember, it’s all about making small, sustainable changes that work for you and your lifestyle. So, don’t be too hard on yourself, and always be open to trying new things,” concludes Hewlett.

About Affinity Health 

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to always give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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