Health Insurance

4 Simple and Immediate Ways To Begin Improving Your Health

While we all want to live a healthier lifestyle, our hectic daily lives often come in the way. In this article, we break down affordable and actionable changes you can make to get on track to becoming the healthiest version of yourself.

Singaporeans are among the healthiest citizens in APAC. However, there is still room for improvement. For instance, the study found that Singaporeans have higher rates of binge drinking, sedentary lifestyles, and non-HDL cholesterol compared to some of their APAC peers. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to improve your health. In fact, not only can these changes be made immediately, but they are also very affordable, making them great for health and budget-conscious people.

Drink Less Alcohol, More Water

While Singaporeans have one of the lowest levels of alcohol consumption in APAC, they do have higher than average levels of binge drinking. More specifically, 32.2% of Singaporeans surveyed participate in binge drinking. There are a number of different health issues that arise from alcohol consumption such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke to name a few.

A great way to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink is by replacing it with water or a similar non-alcoholic beverage for when you go out (soda water and lime, for instance). Drinking more water allows your body to more easily get rid of waste and toxins. It is recommended that men should drink about 3.7 litres of water and women should drink about 2.7 litres per day. While this may seem like a lot, breaking up the times you drink water throughout the day can make this much easier. For example, including a glass or two of water at each meal will help you achieve this goal quite easily. You could also carry a refillable water bottle with you so that you always have something to drink.

reusable bottle

If you do need to drink alcohol, you can substitute your usual drinks for reduced alcohol varieties (for instance 5% wine). Furthermore, water is typically free at bars and restaurants, so switching to water can help your wallet as well as your health. For instance, if you reduce your alcohol consumption in half by replacing half of your alcoholic drinks with water, you can save S$1,500 per year. Whether it’s tap or bottled, drinking water is a great and cheap way to improve your health.

Estimated Annual Savings By Reducing Bar Outings By 50%

This table shows the annual spending of someone who buys 4 drinks per outing, 4 times a month compared to someone only goes out twice a month.

Consider Low Sodium Alternatives

A majority of Singaporeans actually consume more than the daily recommended amount of sodium. While salt is a great seasoning to add to your food, it is a strong driver of high blood pressure, which increases your chances of having heart disease or a stroke. There are plenty of flavorful substitutes and low sodium options you can use to help replace your salt consumption and increase your overall health. For example, using MSG instead of table salt can decrease your sodium intake by two thirds. Other options, like low sodium soy sauce and fish sauce, can also be great options to help reduce your sodium intake.

Get More Hours of Sleep

Singaporeans are among the most sleep deprived individuals. This lack of sleep can lead to serious health issues like heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, and weight gain. So, it is incredibly important to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night in order to avoid these health issues. There are many things you can do to help yourself get more sleep. Avoiding any kind of sugar, alcohol, or caffeine is recommended as consuming these before bed can decrease the quality of your rapid. Reducing any distractions, like social media or television, can also help clear your mind before you go to sleep.

weighted blanket

Purchasing products like melatonin or a weighted blanket can have great benefits to your sleep. Melatonin, which costs around S$19 for 60 tablets, is great for anyone who may have trouble falling asleep quickly. Additionally, using something like a weighted blanket can help reduce anxiety and get a deeper sleep. As a result of better sleep you’ll see an increase in focus, productivity, not to mention you’ll be reducing the risk of a wide variety of health complications.

Increase Your Cardio

Singaporeans have one of the highest rates of physical inactivity in APAC, with a crude estimate of 36.5% Singaporeans not getting enough physical activity. This can lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease. Thus, another simple way that you can improve your health is by incorporating some cardio into your daily routine. Whether you walk or run, including cardio has substantial health benefits. In fact, with as little as 5 to 10 minutes of daily cardio, you can reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular diseases by 29%%, making cardio a great option for Singaporeans with tightly packed schedules. To get started, you may need to invest in some quality running shoes. There are plenty of reliable and affordable options available.

running shoes

However, besides proper footwear to help you avoid injury, you don't need to spend a lot to get moving. You can simply go for runs during your free time or carve out space for an exercise mat in your flat and follow along to free HIIT videos that you can find online or virtual classes that are being hosted by your local gym.

You Don't Need to Spend a Fortune to Improve Your Health

Improving your health doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. There are plenty of simple and actionable ways that you can help improve your overall health without sacrificing much time or money. It also can’t hurt to schedule a checkup with your doctor, this will help you catch any potential signs of developing or existing health issues. If you are worried about developing a serious health issue, and want to make sure you are not stuck with large medical bills, consider purchasing health insurance policies. Whether it is a slight change in diet or a little more exercise, you can easily start your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Alex Noonan

Alex is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, analyzing various financial decisions for consumers in Singapore, from which credit cards provide the best values, how to maximise value of miles and other personal finance matters. Previously an SEO Analyst at a New York based fin-tech company, specializing in small business advice, he has extensive experience in content production & web optimization. He is a recent graduate of Rutgers University, with a major in Supply Chain Management.

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