6 Things You Can Do To Be Healthier Even When You Are Busy!
“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
That familiar phrase is attributed to 19th century American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and the financial value of good health is even more important in our 21st century society today.
Due largely to lifestyle factors, the rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Malaysians have seen lifespans stagnating as heart disease, diabetes and rising obesity among youth are threatening to rob the health of Malaysians while putting more pressure on health services to treat and care for patients.
Rising rates of non-communicable diseases among Malaysians include:
- Developing heart disease at the average age of 58 years1
- Around 47.7% Malaysians aged 18 & above are suffering from increased blood cholesterol level1 (38.6% undiagnosed)2
- About 4.2 million Malaysians are suffering from mental health issues, 2.1 million of which are women3
- About two-thirds of Malaysians have at least one of three non-communicable diseases (NCD which are diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels)2
- About 30.3% Malaysians have high blood pressure (17.2% of which are undiagnosed)2
- About 17.7% have diabetes (9.2% are undiagnosed)2
- 1.65 million Malaysian schooling children are expected to be overweight in 20254
What’s worse, a deteriorating health is a stumbling block that will delay your journey towards achieving your personal, financial and family goals. If you are an entrepreneur, you need to be healthy to make important decisions and hold the fort. Being sick frequently will eat into your accounts slowly but steadily. If you are an office employee, frequent medical leave will delay your projects and affect your performance bonus! Even as a student, your health is important to keep you on track of your life trajectory you have planned.
Hence, you need to make conscious efforts to never let poor health stand between you and your goals. Here are 6 simple steps you can take to march towards a healthier life:
1. Be more active throughout the day
Sedentary lifestyle is a global concern. A sedentary lifestyle includes activities done while sitting or eating, reading, working, watching TV and using computer. As entertainment shifts indoors and work means laptop, more and more people are being stuck to their chairs and desks, for hours on end.
What’s worse, even those with a healthy body mass index (BMI) are at risk if they lead a sedentary lifestyle. Office workers especially are prone to sit excessively during workhours as work involves computers, laptops and meetings. In Malaysia, 81.2% of the youngsters are inactive while 50.1% prefer to sit up to three hours without doing any physical activity.
A sedentary lifestyle leads to diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and can lead to early death.
Start moving your body at every opportunity you get. If you work at an office through the day, fit in a few minutes for a walk around the block or take the stairs to get to other floors. You can also be more adventurous and walk a little bit further to have your lunch. Before or after work, try to fit in a workout session.
If you lack motivation, the Fitness Tracker feature can push you to take a few hundred more steps, while the Fitness Challenges will keep you in the game by rewarding you with attractive prizes.
2. Maintain a healthy diet
The four major factors that prevent Malaysians from sticking to a healthy diet are time constraints, lack of healthy food options, low purchasing power and low level of awareness. Despite various efforts taken by the government over the years to promote healthy eating, Malaysians are still opting for a mee goreng instead of preparing a healthy lunch at home.
Bad eating habits will lead you to various NCDs, obesity and cancer. Further, parents should incorporate balanced eating in the lives of their children as early as possible to ensure it becomes a practise.
Get your health assessed. A comprehensive assessment will give you an overall picture of how you are faring, health wise. If you are coming up with excuses such as time, transport and traffic jam to delay your health assessment, we got you covered.
With Pulse by Prudential, all you need to do is download the app and answer a series of questions related to your lifestyle, mental health and body via the Health Assessment feature. After answering the questions, your Digital Twin will be generated, which is a 3D anatomical view of your body. Your Digital Twin will give you a detailed insight to how each part of your body is doing. This will give you a good indicator of your current state of health and can be used for regular monitoring in between health checks.
3. Give your eyes and brain a rest
Malaysians are spending a whopping 14 hours a day on digital devices. Among children, a mere one hour of screen time can cause anxiety, depression, and temper issues. Generally, excessive screen time will cause blurred vision, eye strain, long-term vision problems such as near-sightedness, disruption to circadian rhythms that affects sleep patterns, headaches, as well as neck and back pain.
- Check if any of your health issues now are caused by excessive screen times using the Symptom Checker feature. All you need to do is key in your symptoms and answer several questions. The AI-powered chatbot will analyse your condition and tell you what’s wrong.
- Prioritise and limit screen time after work and during weekends. Engage in activities that don’t involve screens and gadgets.
4. Manage your time for a better work-life balance
Recently, KL bagged the 40th ranking out of 40 cities around the world in a work-life balance survey. The survey looked into areas such as work intensity, institutional support, legislation, and liveability. In the same study, KL took the fourth spot in the most overworked category.
Due to long working hours, Malaysians face reduced time for relationships, leisure and other important pursuits besides exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and stress. While it may take some time for you to reduce your workhours to the suggested 40 hours a week, you can take simple yet practical steps to lead a more fulfilling life.
Opt for online services whenever you can. Online services such as online shopping and food delivery save a lot of time and energy. Making use of technology will enable you to invest more time for other activities that you enjoy or to simply relax after a full day’s work.
For instance, imagine the time and energy that you can save by opting for Online Consultation through the Pulse app. The drive to the clinic, search for parking spot, waiting time in the doctor’s office and the drive back in exchange for a video or phone call within minutes.
5. Be aware of your body
In the daily hustle and bustle, it is common for many to ignore nagging pains in the body or shrug off swelling hoping it would go away. Often, days turn into weeks and months before you are worried and rush to the doctor. This situation may lead to ‘too-late’ scenarios and be a cause of regret.
About 60% of cancer prognosis among Malaysian patients are only detected at Stage III and IV and by then, it is too late. Early screening and awareness are crucial in reducing fatality due to diseases.
- Take immediate action when you see or feel something is different with your body, no matter how small it may seem. It is always wise to be safe than sorry. Take your phone out, open the Pulse app and use the Symptom Checker feature to get an idea of the problem, if there is any.
- Following the analysis by our AI-powered chatbot, you can opt for Online Consultation with a doctor within a few minutes through a video or phone call. All these can be done in the comfort of your own space and with minimal fees (RM10 for the online consultation for non-Prudential customers, free for Prudential customers).
6. Be proactive and practise ‘Prevention is better than cure’
When it comes to your health, you need to be extra cautious of your surroundings. It is wise to try to prevent or protect yourself from a disease instead of being bedridden for days trying to cure it. Instead of skipping work, studies or recreational pursuits for days on end, you can take small steps every day to be healthy.
- The various features in the Pulse app will help you to be on track with your health with just a few clicks. From assessing your health to consulting a doctor, from tracking your steps to challenge your friend to a fitness goal, and from checking for symptoms to learning about health facts, the app will be your guide to a healthy life.
- Another interesting feature of Pulse by Prudential is the Dengue Alert where you will get a heads-up on dengue outbreaks three months in advance. Based on your location, you can now know the potential outbreak zones and avoid these areas to save your money, time and most importantly, health.
Take charge of your health today
It is as simple as pulling your phone out of your pocket and a tap! Pulse by Prudential offers you AI- powered services to learn about your body, take immediate actions and stay alert at all times.
With Pulse, you (all Malaysians whether or not you are a Prudential customer) will gain unlimited free access to:
- Health Assessment
- Symptom Checker
- Online Consultation (Free for Prudential customers, RM10 for non-customers)
- Fitness Tracker
- Fitness Challenges
- Find a Nearby Clinic or Hospital
- Dengue Alerts
- Insan Prayer Reminders