Ask 50 people to define what a “healthy lifestyle” is, and you’ll likely get 50 different answers.  That’s because there’s no one way to be healthy.  Obvious behaviours used to describe someone who is healthy and takings care of themselves include someone who doesn’t smoke, tries to maintain a healthy weight, eats healthy foods with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fibre and, of course, exercises on a regular basis.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), ‘health’ is not just about avoiding disease, it is the state of being complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely freedom of disease or absences of any infirmity.  We know not all diseases are preentable, but a large proportion of deaths, particularly those from coronary heart disease and lung cancer, can be avoided.   

Being healthy should be part of an overall lifestyle, because it can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses.  When you look at everything that could possibly go into a healthy lifestyle, one can see just how hard all of those things are in our current world.  Nevertheless, existing challenges make it that much more essential that we take care of ourselves so that we can do the important things in life — whether it’s working, learning, taking care of family, enjoying the outdoors, or whatever is important to you.

The good news is, you don’t have to change everything at the same time.  We all know the importance of good physical health, but being mentally healthy can make all the difference in life’s challenges.  You will have a healthier body if you take care of your mind, because a healthy person also recognises the importance of managing stress, getting good quality sleep each night and not sitting too much.

Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean drastic changes.  However, it is important to keep in mind the following:

  • To maintain a healthy lifestyle is to do what is right for your body;
  • Do everything in moderation all the time; and
  • Your body needs time every day to rest and heal.  Your mind and body will feel better if you sleep well. 

2021 Income Disability and Critical Illness claims analysis

Annually Sanlam Group Risk analyses the disability and critical / severe illness insurance claims received during the previous year according to the causes of disability/claim events. 

The results for the 2021 year confirmed the trends observed from the previous year in that cancer and cardiovascular diseases are still the most prevalent reasons for critical/severe illness claims.

To view the results of our analysis, click here.