Nurturing mind and body is key to long-term wellness

Nurturing mind and body is key to long-term wellness

Pull quote please: The rise of wearable health technology, combined with the promotion of preventive screening and remote health monitoring, offers a futuristic wellness vision. — Kevin Aron, principal officers, Medshield Medical Scheme

In a world where our lives are becoming increasingly fast-paced and interconnected, holistic health and wellness have never been more crucial. It’s an approach to health and wellbeing which considers an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing that blends the modern with the traditional.

Incorporating physical exercise into our daily routines is an essential component of holistic health. Kevin Aron, principal officer at Medshield Medical Scheme, points out that engaging in any kind of physical activity, irrespective of whether it is walking, jogging, cycling, dancing or an exercise class, not only helps to maintain a healthy weight, but also improves your mood, cardiovascular health and enhances your overall fitness. “Choose an exercise programme that aligns with your body type and health objectives — and remember that consistency is key,” he says.

One in three South Africans suffers from mental health issues, with the majority unable to access appropriate treatment. In fact, common and treatable mental health disorders have overtaken physical illnesses and injuries as the leading cause of medical disability claims in South Africa. For its part, Medshield Medical Scheme is stepping up and offering their members access to mental health services, and providing them with information on how to manage their mental health.   

Elevated levels of stress can have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system. The good news, however, is that improving your diet and doing more exercise can mitigate these negative impacts.

Mindful activities such as yoga, tai chi and meditation also help to reduce stress and improve physical and mental wellbeing.   

In our fast-paced lives, it’s all too easy to prioritise convenience over nutritious meal choices. According to Aron, a holistic approach to healthy eating goes beyond strict diets or quick weight-loss methods, and is about finding a balance and making lifestyle changes that support your overall wellbeing. “Adopting a healthy diet positively impacts energy levels, mental wellbeing and your overall health.”   

A big trend now is personalised nutrition, which takes an individual’s genetic, phenotypic, medical, nutritional and other information into consideration.

“Personalised nutrition can be very helpful in managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It often involves more advanced technology and focuses on personalised recommendations based on an individual’s unique genetic makeup, lifestyle habits and other factors,” says Aron.

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