When it comes to health and wellness, planning is key. Unfortunately, most of us lose the enthusiasm needed to complete our goals before we finish. Making lifestyle choices that lead to a healthier you takes determination but it’s not impossible. Focusing on and creating a plan will make it happen
1. Set realistic goals and change your attitude
Ask yourself what you did well in 2018, what you did not do but want to still do, what lessons you learnt and when you had the most fun. This will give you an idea of what you need to do to make 2019 better. Make plan scheduling activities and track them in your calendar to get your goals achieved this year. There are many motivational books, audiobooks and coaches to help you. It’s about progress, not perfection and having a ‘can do’ attitude. When the month is over, reflect on your progress and adjust as necessary.
2. Eat well, sleep well and integrate exercise
Food journals help you understand what you are eating. Make a plan at the beginning of each week to decide what you’ll eat for your meals and snacks. Make a healthy grocery list and prepare your own food from nutrient-rich ingredients. Sleep is important in your health and wellness goals. Without proper rest, your body can’t function properly. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. It is also important to include activity in your daily routine. Try 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, an activity you enjoy, such as gardening, brisk walking or ballroom dancing, five times per week
3. Help a friend
Supporting another person on their wellness journey will inspire you to stick to your plan. It can be a coworker, best friend or family member. You’re more likely to succeed if you share your goals with someone who is also committed to a healthier lifestyle. You can send each other daily texts of encouragement, set exercise dates and make plans to make healthy dinners together. You may even want to have a little competition such as tracking each other’s steps or seeing who can go without dessert the longest.
4. Unplug daily and perform regular self-care
Electronics keep us connected all day every day and we are more stressed than ever. This can increase your risk for depression, anxiety, burnout and even allergies. Try spending an hour or a full day without your cell phone or computer. Set aside 10 minutes for yourself each morning. Use this time to meditate, for a morning workout, to note the things you are grateful for or to read for pleasure while enjoying your coffee. This sets the tone for your day and year to be calmer. Invest your time in good company and distance yourself from negative people who are energy-draining.
5. Choose cleaner home and beauty products
Over the past few years, there’s been more interest in cleaner alternatives for home and beauty products which are often filled with toxic chemicals that pollute our bodies and homes. Every month, choose a healthier alternative to your current products. In January it might be dishwashing liquid, February stainless steel cleaner, March may be body wash and April might be hand soap. By deciding to slowly swap products for healthier, natural alternatives this can mean a lasting change.
6. Use our wonderful wellness benefits
Bonitas offers a health and wellness screening on all plans and a wellness extender on all plans, except BonCap, to help you lead a healthier life. These benefits are in addition to your savings and day-to-day benefits so you get more value for money.
The wellness screening is a free annual check-up where tests including a blood pressure test, cholesterol test, BMI test, blood glucose test and a waist-to-hip ratio measurement are done. Do your wellness screening at a Bonitas wellness day, a biokineticist or a Dis-Chem, Clicks or Pick ’n Pay pharmacy.
Once all tests have been completed, your wellness extender will be activated and you will be able to access it (except for BonCap). You can use the wellness extender to pay for extra consultations with a GP, biokineticist, dietician or physiotherapist or for a programme to stop smoking. Contact our call centre on 0860 002 108 to activate your wellness extender and find out more information.