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Prevention rather than cure – reap the well-being advantage

02 April, 2009 10:58  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Article sponsored by William Russell

By Rosanna Turner, Marketing Manager, William Russell Limited

We all want to make the best of our health, but sometimes work pressures or the expatriate lifestyle can conspire against making the right decisions all the time.  Most of us like a drink, eat the wrong foods, or take a taxi rather than walk and nobody likes to be lectured about their diet, smoking or drinking habits.  Fortunately by combining regular medical health screening with sensible lifestyle choices it’s relatively straightforward to live a healthy life without adopting a completely monastic lifestyle.

The benefits of healthy living are clear.  People who are fit and well suffer less stress and benefit from improved mental and physical performance.  A healthy lifestyle can also help you to live longer, suffer fewer illnesses and avoid preventable diseases.

The steps to a healthier lifestyle are simple.  Make sure that you have an annual medical health check which includes screening for common treatable conditions and combine this with a few simple lifestyle choices to improve your overall health.

Preventive healthcare

An annual medical health assessment is frequently available as part of an expatriate private medical insurance scheme. William Russell’s Global Health Elite plans, for example, include cover for annual preventive screening which could include cervical smear tests and mammograms for women or prostate cancer screens for men, testing for heart disease, and a general all-over-body medical check up.

Regular screening can make sure that any possible problems are caught early when they are straightforward to treat. Your doctor will also help you to identify whether you are on track with a healthy lifestyle and provide guidance and advice on your diet, weight, drinking or smoking

Well-being isn’t just for adults, children should also receive the usual developmental check-ups to pick up early signs of any difficulties.  This process should include all of the vaccinations for common childhood diseases which can prevent debilitating and sometimes fatal conditions.

At William Russell we believe that prevention is always better than cure, which is why we have built regular routine medical examination, preventive screening and ‘Well-child’ benefits into our Global Health Elite plans for expatriates.

Lifestyle choices

A few lifestyle changes can also make a major difference to your long term health.  Regular physical activity can boost the immune system, reduce stress and help to control weight.  The general guidance is that doing at least 30 minutes of moderate activity around five times a week is sufficient to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or type two diabetes.

A healthy diet also makes a major contribution to your overall well-being, helping to control weight as well as improving physical and mental performance.  The key is to eat a varied diet, with a wide range of different foods and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.  Cutting down on alcohol or, if you’re a smoker, reducing or giving up altogether also pays dividends.

The well-being bonus

The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are clear - you’ll be more alert, fitter, healthier and less likely to suffer from common illnesses.  Taking steps to improve your lifestyle need not be onerous; a combination of regular exercise, healthy eating and preventive medical screening can make a huge difference to your well-being.  And if you’re fit and well you’ll be able to enjoy the occasional vices, such as alcohol or a junk food fix all the more!

William Russell



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