5 Ways To Healthier Living with AIA Vitality

5:00 PM

2016 is supposed to be the year where I aim to have a better knowledge and care of my health. We, humans, are habitual creatures and it is hard to kick off some bad habits, especially when it is detrimental to ourselves in the long run. I have recently signed up for AIA Vitality, an insurance and health program that actively supports and rewards you for making healthy choices every day so you can live a healthier, longer and better life. Just like the very popular, and much-loved mission based gaming apps, AIA Vitality records your progress in point system and rewards you based on the points accumulated. Here are five things I’m doing that coincides with the AIA Vitality program to keep myself fit and healthy:

1 – Get Up and Get Moving

I’ve always been active when I was in college – I joined Ultimate Frisbee, futsal and other competitive group sports but ever since I ruptured my lower lumbar, I’ve slowed down a lot. This took a toll on my body. I had to fix my posture, be very careful when lifting heavy things as well as not tire myself out too much as it could aggravate my condition. I gained weight and changed clothing sizes and became less happy with my look. I realized over the years that I can always improve my fitness by doing simple movements instead of none at all. The key is to keep moving – I walk a lot when I’m traveling and my husband and I do our own housework to make sure we don’t slack. 

With AIA Vitality, I am motivated to clock at least 7500 steps a day! That is the equivalent of roughly 5 kilometres of walking. It seems really hard at first, but I have started implementing small changes to achieving this goal such as parking further away from my actual destination just so that I can walk a bit more. It may not seem like much but you will be surprised by the positive changes it brings to your health in just a few weeks.

2 – Eat Better, Feel Better

Working out also has to coincide with healthier eating habits. Getting the right nutrition to the body is key to staying healthy. No doubt that as a Malaysian, I’m always tempted to take the easy way out when it comes to eating – we have 24 hour options when it comes to food and the unhealthier they are, the better they taste! Temptations are everywhere, Nasi Lemak to start the morning, Economy rice at lunch and dinner would also be a heavy meal. At least that’s what I’m used to growing up in Malaysia. 

Eating healthy unfortunately costs a fortune in this country, especially when eating out. All the organic options and salads cost a bomb. Ever since I got married and live on my own, I am able to make better choices when it comes to food by preparing my own meals - I cut down on my portions, buy quality ingredients and healthier substitutes while learning about the things I put in my food and eventually my body. I also learned that simpler meals are the best, so I now enjoy no fuss meals of two dishes (one protein and one vegetable) with a little bit of carbs, or a nice homemade salad!

3 – Checkups Are Vital

We often forget or try to avoid going for checkups, myself included. I used to be morbid when it came to knowing about my health – I thought that I’d rather die than knowing what is causing me to fall sick. However, as I grew older, I realize that there’s so much to live for in my life, and I’d rather opt for prevention than finding the cure. Doing health checkups are quick and simple and via AIA Vitality, one could opt to have basic checkups done at selected Guardian pharmacy outlets for as little as RM3 or get advanced checks done at BP Healthcare at a member’s price. 

4 – Keep Calm and Take Time Off

Keeping mental health in check is also an important part as it is vital for us as human beings to function on a day-to-day basis. AIA Vitality includes some online assessments that measures your overall state of health, for example if you have low levels of negative emotions, like depression and anxiety or high levels of positive emotions like happiness and energy. It also helps identify stressors (source of stress) in your life so you can find ways to cope with it. I am lucky to have such a great support system in my husband, family and friends to deal with the stresses of a freelancer’s life. As much as I feel that freelancing has its own challenges, I am grateful that I am able to take time off for a breather and go on holidays when I feel like I want to. Pampering myself with some time off is an important part of my life as I feel like I need to rejuvenate and indulge myself in things I love doing – cooking, reading, writing and doing creative work. 

5 – Reward Yourself

All that hard work of keeping fit, staying healthy should be rewarded. I reward myself from time to time by going on a holiday, watching a show, buying a new book, stationeries, or go for a massage. With AIA Vitality, the rewards can get pretty great! You get discounts from airlines, fitness gear brands, hotel chains and much more. The best part is that the discounts get better as you accumulate more points from all the moving, exercising and assessments you’ve done via the program. 

So I hope you’ve learned a little bit about how I keep my health in check and how AIA Vitality is enabling me to lead a better and healthier lifestyle. I always think that I’m a very competitive person and through this program, I love that I’m able to collect points with every little thing I do, just like how I collect my Pokemons through Pokemon Go! 

TIP: It’s always more fun to workout with a buddy!

To find out more about this AIA Vitality program, visit their website HERE.

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