No alternative to healthy living

No alternative to- Hamish Patel.jpgMore than five decades ago, for a majority of people, their 60th Birthday would have been the last in their lives.

But with the increase in life expectancy, it is the “beginning of good times” today.

Genetics plays a role in life expectancy. We could control a number of factors, including the food we eat, the exercise that we perform and the quality of healthcare that we receive.

Smoking and drinking would negate all positive aspects of our lives.

The amount of time that we spend on earth may not be a major worry (with the average age at death being close to 80) but the quality of life during the later years is important.

Simple lifestyle changes will have a significant influence on our health.

Among the major health problems that members of the Indian community face in developed countries are Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular disease.

Type 2 Diabetes affects the lives of many Indian people; some studies show that depression is more likely to be an accompanying phenomenon.

The complications of this disease, if left uncontrolled, could lead to blindness, kidney failure and vascular disease, with increased risk of an amputation.

Diabetes can also lead to coronary disease later in life.

Research suggests that lack of exercise and fat around the waist, awakens the predisposition to this disease.

Heart Ailments

Heart disease seems to be another problem confronting the Indian community. Although we consume relatively less alcohol and tobacco compared to other ethnic communities, our preference to fried and salty food compounds the problem. We pursue activities that are more academic than physical.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive and harder to get in New Zealand, unlike India or Fiji.

It seems many of our health problems stem from the same factors, such as lack of exercise and poor diet (high in salt, carbohydrates and fat).

Maintaining a healthy body mass index is important and as a rough guide, your height in centimetres, less 100 should equal your weight in kilograms.

Exercise helps maintain this as well as a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in carbohydrates and fats. Exercise reduces stress and improves the overall health.

Consult your GP

You should consult your doctor before embarking on any heavy exercise regime if you feel you may have a health condition. About 40 minutes of moderate daily exercise would do wonders in your life.

Insurance to cover critical illness can provide financial relief at a time when you may be burdened with other problems. This type if insurance is difficult to buy or would be expensive, once you have been diagnosed with a disease. It is better to take comprehensive insurance cover early while you have a lower health risk.

Hamish Patel is an insurance adviser for and can be contacted on (09) 6254693; Mobile: 021-625693 Email:

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