About 11 days (or so) back both myself and Chris went for our annual health assessment, flu vaccination, etc. at Dischem's Pharmacy - we have been doing it for years now - and apart from the obvious benefits of knowing your health status, we also do it because we earn points towards our wellness programme status. So, essentially, the more points we earn the sooner we climb the various tiers - in other words, the higher one works themselves up the various levels, the more benefits in the form of discounts and preferential rates are offered through the various health, wellness and rewards partners.
We moved over to Discovery's Medical Aid on 1 January 2016 - so we had to start at the bottom (after spending years on Chris' previous employer's top tier) but through our persistent perseverance of reaching certain daily and weekly targets and going for our necessary check-ups and taking part in events like Parkrun we are comfortably on Silver, almost Gold - moving up and forward as we go. It does help that we are both competitive - which makes Discovery's Vitality even more exciting as it's so interactive and with the correct apps on your phone and distance-walked monitors (I wear a FitBit) - one gets to see how far you have to go to achieve your daily and weekly targets - I usually overachieve but like I said, we're both competitive! All one has to do is meet certain fitness and wellness targets - if anything, it helps to motivate one to stay or at the very least try and get fit. Which, ultimately, benefits you as a person. Nothing like having a carrot dangled in front of your face to get you moving!
It's not only fitness that Discovery monitor, Discovery Insure monitors your driving skills too, namely: acceleration, braking, cornering, cellphone motion and speeding. So if you drive with care, you are rewarded, that's not much of a trade-off if you ask me.
Even though we had made an appointment, there was only one Sister on duty, so we had to wait for over an hour! #Grumpy-face
I know some people who have medical aids but don't use these benefits at all, which is just silly in my opinion - if you're lucky enough to be able to afford medical aid or have a policy or two - why not? Medical aids do cost money (what doesn't these days...) but if you follow the system systematically, you can make the perks - in the form of their rewards partners - work for you and in the process recoup some of your money spent.
Just finding out that my cholesterol and glucose levels are well within the ideal range! #Happy-face
One of said perks of Vitality and Insure (if you reach your health and / or driving targets) is that you're eligible for a free drink from the menu of one of two coffee outlets found in most centres around South Africa., a week. If you have two or more friends linked to your 'team' and they achieve their targets, this perk is doubled. I have lost count of the number of free iced-coffees and cappuccinos I have had from Vida e Caffe - at around R32 a pop for an iced-coffee and say R20 a cappuccino (if not more?) for free - and all for driving with care (well mostly!) and keeping fit and active. It's a no-brainer really.
Another two perks we take full advantage of is that we subscribe to a number of magazines at a reduced fee - I love my home, travel and decor magazines - and accommodation (at certain hotels and lodges) again with a reduction in the cost. Not to mention HealthyFood at Woolworths, flights (both local and international) - in fact the list is endless!
Chris is loving his Apple Watch, which costs nothing as Discovery pay the instalments on it if he reaches his daily and weekly targets - so proud to see him monitoring his activity levels and getting fit at the same time. In fact I have just said to Chris as I type this that as a whole we are working more cohesively as a team to reach our individual and family targets than ever before - which makes it fun as opposed to a schlep - which is also always a good thing!
I started wearing my FitBit on 13 January 2016 - prior to that I used a pedometer - and according to my FitBit App, I have achieved the following in a few categories from that date up until now:
Steps taken: 1 199 945 - that is over a million steps!
Distance: 923,51 Km's - okay, even I am a little shocked at these stats!
Active Minutes (10mins or more of continuous moderate-intense activity): 6136 minutes
Calories burned: 297 295
Wow! Now that I am looking at the above, I am quite proud of myself! Are my legs looking the best they ever have, definitely! Will I need a knee or hip replacement in the next 20 years or so? Maybe!
But enough about medical aid's and their rewards partner's - there are so many options out there to help get you fit, I just adore Parkrun - it costs nothing to join and you get to spend some time in the sun exercising. That's the thing about exercising, it can be a battle to start but once you have a routine in place, it becomes easier to follow - I'm not saying that I stick to it religiously, life happens and sometimes one needs to prioritise but it's about being consistent - if you fall off the horse today, just get back on it tomorrow.
My exercise motto is: Low Impact, High Repetition.
My only two forms of exercise is walking (I attempt jogging at Parkrun) and yoga - both essentially low impact activities but I try do either one of these 7 days a week, so if I walk today, yoga tomorrow, etc. Some days if I walk in the morning and practice yoga in the evening - I may skip a day - it works for me, all depends on time permitting.
Find something that works for you - and run with it, so to speak - and if you spend a lot of time in the sun, remember your sunscreen!
Until next time,