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Why a focus on health is vital this Women’s Month – what to know and do in your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond

Press Release   •   Aug 07, 2017 07:18 GMT

In a bid to promote health education this Women’s Month, clinicians at Discovery Vitality have prepared guidance (based on recommended health guidelines) to help women maintain good health at different life stages.

The health of South African women is in a dire state. Heart disease and stroke kills more women than men in South Africa*, claiming the lives of one in every five of the country’s women*. Forty-six percent of South African women have hypertension – the prevalence increasing with age**  – and 36 women die each day in South Africa from a stroke**. More than double the amount of South African women (68%) are overweight or obese compared to men (31%)*  – compounded in no small part by the fact that almost half of the nation’s women are physically inactive**.

“While certain diseases are not preventable,” says Dr Deepak Patel, Clinical Specialist at Discovery Vitality, “there are many steps that citizens can take to drastically lower their risk for lifestyle-related diseases. These include better nutrition, more exercise, going for preventive screenings and effectively managing stress, finances and other lifestyle factors that affect overall health and wellbeing.”

The advice focuses on:

1. A woman’s guide to good nutrition

Equipping women with knowledge and skills in healthy eating can have a hugely positive ripple effect in terms of health outcomes for families, communities and society in general. This article looks at the best ways for women to pack in nutrients for a healthy body and mind at different life stages.

2. Keep moving to stay healthy over the decades

Whether we like it or not, our bodies deteriorate with time. But every minute of exercise is well worth it. Here, a biokineticist shares her advice on how to ensure women get the most health benefits from their workouts – whatever their age.

3. Why we should prioritise preventive screenings

Taking preventive health measures is relevant in every decade, but the risks increase with age, so it’s important to keep track and prioritise good behaviours in order to stay healthy for as long as you can. The article lists recommended screenings for women from their twenties to their sixties and beyond.

4. Staying financially fit for a lifetime

Managing your finances well so that you’re set for retirement can have a profound impact on your stress levels. A savings strategy needs to adapt as you move through different life stages, but there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” plan. However, in this article a financial adviser shares some broad truths for each age group.

Dr Patel concludes, “Many people wish to be healthier, but don’t know how to modify their lifestyle in order to effectively improve their health outcomes. This is why access to reliable and easily accessible information on how to lead a healthier life is vital to the wellbeing of our nation. It’s all about making better choices.”

The success of Vitality’s behavioural model – which incentivises people to make better choices – is evidenced by a recent piece of international research by consulting firm FSG, which shows that Vitality members live on average 13-21 years longer than the rest of the insured population. Vitality provides members with the tools, knowledge and incentives to make better health choices.  

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*The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, 2016 

**South African Demographic and Health Survey, 2016. 

Discovery information

About Discovery Limited

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.

The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has partnered with John Hancock in the US. These new partnerships will bring Discovery’s shared-value business model to protection industries in Europe and the US.

Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.

Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. 

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA

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