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4 Things To Do To Invest In your Health Long Term

While many believe that leading a healthy lifestyle restricts you from living life to the fullest, the opposite is true. In fact, life expectancy in Canada is on the rise thanks to people living healthier lifestyles! And it doesn't matter how old you are: It's never too late to start investing in your long-term health. Here are 4 things that can help you get started!

1. Try establishing these basic habits

Poor lifestyles are the cause of over 60% of early deaths. Thankfully, a study from the journal Circulation reveals that it only takes 5 habits to significantly increase your lifespan. That's why the study emphasizes the importance of these seemingly common sense rules: stop smoking, drink moderately, exercise regularly, eat healthily, and maintain a normal weight. If you already do most of these things, congratulations! You'll live for around 12 (for men) to 14 (for women) years longer than your peers. However, no one expects you to change overnight. Taking baby steps over a long period of time makes new habits stick more effectively. This also allows you to fit changes into your pre-existing routines, helping you adjust quicker. For example, you can exercise regularly by leaving for work earlier and parking further away from your office. This way, you can start walking for at least 20 minutes a day. Or you can start by simply getting a full 8 hours of sleep a night, lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances. In any case, as your confidence builds and the habit sticks, you can set your goals even higher.

2. Plan for your retirement

One downside to having longer life expectancies is that you may outlive your retirement savings. This means you won't have the funds you need if you require medical care in the future. That's why it might be a good idea to plan your retirement early with the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Any money you contribute to the plan will grow tax-free until you retire. Tax will only be deducted when you withdraw the funds, and by then, your tax rate will be much lower than it is now. Opening an RRSP is as simple as signing up online from the comforts of your home. Once you're settled, however, try to avoid withdrawing your RRSP early, as you'll be charged with hefty income and withdrawal taxes, counteracting whatever good progress you’ve made by then. You also won't be able to contribute as much to the plan as you did previously.

3. Take on a more positive attitude

While most people focus on their bodies when shifting to a healthier lifestyle, it's best not to neglect mental health. Optimists live 15% longer than pessimists, as a more negative attitude actually increases your risk of developing depression and anxiety. Some things you can do stay upbeat include spending more time with loved ones and giving yourself some positive self-talk, such as "I learn from my mistakes, and I become better every day." It may sound cheesy, but putting yourself in the right mindset can reduce stress and help you enjoy what life has to offer!

4. Invest in a healthcare membership

It's always better to be proactive rather than reactive, so most doctors recommend getting a yearly check-up. Women in particular should get mammograms regularly after age 50 to catch breast cancer early. To reap all possible benefits of these check-ups, consider getting a healthcare membership that is both proactive and reactive. For this, our membership plans here at Medpoint Health Care Centre fit the bill, especially for those who constantly get lost navigating the Canadian healthcare system. By getting the most out of each visit to your healthcare provider, you're in the perfect position to catch every health issue early, ensuring your health in the long run.

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