This month’s blog discusses why health is wealth and the importance of prioritising health and well-being in times of economic challenge.
The rising cost of utilities, taxes and the cost of living is a concern for many people, and understandably so. As a health and well-being provider, we are not exempt from the strains of rising energy costs, and as we go into 2023, we face an energy bill rise of up to 150%, and we are not alone. ukactive.
However, the doom and gloom of the hiking costs of living haven’t wavered our commitment to improving the Nation’s health and well-being, and this Christmas, we want to give our communities the greatest gift of all… health.
A healthy population is the most significant contributor to a healthy economy. Just look at the number of sick days lost each year due to poor health! The Department of Health reports that the total economic cost of sickness absence and lost productivity in the UK is estimated to be over £100bn yearly.
Unfortunately, it is all part of a vicious cycle, with the uncertainty of the cost of living, feeding our stress levels, and stress the most common cause of long-term absence CIPD. So how do we break this cycle? How can we elevate the value of physical activity into our consciousness and deliver greater well-being for ourselves and our economy?
At times of stress, it is natural for our bodies to feel overwhelmed, and whilst situational stress isn’t a cause for concern when our bodies experience stress for a sustained period, this hurts our health and well-being… and this is the concern.
Christmas time doesn’t make it easy for us
Christmas time is lovely, but it’s also stressful; the great expectations of creating the ‘Perfect Christmas’ and the additional planning we squeeze into our hectic lives are enough to send anyone’s stress soaring. Instagram has a lot to answer for!
We all feel that pressure to create that picture-postcard Christmas Dinner, to visit relatives we’ve not seen all year, the expense, the organisation, and then there are 24 days of ‘Elf on the Shelf’ antics to factor in too!
It’s essential to know your limits and set time for yourself.
Prolonged stress leaves our body overly exposed to cortisol and other stress hormones, putting us at increased risk for various physical and mental health problems. Chronic stress also suppresses our immune system leaving us exposed to the joys of the winter cold and flu. Rudolph’s red nose has nothing on you!
You should act now; you shouldn’t wait until the New Year to change. It would be best if you prioritised your health and well-being today. Even when we are at our busiest, we must view physical activity as an investment we make in ourselves that reaps the best returns of all…health.
To help you get started, take advantage of our 12 Days of Health is Wealth offer, 12 days to enjoy full use of the gym, group exercise classes, and swimming*
Start your Christmas countdown today- Gift yourself 12 FREE Days
Vicky, 64, a supporter at Active Nation Yarborough, committed to her health and well-being five years ago. We caught up with Vicky earlier this month to learn how being more physically active has changed her life.
“I was 18 stone, overweight and diabetic with a carer. I was going from hospital to hospital, which was the shock that pushed me. My goal was to get my life back and get fit again.
“My carer was a member at Active Nation, Birchwood, and she used to take me there twice a week. I lost eight stone that year. I started going more and more, and now I go every day.
“When I first joined, I was in a wheelchair and baggy skirts. I no longer need the wheelchair, and I now wear tight leggings as it gives me confidence.
“I am still battling mobility and health conditions, but this never stops me! The gym motivates me to get up every morning; the staff are so friendly, and I like the community there.”
Physical activity gives you the best return on investment. Not only does physical activity improve your blood flow, but it also boosts endorphins and gives you a healthy dose of well-being. Exercising lowers your stress levels, boosts your immunity and helps you to manage and prevent health conditions.
By exercising, you are improving your physical and mental wellness; you are making that investment in yourself for a better life.
Vicky credits the EGYM equipment at Active Nation Yarborough for helping her to keep focused on her goals.
“They don’t seem very hard when you first start, and I thought this is easy and can’t be any good for you. After a while, I noticed the difference between different levels and different strength tests and so on.
“EGYM HAS been a great addition to my training. I started EGYM when my bio age was 63, I used it consistently, and my bio age is now 37!
“With EGYM, I do fewer weights, but more reps and I’m on a diamond level now! I do 4-6 circuits per day; I love it.’’
Active Nation introduced EGYM to the fitness suite at Yarborough Leisure Centre in August this year. Since then, more than 670 people have used the EGYM equipment, and 32% of users are over 50, just like Vicky. These users have achieved a strength improvement of 46 per cent and a decrease in Bio Age by 12.6 years.
So, we conclude by asking the traditional question. What do you want this Christmas? New clothes, cosmetics, the latest gimmick? Or is what you wish for good health?
Ask yourself what you treasure. Do we need things this Christmas? Yes, they will make us smile temporarily but will these gifts bring us the change we desire for ourselves? Good health isn’t a gift anyone can buy; it’s a gift we must give ourselves.
Give yourself the gift of health this Christmas.
Active Nation- inspiring the Nation to improve its health