A healthier you doesn't have to mean a total lifestyle overhaul. Sometimes the biggest changes start with small ones. Here are nine things you can do for your health this year, including some easy checks that will earn AIA Vitality members points while they're at it.
1. Invest in a good water bottle
We've already covered why water is just about the best thing you can put in your body. Get yourself a swish bottle to drink and we wager you'll want to drink water more often.
2. Learn to say 'no'
Overcommitting in our already busy everyday lives can lead to burn out and exhaustion. But 'no' is a small word that can help remind you how much control you have over the way you live, so learn to say that little word more often.
For those who feel daunted by the thought, Rachel Service of Happiness Concierge recommends a 'No Sandwich' and says the trick to saying it more often is not making it personal.
3. Get your teeth checked
Book in a check-up on your chompers with your dentist (and earn an easy 1,000 Vitality points while you're at it). Regular check-ups can help spot small dental issues you didn't even know you had before they become big ones, and it's always easier to deal with little health problems before they snowball.
4. Set a sleep schedule
A recent sleep study has concluded that over 1/3rd of New Zealanders aren't getting enough sleep, which can lead to all sorts of health issues. So make a conscious effort to catching more zzz's by setting a sleep schedule.
5. Get a flu shot
Each year between 10-20% of New Zealanders are infected with the flu. Influenza is a serious illness with some people becoming so ill they require hospital care, and a small number may die.
To avoid being struck down this year, get yourself vaccinated at your local GP. If you log your vaccination with the Vitality app, you'll also score yourself 1,000 points. And if you do get the flu, here's what to do.
6. Give meatless Monday a go
Should we be eating less meat? On average, Kiwi's eat over 70kgs of meat every year, which is three times the world average. However, limiting your meat consumption, even if it's just for one night a week, can help reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
7. Get your eyes tested
Whether you're a spec-wearer or not, make sure your peepers are in fighting form (and earn up to 1,000 Vitality points while you're at it) by booking in for an eye exam at your local optometrist. Find out more ways to look after your eyes.
8. Suss out your skin
Skin cancer is super preventable if you're diligently slip slop slapping, yet over 4000 kiwis are diagnosed with melanoma every year. Getting a skin check is the best way to stay on top of any changes in your skin. Complete the Skin Self Examination available in the AIA Vitality app and earn up to 1,000 Vitality points for doing so.
9. Assess your fitness and set up some goals
If moving more was one of your goals for this year, it's important to establish a base from which you can measure your achievements. Having your current level of fitness assessed by a personal trainer can help you to check in with where you're at and give you a view of where you'd like to be.