How Healthy Are Australians? Adapt to These 5 Habits & Live Healthier

How Healthy Are Australians? Adapt to These 5 Habits & Live Healthier

According to the well respected Bloomberg Healthiest Country rankings, which provides an overall ranking of 169 nations, Australia comes in seventh in the world, among the world’s healthiest countries. And according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, smoking is down in Australia, heart attacks are down, and the country as a whole boasts the 4th highest lifespan in the world.

That’s good news. The bad news is that 68 eight per cent of adults over 18 are overweight or obese. One in five has a disability. Around 45 per cent of all Australians will experience incidences of mental illness in their life and Australians, among highly developed countries, rank high in overall alcohol consumption.

So health is good in Australia, but it could be better. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to live a long and healthy life.

Tip number 1. Consider private health insurance

Most people, particularly as they get older, agree that private health insurance is better health insurance than relying on the government. While its true Australians have free access to health insurance through the government Medicare program, there are negatives to relying purely on medicare including:

  • Being on a waiting list for medical procedures such as surgery
  • Coverage of elective surgeries such as LASIK.
  • Protection against a large bill if you need an ambulance in a hurry
  • Your choice of doctors and hospitals, particularly when you have a family.

Tip number 2. Kick your overweight or obesity tendencies

Yes, we know its hard, but if you take gradual steps such as drastically cutting your sugar intake, eating plenty of foods with fibre that tend to fill you up, eating more vegetables, learn to see beef and other meats more as a flavouring rather than as a main meal and the weight will slowly come off.

Tip number 3. Stop smoking, including vaping, completely

Smoking is considered responsible for one in five deaths in Australia. If you smoke you are 2 to 4 times as likely to get coronary heart disease, 2 to 4 times as likely to have a stroke, and 25 times more likely to get lung cancer. Over 15,000 Australians die from smoking each year.

It may be a struggle, but you can quit. Over 60 per cent of Australians that previously smoked, have stopped smoking.

Tip number 4. Reduce your alcohol consumption

Many Australians are heavy drinkers, which is responsible both for poor health, and greatly contributes to obesity. According to the Australian Department of Health, the long term effects of drinking too much alcohol include:

  • Mental health issues including suicide
  • Dependency
  • Increases not only in obesity but diabetes
  • Impotence, stroke, increased risk of cancer, heart issues and liver damage

Recent research by Japanese researchers has even revised the idea that one drink a day is healthy. They discovered one drink per day increased cancer risk by 5 per cent.

Tip number 5. Get active and exercise

Doctors and health officials now recommend a minimum of 30 minutes per day of exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. Or alternatively, 75 minutes of rigorous exercise. How does this stack up with the amount of exercise we do? Studies show that only about 5 per cent of adults meet the minimum of 30 minutes per day.

But no matter how long it’s been or how little exercise you’ve done in the past, doctors and health officials say it’s never too late. So begin now.

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