Living a healthy life can help you live longer – more time with your family and friends. A good enough reason if ever there was one for adopting better ways of living. What you might find surprising though, is that there may also be some life insurance benefits from doing so.

It might sound counter-intuitive given a life insurance policy pays out when you pass away, but read on! Being healthier could help you get a policy in the first place and may lead to lower premiums too.

Here’s our top 5 healthy living tips… with a couple of pointers where it might help with life insurance too!

1) Quit smoking

Phew. Where do you start with this one? Even if you’re a hardened smoker you’ll probably already be aware of the damage it does. But putting down the cigarettes could bring a host of benefits no matter how long you’ve been a smoker:

  • Breathe easily – lung capacity recovers by up to 10% in just 9 months
  • Increased energy by improved circulation in just 2-12 weeks
  • Improved immune system will help to prevent and fight colds and flu
  • Scientific evidence suggests reduced stress levels once smoking is beaten
  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • Younger looking skin and delayed wrinkles
tip 1 quite smoking tips for a healthier life

And…

  • Reduced life insurance premiums. Why? Well, half of all long-term smokers die of smoking related disease. Men who quit smoking by the age of 30 add 10 whole years to life expectancy. Even quitting at 60 adds three years. In the land of insurance, that means you’re less likely to claim as you’ll be healthier. That means lower premiums.

You’ll find most providers will ask whether you have smoked in the last 12 months. It’s vital that you’re accurate and honest about your smoking habits. If you declare you don't smoke, then become ill from a smoking-related illness your policy may well be voided.

tip 2 eat well

2) Eat well

Life’s too short for most of us not to enjoy good food. Like most things in life though, you need to set appropriate limits. Eating more fruit and vegetables isn’t exactly rocket science but it will have profound effects on mood and wellbeing as well as on the waistline.

Eating more fish including a portion of oily fish such as salmon or mackerel can boost vitamins and omega-3 fats that are shown to help prevent heart disease.

Eating less salt is good for your heart too. Too much salt can raise blood pressure and those with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

If you’re overweight – and a growing number of adults in the UK now are – try to lose weight. Being overweight or obese can lead to a number of health conditions including type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. To find out your healthy weight and for practical help go to the NHS site here.

Improved health and wellbeing brought about by eating well and keeping weight in check can help life expectancy and again reduce life insurance premiums. Some insurance providers require a medical to be carried out to evaluate the ‘risk’ you pose – so your healthy lifestyle could help them to offer you a lower premium.

3) Watch your alcohol intake

Drinking alcohol only in moderation is well known advice for healthier living. Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week – that’s six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of wine – can damage your health. This includes heightened risks or cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, stroke, heart disease and liver disease.

It can be hard to work out just how many units we consume. This may help.

  • 1.5 units - Small glass red/white/rose wine (125ml, ABV 12%)
  • 2.1 units - Standard glass red/white/rose wine (175ml, ABV 12%)
  • 3 units - Large glass red-white/rose wine (250ml, ABV 12%)
  • 2 units - Pint of lower strength beer/lager/cider (ABV 3.6%)
  • 3 units - Pint of higher strength beer/lager/cider (ABV 5.2%)
  • 1.7 units - Bottle of lager/beer/cider (330ml, ABV 5%)
  • 2 units - Can of beer/lager/cider (440ml, ABV 4.5%)
  • 1.5 units - Alcopop (275ml, ABV 5.5%)
  • 1 unit - Single small shot of spirits (25ml, ABV 40%)

Life insurance providers will ask you how much you drink – they know about the health-related consequences too. It’s a natural tendency to underestimate what we consume. Be wary of stretching the truth too far though – saying you hardly drink and then developing alcohol related liver disease could jeopardise your policy.

4) Keeping active

The NHS say “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented”.

Exercise helps reduce the risk of a host of major illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease – by up to 50% and reduce your risk of early death by 30%. In addition, it has been shown to improve self-esteem and mental health too.

It’s free, easy and has immediate benefits but too many of us make excuses. No time, work too much, busy family life. You know the tales you tell yourself. Of course it takes effort, but the benefits are huge.

Remember if you take sport and activity to extremeforms, in other words, risky sports this might have a detrimental effect on your life insurance premiums, otherwise exercising regularly could only help.

tip 4 keeping active
tip 5 sleep well

5) Sleep

Well that sounds easier than committing to exercising regularly doesn’t it? That said and however easy as it might sound, large numbers of us find it hard to get enough sleep. Sleep is when our body regenerates and therefore is vitally important for our physical and mental wellbeing. Top sleep tips include:

  • Keeping regular sleep hours
  • Creating a restful environment
  • Making sure bed is comfortable
  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Avoid over eating and drinking late at night

Healthy living and life insurance

Of course being healthy is important. It has so many perks – and as you’ve seen can help with insurance premiums.

Whatever your situation, the best way to find a life insurance policy at a price that suits you is to compare life insurance policies.

That’s where we can help. We have policies from some of the leading insurance providers and with a few details from you we can show you some of the options available. Make sure you read all the small print before signing up to a policy to ensure you’re actually getting the cover you want.

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