DOUBLING DOWN ON HEALTH

Perhaps you’re sitting at home, worried about how the next few months will turn out.  Maybe you’ve been deemed an essential service worker (or are even one of today’s heroes, running around with a crazy first responder type job).  In all situations, it’s easy to be devoured by the news and pressures of the day and not be thinking about your health. 

Yet that’s really what this whole pandemic is about.  Our collective health. As an individual, a family, part of a community or even a country. Suddenly our collective health, on a lot of fronts, is important to us all. 

That in itself has multiple ramifications, but let’s consider this in the light of our personal health.  

If there was ever a time to be as healthy as one could, it’s now and over the next year.  Common sense tells us that, on the off chance we do get sick, we want as good a chance as possible for a quick and complete recovery.

For this, most people need a plan. So below you’ll find six things some of our team members do, that you can do to come out of this ahead of where you are.

Fortunately, we’re just at the time in our human history, when regular people can access extraordinary capabilities.  

Because today, every consumer has unprecedented access and technology services which can make enormous differences, that can dramatically improve and possibly even save one’s life.  So right now, in the midst of a pandemic, it makes sense to double down on our personal health. Just before we do, however, let’s briefly look at why change is so hard.

Why Most People Never Get Any Traction

Change is typically really really difficult for most of us, particularly during times of stress.  And behavioural science shows that without deliberate, conscious thought, we don’t abandon our behaviours when things get tough, we typically double down on them.  Sometimes that’s not in our best interests.

For good or bad though, that’s what we’ve learnt to do as a species.   It’s worked in the past – which is why we repeat the behaviour.  

So in times of stress, for better or worse, people who like to cook, cook more.   People that are kind, are kind more often and workaholics, well they work more. (Unfortunately, so do thieves who steal more; email spammers, who spam more, etc).

We’ve all got hard-wired and socially learned habits and patterns that are wrapped around our coping methods.

That’s why it’s only natural that, when in the face of an enemy we haven’t seen before, it’s easy to freeze all action, shelter in place – and just do what we normally do.   All while ignoring the signs pointing in a different direction. 

Motivation Comes Before Commitment 

Ok, so it’s easy to say but a little more difficult to do.  Despite the fact that some people even have a lot of time on their hands, our gravitational habits unconsciously betray our best wishes so a program of action is unlikely to start and continue without a whole lot of motivation and planning followed by reinforcement. 

The ability to come out of things stronger than you went in will be judged largely on how you’ve used time and resources.  It can be a defining moment in your life. 

So let’s start defining what that might look like for you.  

Action Comes Before Results.    

Despite the waves of emotional and economic pain that are likely to continue for months (perhaps years) to come, it’s entirely possible that the average person is going to be sitting in much the same situation they are now, in three months’ time..  

That’s why it makes a whole lot of sense right now to be feeling as good as possible about ourselves. 

But when you think of it with some level of common sense the reason we work and battle as hard as we all do is so that we can live happy healthy lives, ideally to a long age. 

Has there ever been a better time to double down on your health as opposed to exclusively our habitual patterns?

Here are six things that we and our team members have done here at Schneider Insurance that seem to have merit or have worked for us. 

  1.  Improving Diet with Viome

As discussed in our article on The Personalization and Commercialization of Human Health, we’re entering the age of customized medicine and health. Health and diet which is tailored to us individually rather than people like us. Why not take advantage of it? 

There’s a whole science around the microbiome that basically runs our ability to digest foods ideally, and thus get the proper nutrients from them.  “Your gut microbiome plays an essential role in supporting your immunity, as your gut lining houses 70% of the cells that make up your immune system and is one of the first lines of immune defence you have”.

Understanding which strains of any microbes we need for great health (which it turns out many of us don’t have in the numbers that we need) is now an on-demand consumer science. 

$149 U.S. will tell you exactly what you need to be eating, not eating and taking, in the form of ideal supplements to optimize your diet exactly for you – not somebody like you.  

As discussed in our previous article, this has a wide range of benefits.

2. Full Genome Sequencing

There looks to be a high probability someone or even applied A.I. will find a genetic correlation to the Coronavirus. 

Having your DNA accessible if and likely when this happens would be a smart thing to do. 

Fortunately, full genome sequencing has never been cheaper. Consumers now have the ability to both download and integrate their genetic code with various different testing services. All available from between $399$1200 U.S. through some of the world’s best labs.

Note:  This one is important enough that you might consider moving quickly on it. Lab testing facilities and companies are in flux.  Delays shortly may be inevitable due to high demand because of the pandemic concerns. (Including a potential change of course through U.S. federal legislation). 

3  Genotyping

We’ve talked about 23andme a number of times over the years. 

The company was started by Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki (amongst others) and set out to use data to revolutionize health, wellness and research, in order to prevent disease. They believe that by giving individuals control over their own genetic health data that we can together dramatically accelerate the pace of research.

23andme offers genotype testing and has (arguably) become the industry standard in its class.  Genotyping largely involves grouping who you are and where you came from along with traits about you based on small amounts of your DNA. 

And while certainly not a replacement for whole-genome sequencing, even that is enough today to give you an edge. It may provide an additional vector of information that could at some point be useful for you, your family and your medical practitioner.

4. Apps

This pandemic, like the last one 100 years ago, is largely a respiratory challenge. 

So doesn’t it make sense to improve your lung capacity while you’re healthy? 

We wrote about this a month ago in our article on Better Health Through Better Breath. And this is almost free. It’s sort of like one of those common-sense no brainers.  How can I almost immediately improve my own situation? 

We’ve had good success with this over years of practice, but you can start to benefit in just a few days.

Do it where there is lots of fresh air, well away from other people. Do not overdo it. And do not do it (unless under Doctors orders) if you’re sick.

5. Visual Therapy

Turns out there is now scientific evidence that displaying emotional landscapes to trauma patients substantially improves their healing ability. But why wait until you’re a trauma patient? 

Get an exercise bike and stick it in front of the TV.   Then spend 30 minutes biking through idyllic charming country roads in England. It costs you nothing, right on YouTube.

Chances are it’ll improve your health – but definitely your mood.  It works your breath and gives you just a wonderful overall feeling. 

Note:  One day they’ll have this kind of thing in a VR headset program. Right now, I don’t want to have to worry about falling off my bike with a VR headset (while taking a curve in front of an English pub). For now, employ the Ben Franklin motto of “use what you can.’  The bike in front of the big screen TV for now (or ever) is great. 

6. Online Classes 

We still haven’t solidified what our favourite online classes are. 

Our team members have been taking various different ongoing financial education courses online for years (and periodically from Coursera to Udemy).  Although very useful, that’s not what I’m talking about.

Today, I’m talking about taking live community-based classes, with people that you actually know.  You join them for a small fee live on your big screen TV. Think, ideally the yoga studio or personal trainer that you used to go to, but there are all sorts of things cropping up.

Here you can make a difference locally and feel good about that, all while improving your health. You’ll both serve the emotional need of helping others and your own physical need. 

Consider that the majority of people in the service industry need help. Now. And while the government appears to be doing a good job coming to the table with unprecedented support, no doubt there will be holes missed everywhere.

Helping out locally (as we have done corporately through a variety of things including ongoing support to the Mission) gives us all additional purpose and benefit.

So there are six things that you can do to come out of this ahead of where you are

Don’t do them all. Pick one or two to start and then start adding to them every month. 

If we can consciously make the time and resources available to take care of ourselves as we go through this together, we’ll be able to take care of ourselves, our loved ones and others.  Proactive self-care through prioritization of health is today likely to be one of the best investments one can make.  

The Big Disclaimer in Plain English:

We’re not recommending anybody do anything health-wise.  We’re not medical professionals, we’re in the financial business.  

Obviously, any decision (or lack thereof) involves risk, both in doing things or not doing them.

And in the midst of a global pandemic now, there is a lot on the line.  

At Schneider Insurance, we firmly chose the future and chose to accept those risks.    We are foremost committed to moving forward in order that we can best support us all.   

Taking action may not be right for you.  Recognize that there are many risks – particularly with regards to DNA or sequencing we can’t even determine at this point.  So weigh your decisions carefully and talk to your Dr.

About The Author

Schneider Content Team
Schneider Content Team
Our research advisory team that helps keep us ahead so we can do the same for you.