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How to create generational health

As a life insurance agency, Haven Life is big for building wealth wealth . We know the power of financial security and how it can support families for generations, especially with the right things, like having life insurance.

But here's something else that means something to us: the generation health . No, it's not because they rhyme. This is because both are about learned behaviors that can have an extra large impact on your overall well-being. And just as many of us learn tax knowledge through our parents' examples (good or bad) and hope to pass on the lessons we have learned to our children (if we have them), health is something we inherit from our families and hope to model for. the next generation of young people.

To find out more about how it works, why it means something and what you can do about it, we consulted new research and talked to a health expert to learn what we can all do better.

In this article:

What is generational health?

Simply put, generational health is a term for how our family history affects our health and how our health affects future family members and other young people. As with wealth, health is linked to a range of factors, from our DNA to our income, from our family's wealth to where we live. Think of all these factors as a cobweb, with you (and your health) in context.

And just as we all appreciate the benefits of increased wealth, we also long to be as healthy as possible and want it for younger generations as well. Understanding that health is inherited and transferable ̵

1; new research suggests that as much as 25 percent of the variation in human life expectancy is determined by genetics – is the first step to becoming healthier and helping the next generation become healthier as well.

How health can be transferred

Let's start with the obvious: Your DNA. Genetics can affect the likelihood of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, mental illness and heart disease and is an important contributor to how long you will live. They are also (to some extent) out of your control. With that said, you can control how you respond to or even prevent these conditions. For example, if diabetes runs in your family, you can choose to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, which reduces your chances of getting diabetes yourself. But gaining this knowledge means talking to your family about their health problems, imparting this information in the same way that your relatives can tell a favorite story about your parents or give the meaning of a beloved family heritage.

Other important factors include income and wealth, as well as race (which, as we know, affects income and wealth). If your family belongs to those who have historically been marginalized or acquired, you probably have a higher risk of health problems. As a new study shows, "racial differences in health outcomes in the United States are widespread and strong." The reasons for this are varied and complex, but ultimately lead to the same issues that lead to the racial wealth gap – systemic racism has denied families who have color access to better health care and to healthier ways of living (such as remote neighborhoods from sources of pollution). A new study showed that doctors often have implicit prejudices that make them offer better care to white patients. Understanding this level of systemic racism is important for optimizing your health – yes, another new study showed that black men receive more effective care from black doctors.

And then of course it's the habits you've developed around your own. health, especially during the time you expect. According to Slate, “A lot of research now supports the notion that maternal well-being before, during and after pregnancy has significant long-term health effects for children. Children born to mothers with high levels of stress hormones during pregnancy are more likely to become addicted to nicotine as adults. Offspring of smoking mothers have higher obesity and poorer cardiovascular health decades later. Pregnant women who struggle with mental illness before pregnancy have more complications during childbirth, including children with low birth weight and stillbirths.

While all of this may feel bleak to younger generations, knowledge, power and awareness of these factors can enable you to make the best health decisions of you and your family. Here are four things you can do to help your own health – and future generations.

1. Focus on sleep

Sleep deprivation has been considered a "public health epidemic" and is related to many adverse health effects and diseases. And for children, less sleep can lead to obesity. According to a study, "Decreased sleep duration has been linked to seven of the top 15 causes of death in the United States, including cardiovascular disease, malignant tumors, cerebrovascular disease, accidents, diabetes, septicemia and high blood pressure." So yes: getting your Zs should have the highest priority, especially if you already have poor health or a pre-existing condition.

One thing to do is work to create a nocturnal sleep routine and have healthy sleep hygiene. (Meaning: Keep your phone and other blue light-emitting devices away from the bed.) Engage in a nocturnal routine that has no screens for at least two hours before bedtime, if possible, and strengthen your brain for relaxation. Take a bath, do a puzzle, meditate or read before bed. Choose something you like and relax and try to stick to a sleep schedule that prioritizes seven to nine hours of sleep per night to ensure optimal health. If you do, you will have a better state of mind the next day and will model the importance of sleep for your family.

Are you struggling to get enough rest? Your body may not be active enough during the day. Which takes us to …

2. Eat healthier and exercise

It may be obvious, but it's just because it's important. What you eat and how much you exercise has a big impact on your health. In today's world, it is difficult to completely avoid sugar and processed foods, so instead of being strict with dietary rules, a better goal may be to try to eat more fruits and vegetables. That way, you focus on healthy supplements (what you get) and not just subtraction (what you give up).

It can also help to do regular movement and exercise. Many of us are sedentary and sit more than generations before us and it takes a conscious effort to keep moving. "Forcing myself to get up and take a walk or even run for just 20 minutes a day makes a huge difference," explains Tracy Kim, CEO of the digital wellness and fitness app Aaptiv, which is available at no cost to eligible Haven Term policyholder through the Haven Life Plus driver.

One thing you can do is make it fun. Do you like dancing? Roller skating? Surfing? Hiking? Sometimes it's just a matter of finding the type of exercise that nourishes your soul and keeps you interested and engaged. In addition, one way to help intergenerational health is to help your children integrate positive habits into their lifestyle.

"For our son, we have a family training twice a week that is planned over zoom with a trainer and one with Aaptiv," says Kim. “It's a great way to spend time with family with a nice side benefit of introducing that habit to our son. He sees it as a quiet activity. “And if a healthy habit is also fun, it is obvious that it has a greater chance of sticking – even for a lifetime.

3. Take care of your mental health

The pandemic has caused a new crisis – a mental health. Isolation, lack of support and abandonment of routines and social networks have affected everyone. If your health history includes mental health conditions, you may be more vulnerable.

It is important to continue with your social support network over Zoom and hopefully personally as more people are vaccinated. When it comes to managing mental health, diet, exercise and sleep are also very important. In addition, it is important to spend time on hobbies and things that give you purpose. And again, potentially multigenerational – you might inherit your love of playing tennis from your mother and then pass it on to your own children. (Having an active family hobby can also make the holiday less stressful as well.)

You also want to create an environment with your children where they feel comfortable reaching out for help if they need it. If needed, you can find a therapist at Open Path Collective and examine medication from a psychiatrist. If you are in crisis, you can contact a crisis adviser by sending an SMS to HOME to 741741.

4. Talk to Your Children

While all of the above can help you and your child's health, this may be the most important thing: Talk honestly and openly about the health challenges you and your relatives have faced (and hope we overcome)

There are conditions (from diabetes and high cholesterol to certain types of cancer) that may be more likely to go away and should be considered when your children create their own eating habits and lifestyle. "Having conversations in advance about family health and knowing it is important," says Kim. "These things can be easily monitored."

You do not want to scare your children, but you also do not want to keep them in the dark. Kim suggests discussing these topics around the age of 11-13 when puberty strikes and children become more curious about the changes in their body and health.

Putting it all together

Yes, you may be predisposed to certain health conditions, but you can build intergenerational health and work things to your advantage. According to doctor, author and podcast host Mark Hyman: “What you eat, how you move, how you restore your system, along with your thoughts, feelings and social contacts, regulate your genes. These genes stop creating an expression of who you are and how you are. You can turn on genes that create health or disease, weight gain or weight loss. In other words, everything is involved in you – and it is in turn connected to what is around you, from your family to your work environment. And everything that can be inherited and passed on.

One way to continue building positive health habits is to track your progress and track your growth. Kim says that her son keeps track of how many vegetables he eats, while she records the minutes she trains and her parents log how many times they train. It's like budgeting … for health, and it can help you improve and see how far you have come. This way you know that you are making a positive difference in your own health and for future generations. And what could mean more?

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that is supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and your general well-being can be refreshingly easy. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.

Haven Life does not have the right to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to be provided and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our information

Haven Term is a term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual. Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Life Insurance Issue (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Companies, Enfield, CT 06082. Numbers and functions for insurance forms and riders may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our California agency license number is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best company as A ++ (Superior; top category 15). The rating is from Aril 1, 2020 and may change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating companies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name of the Plus Rider, which is part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits free of charge or at a discount. The driver is not available in all states and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under Plus Rider, which are provided by third party providers (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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