Your body is your temple, so an investment of time to regularly take care of your health will help you stay in shape. Taking care of your health and being attentive to your body’s signals is the best way for you to lead a full and long-lasting life.
But what are the advantages of taking care of your health? The answer is easy! First your body will be able to stay active for a long time. Second, merely being healthy can save you a lot of money!
An Investment to live
Almost everyone overlooks their great health at one point in their lives. But very few people have looked at this issue from an economic perspective. Is it a good investment value to take care of your health? Of course! However, to understand it better, it is necessary to think ahead and put possible situations into perspective.
No one knows what kind of disease or condition may arise in the future. Let’s say a heart attack rears its ugly head. A condition that, in most cases, is the result of not taking good care of oneself. A possible result of obesity, poor diet and various health issues that are indicative of neglected health.
A cardiologist normally handles a medical condition like this. If a person has a heart attack, the medical bills today would amount to approximately $20,000. Assuming that this person has health insurance, he or she would have to pay only his or her deductible and a portion of this cost (say $5,000).
Also, in most cases, a person who has suffered a heart attack. Will have to take medications for life that cost approximately $3,600 per year ($300 per month) to treat hypertension, cholesterol, etc. How much would all this cost in the future with inflation?
The Costs Of Medical Care
For this example, let’s use a little imagination. Suppose a person who is 40 years old, suffers a heart attack at 65 and lives to be 80. By inflating the expenses to 8% (assuming this is a reasonable percentage corresponding to inflation) annually.
It is possible that the heart attacks’ $5,000 deductible has been inflated to $34,000 and the medicines cost $24,500 per year (note: the medicines will continue to inflate at 8% per year). In total, between the heart attack and 15 years of medication, this person will spend $704,000 for this condition!
Now, how much would a 40-year-old person have to save annually from today to have $704,000? The answer is impressive: $1,250 per month until age 65 (note: assuming a 5% return on savings per year). What an investment return!
In other words, you could say that if this person takes care of his health and avoids having a heart attack. It’s as if he were saving $1,250 per month for his retirement (he wouldn’t have the medical expenses mentioned above and could use his money to maintain his lifestyle). What a way to save a dollar! That’s great retirement planning!!
The Best Investment Around
No one knows what will happen to his or her health in the future. However, certain conditions and diseases are avoidable and can depend on the actions we take today. Not only are there benefits to your body from taking care and investing in yourself (you feel better, you release stress, etc.). But it also has excellent long-term investment value.
The best investment is prevention
Going to the doctor at the first sign of symptoms of any illness is vital to prevent it from possibly getting worse. Taking care of your health is much easier and cheaper. When you make a habit of prevention and accurate and timely care. You should address any discomfort before it gets worse!
People usually avoid going to the doctor until the moment they feel severe pain. Often, at this point, it is evident that those symptoms require more medical attention than if they had been treated in earlier.
Some of the most common arguments why people say they don’t go to the doctor are poor care from public services, belief that the diagnosis will be wrong, as well as lack of trust in doctors and institutions. Also, the financial costs of some doctor visits.
Taking care of your health efficiently and at low cost is possible in the following ways:
- Considering health as a long-term investment; having a good quality of life today will help you prevent disease later on.
- Attend general check-ups at least twice a year.
- Avoid putting up with the discomfort until it’s gotten worse, because of health and financial issues. This practice is counterproductive in the long run because the condition can require more medical attention and expense.
- Approach solid institutions that offer high-quality health services at affordable prices.
- In case you require unexpected medical attention, consult, quote, and plan a hospital alternative that offers you the care and price that fits your needs.
- Don’t be afraid of technology; despite what we believe, many treatments can address diseases that include innovative procedures and techniques. It can help give more accurate diagnoses, shortening time, and even treatment without breaking the bank.
- Look for financing options that will help you to cover the costs.
The power of self-care
However, an investment in an insurance policy and going to the doctor regularly is not enough. To take care of your health, you must also take care of your physical and mental integrity.
Take care of your diet
Eating healthy is great investment capital for your future and will have a big impact on your quality of life: it means that you give your body the nutrition it needs to function optimally. It helps you to maintain an appropriate weight. Which reduces the risk of diseases such as obesity, and associated risks such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
Make a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the foundation of your diet plans. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is important. This can be done with innovative and simple recipes that make healthy eating rich and fun.
Always try to eat at the same hours. Nowadays, this can be complicated, but skipping a meal often creates a yo-yo effect, causing much more food to be consumed than necessary at the next meal.
Eat breakfast every day: Breakfast will give your body the energy it needs to be active in the morning and helps get your day going! It’s also been shown to help prevent overeating throughout the day.
Avoid overeating between meals and, if you do, choose healthy snacks, such as non-fried foods or a piece of fruit that will not only satisfy you but also provide essential nutrients for your body.
Reduce salt and sugar intake: both substances are found in excess in processed foods. They can increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Keep your body hydrated: it is recommended that you drink 8 cups of water every day. Drinking water will help you eliminate toxins, as well as aiding digestion and preventing constipation.
A tip that may be useful is to add some cucumber or lemon slices to your water bottle, which will give the water a taste and make it easier to drink constantly.
Minimize your fat intake.
Be careful with alcohol
Did you know that alcohol causes an estimated 3 million deaths worldwide each year? This figure, reported by the WHO (World Health Organization), testifies to the harmful effects of alcohol abuse. Which is associated with more than 200 diseases and the development of mental and behavioral disorders.
If you consume alcohol, it is best to do so in moderation, that is, do not drink more than one unit per day if you are an adult woman or man over 65. Or more than two if you are an adult man under 65. One drinking unit is equivalent to one medium-sized glass of beer or one glass of wine.
Smoking is linked to numerous pathologies, from eye cataracts to cancer, whose risk doubles in those who have this habit, and even quadruples in heavy smokers.
Also, it is responsible for over 90% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It increases the risk of heart disease and cerebrovascular problems.
If you smoke, you should be aware that in addition to seriously damaging your health. You are also damaging the health of those around you. As they passively inhale cigarette smoke and all its toxic substances.
Quitting smoking is always good investment news towards your future. It’s a good choice for your health and that of your loved ones.
Stay active, play sports
Playing sports is one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. It is also within everyone’s reach. Practicing moderate and long-term physical activity daily, such as walking at a good pace for 30 minutes, has numerous health benefits:
- It helps you stay at an appropriate weight.
- It helps control blood sugar and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Promotes sleep quality.
- It reduces the risk of premature death.
- It increases self-esteem and improves depression.
Take advantage of sports with small changes in your routine: for example, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Gradually increase the intensity of your sport. Learn to listen to your body, you don’t have to force it.
Choose the right gear for your sport. Good shoes, for example, are essential, as are comfortable, breathable clothing.
Take care of your hygiene
Everything around is full of microorganisms and some of them are capable of causing diseases. That is why it is very important to maintain good personal hygiene and household cleanliness. Some basic tips are:
Wash your hands when you come home. Before you eat and when you have been in contact with animals.
Shower daily, to control the germs that can affect your skin. In particular, it is important to do so after physical exercise. As this promotes sweating and contact with bacteria present on the surfaces of your skin.
Sleeping Well Is Underrated
If you do not sleep regularly, all the functions of your body will be seriously affected by lack of sleep: from your hormonal, immune, or respiratory system. To your blood pressure or cardiovascular health, memory and more.
Besides, several studies indicate that not getting adequate sleep can increase the risk of obesity, infections, and heart disease.
So what are the right hours of sleep? The general recommendations depend on age and are as follows:
- Newborns up to 3 months: 14-17 hours.
- Babies up to 11 months: 12-15 hours.
- Children up to 2 years old: 9-15 hours
- Up to 5 years old: 10-13 hours
- Children up to 13 years old: 9-11 hours
- Teenagers up to 17 years old: 10 hours a day.
- Adults: 7-9 hours daily.
- Adults over 65 years old: 7-8 hours daily.
Try these tips for better sleep.
- Have a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up.
- Have some routine at bedtime. These can be simple actions such as brushing your teeth, taking a bath, or reading.
- Practice a low-impact physical exercise such as yoga or stretching, but try not to do it just before going to sleep.
- Do not take stimulants such as coffee or other caffeinated beverages after 4 pm.
- Sleep in comfortable clothes, in a dark and quiet room.
A Mental Health Investment!
Mental and physical health are closely linked. Because if one is not good, it will harm the other, and vice versa. It is now known that stress is associated with a less healthy lifestyle. Which can lead to tobacco and alcohol addictions and poor nutrition. You must take care of your mind as well as your body.
- Encourage and take care of your relationships with family and friends.
- Learn to ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it.
- Rest, eat well, and keep active.
- Value yourself and accept yourself as you are.
- Take a few minutes a day to meditate. Meditation is a good resource for improving mental well-being.
- Create a strong sense of purpose, because having a long-term motivation favors the health of the mind.
There are many steps you can take to maintain good health. Most importantly, it is up to you whether or not to implement them. Investing in health “Preventive Maintenance” doesn’t mean you’re wasting your money either.
Some activities will improve your fitness and well-being. It doesn’t cost anything, just a little effort and discipline. Taking care of your health now will translate into a richer life tomorrow.