Staying in shape and getting healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, but many times, that’s how things work out. Cooking a nutritious dinner tends to cost more in terms of time and money than just putting something quick in the microwave.
But it turns out that health investments – such as healthy meals – almost always pay off in the long-term. If you can get your approach to your body right today, you can often save a fortune in the long-run.
As you learn more about medical debt from Leinart Law firm, you discover just what a burden it is for some people. There are millions of Americans out there struggling to pay their bills every month because they can’t afford the cost of healthcare. For some, they have no choice – they get conditions that no amount of healthy lifestyle work can prevent. But most are picking up chronic diseases that simple things like diet and exercise can stop. On many occasions, legal firms like Leinhart Law, have to step in and actually help people get out of debt just from paying their medical bills. The costs can be extraordinarily high – to the point where wages simply can’t cover them.
In this post, we take a look at some of the health investments that you should make today to prevent yourself from running into financial trouble tomorrow. You’ll notice that some of the things that we suggest are expensive, but they pale in comparison to actually treating the health problems that you might get in the future.
Buying Healthy Foods
People believe that buying healthy food is more expensive. And, on a per calorie basis, that’s usually true. But it is also one of the best things that you can do to improve your health. People who eat whole plant foods most of the time tend to live longer and don’t get the kinds of medical conditions that are going to cost them a fortune when they get older. They’re generally slimmer and more active and enjoying their lives more.
Healthy foods come in all shapes and sizes. Some are incredibly inexpensive. Brown rice is a good example. But others will set you back more. Berries and nuts tend to be the most expensive since these are hardest to grow and most difficult to automate.
The increase in food costs from eating healthy foods is around $45 per month, or around $10 per week. It can seem like a lot of money if you are used to buying cheaper food and keeping your overall monthly bill down. But for the money, you are reducing your chances of getting cancer, diabetes and heart disease – the three major killers in America.
Healthy shopping at the grocery store usually takes less time too. That’s because you only ever go down a couple of aisles – the produce section and the section with canned beans and bags of grain.
If you eat in a very basic way you can actually cut the overall cost of your shopping bill. But you should generally try to do things in a sustainable manner. If you need to eat nuts, berries and tropical fruit to stay on the straight and narrow, you should buy them as an insurance policy. Plus, they are all incredibly good for you, promoting your health beyond just standard foods.
Joining A Gym
Technically, you don’t have to join a gym to get fit. Doing laps of the local park will also do the trick. But having a place that you go to specifically work out can help a great deal.
Of course, how much you spend depends on the level of luxury and the facilities that you want. Some gyms can cost up to $250 per month.
If spa services, such as massage and sauna don’t matter a great deal to you, then you can usually get the price of the gym down to around $50 per month. If you live in a larger city, you’ll pay more like $80. But even so, that investment is worth it, so long as you show up. The more you work out, the lower your chances of developing chronic diseases in the long-term.
If you really don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, you could also try investing in a bicycle. Owning a bike allows you to go cycling whenever you like, take back routes and even ride along nature trails. The more you use your bike, the fitter and happier you become. And, eventually, once you do it enough times, it becomes a habit you can’t imagine your life without.
Again, buying a bike will set you back, but you should see it as an investment. The more time you put into it, the better off you’ll be.
Exercise is also an essential tool for those prone to stress and panic. If you are an anxious person, then getting regular physical activity can help you calm down and be a happier person. People who cycle regularly, for instance, report having a sunnier disposition and generally feeling better than their peers.
Going For Therapy
Going for therapy is also an investment that you can make in your health. Having chronic anxiety or stress can take its toll on your mind and body. Mentally speaking, it changes the way that you approach the world. It leaves you feeling overwhelmed all the time and as though you couldn’t possibly take on more responsibility (even if you are a highly able person). Over time, you miss out on opportunities to progress in your career which costs you money in lost wages.
On the physical side, it damages you too. You wind up burning out your adrenals and living with a chronically high cortisol level. These stress factors cause the body to age faster and cause damage to tissues which lead to disease.
Going for therapy, therefore, can help you change your mindset and avoid these costs. It’s something that many of the world’s most successful people do as a matter of course. They want to be the best versions of themselves and so they seek professional help to put them on the right track.
Therapy isn’t cheap, of course. The average hour-long session could set you back $100. But that’s the price that you pay for soundness of mind.
If therapy doesn’t work for you, then there are alternatives that you can try. Many people find spiritual practices effective. You can also give yoga a go if you prefer moving meditations.
For some, just being in a healthy group of friends can also make a profound difference.
Remember, when you no longer feel stressed, it leads to all kinds of improvements in your health. Weight gain is less likely because you stop continually reaching for comfort foods. Menstrual cycle problems come to an end because your hormones normalize. And problems such as fatigue tend to melt away because your brain is no longer trying to protect you from the overwhelmingly stressful aspects of the day.
The Financial Rewards
If you invest in your health today, the financial rewards that you experience tomorrow can be enormous.
For instance, the payoff for avoiding type II diabetes is not having to pay $125,000 in treatment costs over the course of your lifetime. Avoiding cardiovascular disease could save you around $20,000.
Just being slim can save you a lot of money. Having a BMI under 25 will save you more than $500 per year compared to having one between 25 and 30. And not going over 30 can save you a whopping $5,000 due to lost days at work dealing with the various health problems associated with being overweight.
It can be hard to take the long view with regards to your health. It is difficult to make yourself take the difficult steps that you need to take to get on the path to health. However, knowing that it can potentially protect your finances is a step in the right direction. Nobody wants to throw money after a healthy lifestyle without any payoff. They want to know that their hard-earned cash is working for them. Fortunately, when you invest in your health, that’s almost always the case. A carton of berries from the grocery store might set you back more than you’re used to, but the phytochemicals in those plants actively protect your body and keep you healthy.
There are also non-tangible rewards from changing your lifestyle. You feel better on most days and are less lethargic. You no longer have to lever yourself out of bed in the morning and mooch miserably to the coffee machine. Instead, once you start eating better and sleeping earlier, you feel ready to go every day. Nothing is holding you back.
You also develop better relationships. You have more energy to dedicate to the people around you. No longer do you always feel like you’re running on empty. All your grouchiness starts to go away.
Ultimately, living well allows you to enjoy your life more right now. You feel better able to do things spontaneously without worrying about how you’ll feel or whether you will be able to do them. You can go mountain climbing, cycling or running if the urge takes you, knowing that your body will be able to keep up with the demands you’re placing on it. That’s worth something!