The relationship between our health and wealth is strong. Those in poor health suffer from a variety of illnesses and incur the high cost of medical care. And when someone is struggling financially, looming debt and the daily struggle to pay bills can negatively impact their health. This can become a vicious cycle of increasing financial hardship and declining wellness.
There are moves you can make to help break this cycle or even try to prevent it in the first place. Staying healthy can make a big difference in improving your financial situation. Your level of fitness has both short and long-term effects. And many of them are related to money. Here are some important tips that will make a difference to your health and your wallet.
- Few would argue that not smoking is incredibly important to both our physical and financial fitness. With the average cost of a pack of cigarettes now over $6, itâ€™s obvious that not smoking will help you spend less money. And avoiding the long-term negative health and financial effects of smoking is even more important to consider.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is also crucial for wellness and wealth. More than 29 million Americans are living with Type 2 diabetes and many donâ€™t even know it. It makes sense that eating the right foods and losing weight is a priority for many people. When you compare the cost of co-pays for doctorâ€™s visits, lab tests and prescriptions – saving money by skipping healthy food options isnâ€™t worth it.
- Along with a healthy diet, exercise plays a critical role in preventing disease and improving fitness levels. A gym membership may seem expensive, but the trade-off of missing workouts can cost you much more in the end. You can skip joining the gym to save money, donâ€™t skip being active. The Mayo Clinic suggests a variety of ways to stay fit without busting your budget.
There are other healthy moves that also have financial consequences. They may not be talked about as much, but that doesnâ€™t mean they arenâ€™t as important!
- We all know getting a good nightâ€™s sleep is important for our health, but what about our wallets? The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night for adults. And it probably doesnâ€™t surprise you that many people donâ€™t get enough sleep.
In the short-term, a lack of sleep can affect your cognitive abilities, attitude and judgment. Your ability to focus and be productive at work may decline which may reduce your job performance, pay or employment status. You are also at higher risk for accidents and injuries which can have significant costs.
Chronic sleep deprivation can also lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity and heart disease. And those are certainly costly illnesses in terms of the quality of your life and the impact on your wealth. If you lead a hectic, fast-paced life â€“ focusing on sleep is as important as healthy eating and exercise.
- According to the American Psychological Association, financial concerns continue to be a top cause of stress for many people â€“ especially those with children. Avoiding stress is a healthy move that supports your emotional, physical and financial well-being.
Anxiety and depression are common effects of financial stress which can affect your body, mood and behavior. Stomach problems, irritability, and substance abuse are real concerns from constant stress. And all of these can have significant financial costs.
Find ways to manage your stress. Seek the help of a friend, exercise or try relaxation techniques. Anything you do to reduce stress will support your health and financial wellness.
- Seeking preventive care is also a smart move. Spend time and money to visit the dentist on a regular basis and have health screening tests your doctor suggests. But know that there may be some costs too.
Take control and shift your thinking to being proactive about your health and wellness. Spending money to maintain your health is worth it. Focusing on prevention may minimize the amount you have to spend when illness or disease happens.
Physical, emotional, and financial wellness are all related. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid many bad (and costly) habits that can impact your health. Identify areas of personal wellness that are affecting your finances. And donâ€™t forget to consider how your financial situation might be affecting your life. Start today. Making even small changes can go a long way to improving both your health and your wealth.