Why You Should Invest in Your Health

Stretching

When you think about your daily routines and activities, have you ever thought about how much of them positively affect your life and how many negatively affect your life? Do you sit in the car or in a chair for hours, compromising your spine, your low back health? Are you sedentary in general? Do you spend hours in front of a computer, on your phone, watching TV? Do you exercise and meet recommended guidelines? Do you cook your own food or go out to eat?

What is worth your money and what is not?

What is worth spending money on: Health and Fitness

We hear it, read it, see it all the time: “Your health is the single most important thing you could invest in”, yet we also hear, read, and see “health food is so expensive”, “gym memberships are so expensive”, “I want to get healthy but I can’t afford it”, and it goes on and on.

What is not worth spending money on: Excess cable and internet packages, cell phone plans, leisurely, sedentary habits, etc.

What I think is funny is that we don’t hear, or say “cable is so expensive”, “I want to watch TV, but I can’t afford it”

Better yet: most people don’t bother to add up how much they might spend a month on eating out, watching TV, getting their nails done, getting their hair done, etc.

Did you know:

Percentage of Americans with Cable TV:

83%

Percentage of Americans with gym memberships: 15%
Price of Cable/Internet per month:

$40-$150

 

Price of Gym Memberships per month:

$10-$150

Percentage of unused Cable packages/channels:

90%

Percentage of unused Gym Memberships:

67%

How cable/internet use affects life expectancy:

-4.8 years of life

How exercise affects lift expectancy:

+4.5-7 years of life

83% of American households pay for cable TV! That is approximately the population of the top 26 highest populated states COMBINED! But yet only 15% of the population belong to a gym, that is fewer than the population of California and Texas combined.

Living a sedentary lifestyle that consists of hours of sitting, in chairs, in front of the TV, in bed, combined with little to no exercise can do more than take 4.8 years off of your life.

Risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Increased risk of cardiovascular health

 

Lowers risk of health conditions and diseases
Accelerated rate of bone loss, leading to osteoporosis Helps control your weight
Increased risk of cognitive and mental decline Improves sleep and boosts energy
Increased risk of high blood pressure and risk of stroke Improves your mood
  • And if that hasn’t convinced you enough that exercise > sedentary habits and hobbies, take a look at this:
    The total direct and indirect costs of sedentary lifestyles to chronic health conditions exceed $150 billion per year and combined health care cost for all causes exceeds $1.3 trillion per year
  • Cardiovascular disease costs reach $298.2 billion dollars per year
  • Type 2 Diabetes costs reach $98 billion per year
  • Sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivty account for approximately 15% of U.S. health care cost per year
  • If both cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes (both have been studied to be linked to sedentary behavior) saw a reduction of 30% across the U.S. population, it would save annual health care costs of up to $119 billion per year

source: Reader’s Digest: President’s Challenge

So lets do some simple math, have you ever calculated how much you spend a month on leisurely items?

  • Cable & Internet package: $90 (that is what I currently pay so lets go with it)
    One monthly trip to the movies: $10 (per person)
  • Food & Drink at the movies: $10 (per person)
    Netflix subscription: $10
  • Misc movie rentals: $5-$10
  • Plus additional expenses such as cell phone data plans, getting your nails done, etc.
  • Total: $140+ (and this is a modest number)

if you had to start visiting the doctor routinely because you are not feeling well, discover you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, and have to start treating it, your expenses would look like this:

  • Doctor’s visit (1 time): $130 (on average, before coverage)
  • Diabetes screening (A1C test, Metabolic & Lipid panels, & venipuncture charge): $320 (on average, before coverage)
  • Prescription drugs: $80 on average (source: http://journal.diabetes.org)
  • Total: $530 average
    Add that to the discomfort in daily living= just not worth it

Now combine what you could be paying for your sedentary lifestyle plus your doctor’s bills due to chronic diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle: $670+ 

However, to reduce your risks of chronic diseases, and sedentary behavior, let’s consider this:

  • A standard gym membership: $50-$150 on average
  • Total: $50-$150 

And don’t even get me started on the costs of eating out vs. cooking at home.

Health and Fitness might seem like an expensive business, but when 10 years from now when you are looking back on your past 10 sedentary years, the medical costs associated with it, your discomfort in your clothes and daily routine, and how you feel within your own body, you are going to wish you took the plunge and cut back on some technological, electronic, and leisurely items, and spent a few extra dollars a month making your health better. Worth it.

 

 

Sources:

“Deus Caritas Est.” Distanzierte Nähe (n.d.): 145-47. Reader’s Digest. President’s Challenge. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.

Leichter, Steven B., Sarah Faulkner, and Joan Camp. “On the Cost of Being a Diabetic Patient: Variables for Physician Prescribing Behavior.” On the Cost of Being a Diabetic Patient: Variables for Physician Prescribing Behavior. N.p., n.d. Web. 2000.

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