Want to Improve Your Wealth? Improve Your Health

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Improve Your Health to Improve Your Wealth

Improve Your Health to Improve Your Wealth

Here at Quizzle, we write a lot about personal finance and how you can save more money and make better financial choices. But did you ever consider that many of your personal financial choices are impacted by another aspect of your personal life – your health?

There are many connections between health and wealth. If you are in better health, you will save money on health insurance premiums, life insurance premiums, doctor visits, prescription drugs and many other direct costs of health care. (Unfortunately, if you have a severe health problem, the costs are not always fully covered by insurance – medical bills are the cause of 60 percent of bankruptcies in the United States, according to a report in The American Journal of Medicine.)

Not to mention the side benefits of good health – better productivity, fewer sick days at work and a more positive attitude. When you’re feeling fit and healthy, you feel better about yourself – which makes it easier to attract positive people and feel confident in pursuing opportunities.

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Here are a few of the ways that you can save money (or make more money) by taking better care of your health:

Stop smoking

We’ve written before about how smoking is one of the most costly financial mistakes to avoid, with a one-pack-a-day cigarette habit costing $15,000 over 10 years. Smoking contributes to many expensive and life-threatening health problems like cancer, heart disease and strokes. In fact, 30 days worth of cancer treatment costs at least $1,600 (as of 2006 – the costs are probably much higher today), according to the American Cancer Society. Saving money today by stopping smoking can save you even more money in the future if you can avoid the costly consequences of the habit.

Eat better

Too many Americans eat a diet that is heavy in meats, fast foods and processed foods, and not enough fruits and vegetables. Even if it seems “cheaper” or more convenient to eat processed foods instead of cooking at home, in the long run the costs of a poor diet can be huge: obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are all linked to the foods we eat, and many of these long-term health consequences can be prevented by making better dietary choices every day.

I recently watched an inspiring documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” that showed how a man named Joe Cross lost 80 pounds by switching to a temporary diet of 100 percent juice (made in a juicer from fresh fruits and vegetables). Not only did he lose weight, but he was also able to get off the prescription drugs that he had been taking for an auto-immune disorder caused by being overweight. Cutting down on fast foods and processed foods, and eating more farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, can lead to a longer, happier and healthier life – while avoiding the costs of preventable disease.

Walk

Often, people think that if they want to lose weight and live healthier, they need to embark on an aggressive fitness program – join a gym, get a personal trainer, compete in a triathlon, etc. But the truth is, one of the most important things you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your health is to simply walk for 30 minutes each day. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy better health; you just need to get off the couch and move.

This is easier said than done, of course – many of us spend too many hours each day sitting at our desks, watching TV or sitting at our computers. As this awesome video demonstrates, even simple increases in walking can make a huge difference in your health – for example, going from zero activity to one hour a week can reduce the risk of heart attack by 50 percent!

If you’re struggling with a weight problem, a chronic health problem or just want to feel better and boost your energy levels, I hope you will check out this YouTube video on how walking can improve your health, and watch the trailer for “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” Just by taking a few simple steps each day, we can make our lives better and save money along the way.

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The process of losing weight, eating better and exercising more is quite similar to the process of saving money – it’s all about setting goals, creating a sense of discipline, making lasting changes in your lifestyle, and recalibrating the way you interact with your world. If you want to take better care of your personal finances, take care of your health first. Better health leads to bigger wealth in many ways.

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