All your life you’ve probably heard over and over again how important it is to stay healthy — you should eat well, exercise, go to your checkups, avoid smoking and excessive drinking, turn the television off and get outside, and so on. You probably already know that following this advice is good for your body, but the truth is, it can also be good for your wallet. If you take care of yourself, you can save money in many different ways.
Eating well can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy, which will potentially save you money on doctors’ appointments and health emergencies. Even just going to the doctor for your annual checkup can save you money in the long run, and so can avoiding stressful situations, and trying to live a relaxed lifestyle. Here are some surprising ways that you can avoid potential money suckers and save money by taking care of yourself.
It would be difficult to find an American who doesn’t know or understand the importance of exercise. While some people exercise vigorously, and others don’t exercise at all, we all know how important it is to our health. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise controls weight, combats disease, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and can even improve your sex drive. If these awesome effects are not enough for you, think about investing in your health as investing in your financial future. If you take care of yourself now, you can reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes; all of these diseases can lead to expensive health costs.
2. Eat well
It can be really difficult to eat healthy when you work hard and maintain an active social life. Fitting in a healthy meal can become challenging, and if you are eating poorly but still young and you still are maintaining your physical looks, you may not care too much about eating well. However, like exercise, eating well is important for staying healthy. Maybe you are already trying to eat well, or you would like to, but you are turned off by the expensive price of healthy food. Health food doesn’t need to mean organic, although organic food certainly has it’s pluses. Although fast food and snacks are often cheaper than produce and lean meats, your body will suffer over time from eating poorly.
According to Men’s Journal, junk and high-sugar foods can potentially harm your memory and your body. Naturally, if you eat poorly for too long and your body or your memory are affected, this could cause your health (and therefore, your wallet) to suffer, and potentially, your career too, which could cost your goals as well as your wallet.
3. Go to the doctor
While it seems contradictory to pay for a doctor’s appointment to save money, you actually may do just that. If you have insurance, your checkups might be covered, and if they are not, you should still consider regular annual appointments (and of course, going in when you think something is wrong, too) as an investment in your future as well. According to the CDC, regular health exams can actually help you find out about problems before they start, or help get you the treatment you need before a bigger problem develops. Like eating well and exercising, going to the doctor can be a preventative way to avoid larger issues, and bigger bills.
4. Avoid stress
No one can avoid stress completely, but attempting to live a low-stress life will certainly benefit you in many ways. Stress can affect your mental state, your emotional state, and even your body. When it comes to your work life, stress can really cost you: those who report high levels of stress experience health care expenditures of nearly fifty percent higher.
Most of us can’t just quit our jobs because they are stressful, but we can try to reduce the stress. According to Inc., if you want to de-stress at work, you will only need 15 minutes: you can start by waking up earlier so that you don’t need to rush; post a quote that you can read at work; and post photos of your family. Of course, some days will naturally be more stressful than others, but if you can reduce your overall stress at work, you will be on the right path.
5. Get fresh air and sleep
You need sleep to function, but sleep also keeps you healthy. According to Health, sleep can benefit your heart, weight, and mind. If you don’t have a healthy heart or mind, or you gain too much weight, you may face expensive doctors’ visits, or loss of productivity at work.
It’s also important to get outside sometimes. As fun as texting on your phone or playing a game on your tablet can be, you probably spend enough time online at work. When you are home, make sure you spend some time outside, and if possible, take short walking breaks at work. Fresh air can boost your immune system, lower stress and make you feel happier, and even energize you. It’s also important to get a lot of vitamin D (but remember sunscreen).
All of the items on this list lead back to your health. If you take care of your health, you will potentially avoid diseases, live longer, feel better, and yes, even save money. You have probably also heard that it’s a good idea to avoid smoking, and to avoid excessive drinking. If you want to save money, buying expensive alcohol less often and quitting smoking would certainly help as well.