Two hosts on a podcast I heard recently were talking about a high-tech state-of-the-art health evaluation. It included a full-body MRI, a slew of blood tests, a complete look at all your genes, along with measuring just about everything else you can imagine. The service includes permanent membership in a growing database that will alert you to health risks in the future as science discovers more about what your specific genetic profile indicates. As a participant you are encouraged to decide how long you want to live, and therefore to take every step possible to achieve that goal. It’s all done for the worthy purpose of helping you be healthier tomorrow.
And it’s available to you today for the small sum of $25,000!
Even if I had $25,000 I wouldn’t spend it on this high-tech health evaluation. But even more importantly, you don’t need to have or spend that kind of money to be healthier tomorrow. Health spending doesn’t have to be difficult. We know enough about health and longevity to make very wise decisions today. Scientists are now beginning to talk now about reaching the limit of what medical care can do to improve and extend our lives. What is going to make the biggest difference going forward is our lifestyle.
If you’re already spending money on a lot of supplements or medications, take a step back and consider whether you’re spending your hard-earned health dollars in the place they will make the most difference. It’s not that supplements are necessarily bad; it’s that they are way down the list when it comes to what will make the most difference for your wellbeing tomorrow.
Wise Health Spending
Here are a few things worth spending your money on if you want to be healthier tomorrow.
- Unprocessed food. This is absolutely number one! If it has a long shelf life, comes ready-to-eat, or has a long list of ingredients, it’s processed. Your body was never created to process and successfully eliminate the preservatives, flavorings, stabilizers, coloring agents, emulsifiers, etc. that processed foods contain. Focus first on fresh or frozen produce, lean fresh meat, and whole grains. Purchase food that’s as close to its natural state as possible.
- Walking shoes. This comes as an extremely close second to the item above. It’s impossible to over-emphasize the benefits of physical exercise – for emotional health, for preventing disease, for lengthening life, for lessening disability. The best kind of physical exercise is the kind you will do! Walking for 30 minutes most days a week, as briskly as you reasonably can, will do the trick. So lace up those shoes and get going!
- A good mattress. The quality of your sleep will do much to affect your health in the future. Preparing your environment for sleep is worth it. If you have a standard innerspring mattress that’s over ten years old, it’s time for a change. Start saving a little, and invest in one of the better mattresses. Don’t buy a cheap one from the box stores; take your time and choose one that’s right for you and that will help you get the sleep you need.
- Moderate coffee or tea. Besides the pleasure that many people get from these beverages, there’s increasing data showing that people who drink them are, on the whole, likely to live longer and healthier. The data is stronger for green tea than for coffee. There can be some downsides; watch out for the effect of caffeine on your anxiety or your sleep. But this is one area where research shows pleasure can be healthy.
- Help to overcome an addiction. If you struggle with an addiction to pain killers, tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, there’s no better investment you can make than in the process of overcoming that addiction. Of course there’s much more than money involved, but our point here is that doing whatever it takes – including spending money – to get free is probably the best investment you can make.
- Help to lose weight. Weight loss is complicated for many, but it’s not magical. There are, of course, a multitude of products that promise to make you lose weight; that’s NOT what I’m talking about. If you can moderate your eating and increase your physical exercise on your own, you can be successful. If you can’t do it on your own, get some help. Nutritional counseling or a program such as Medifast is worth the investment.
- Therapy. One of the good things about living in the 21st century is the multitude of help available when you need it. There are a number of situations in which you should seriously consider this investment; depression, anxiety, marriage conflict, a history of abuse or trauma, and many others. If you wonder if you need therapy you probably do! Do your research, and choose someone who you can feel safe with and who has the necessary training and experience. Your life may get better in many ways.
If you DO have an extra $25,000 in your health spending budget, send it my way!
Seriously though, don’t fall for the lie that buying this supplement, joining that gym, or subscribing to that pricey program advertised on TV is going to make you healthier tomorrow. Get the simple things right, and be willing to invest in them.
Think you can’t afford these items? If you subscribe to upper-tier TV channels, buy fast food, or go to the movies, you have enough to invest in these healthy lifestyle habits. It won’t cost you nearly $25,000!
Your Turn: Do you spend any money on your health? Do you feel you’re getting the needed value for your money? Leave a comment below.
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