Why Staying Healthy Can Save You Money

23 Jul

Most of us are continually striving for two main things in life – to have more money and to lose weight. We reminisce about how much disposable income we had before we were tied down by a house, car loans and kids, and at the same time wish we could fit into the clothes from our past. Well these two dreams don’t have to be mutually exclusive because you can save money just by living a healthier lifestyle which will in turn help you drop the kilos.

Getting quality sleep every night gives the body a chance to rebuild cellular damage.

Health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, diabetes and heart disease are expensive conditions to treat, but you can lower your risk of these health problems with a healthier diet. It is estimated that the medical costs associated with being obese are $10,000 higher than for people who are a healthy weight.

Therefore, when you look after your health in the following ways, you are reducing your risk of high medical bills:

* Getting a good night’s sleep every night.
* Reducing the stress in your life.
* Cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and foods high in fat, sugar and sodium.
* Quit smoking.
* Wash your hands to avoid contracting cold and flu viruses.

Plus, when you do all of these things to look after your health, you also make an attractive candidate for health insurance, so you can pay low premiums, and have your medical expenses covered by insurance.

2.  Save on Life Insurance

In the same way that you can save on the premiums for your health insurance by living a healthier lifestyle, those same good habits can save you on life insurance rates too. Premiums for life insurance are higher if you are overweight or have other health risk factors which put you at risk of early death, such as a stressful or dangerous job, smoking or excessive drinking. Therefore, while you are saving at the bottle shop and the supermarket by avoiding expensive processed foods, you’ll also be able to protect your family for less.

A healthy mind equals good mental processing.

When you eat well and exercise regularly you can increase your productivity thanks to a positive attitude. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins which increase your energy levels and mental state. This will make you more motivated and productive at work, giving you more opportunity to advance your career and become a candidate for a raise.

Plus, when you don’t exercise and you start to put on weight, it is harder to get to work and get around at work, which reduces your productivity. In turn this can trigger deeper psychological issues which further affect your performance.

4.  Save with Healthy Entertainment

If you look for healthy activities in your everyday life, you can find a myriad of entertainment opportunities which will be affordable to do, fun, and good for you, such as:

* Outdoor activities. Plan family activities which are fun, but affordable to do such as a walk or a bike ride. You could even plan a fishing trip and when you eat what you catch you’re saving on the food bill and getting important nutrients from the fish too.
* Regular work outs. Make it part of your routine to work out regularly and stretch out your muscles. This will help you reduce your stress levels and keep your body healthy so you don’t have to lose time from work when you are sick, or worry about additional medical expenses.
* Work out at home. Look around your home for work out opportunities to save on gym membership, and keep you active in any weather. For example, you could run up and down the stairs, use a chair or could for stretches and lifts, use cans of beans as small handheld weights, and of course do push ups and sit ups on the floor.
* Community access. Your neighbourhood probably has facilities such as swimming pools and skating rinks where you can spend time with your family and be active for a small entrance fee, if any.
* Gardening. Gardening is great light exercise, plus you’re getting fresh air and vitamin D from the sun, even on cloudy days. Plus, while you’re out in the garden why not start a vegetable patch so you can save money by growing your own food, and always have a fresh supply of fruit and veg on hand so there’s no excuse not to eat well.

Shop for healthy food and make wholesome home-cooked meals for the family.

Your diet is a strong factor in the state of your health, and food and drink will also make up one of the biggest portions of your household budget every week. Therefore, start implementing these healthy and money saving food and drink tips:

* Drink less or no alcohol. The truth is that your body views alcohol as a poison and too much is bad for your health and your waistline – because your body goes to work on the alcohol you ingest first, the other fats, carbohydrates and sugars you eat don’t get burned off straight away, and are allowed to settle around your middle.
* Watch your food quantities. Most families throw out between a quarter and half of all the food they buy because it goes off or they just aren’t interested in eating it. Therefore, if you are serious about eating a healthy diet, only bring things into your home which will help you stay on track. Plus, make sure you control your portions to help you lose weight because meat shouldn’t be the main portion of your meal and a serving of vegetables should be around the size of your fist, so don’t chow down on the whole pan of mashed potatoes.
* Eat in. When you cook your own meals you know exactly what you and your family and eating and you can control your intake and calories. You’ll also save money on take away and restaurant meals with inflated prices.
* Cut back on meat. You should have several meals each week which are meat free, because while the nutrients are important, too much red meat can lead to heart disease and cancer.
* Avoid processed food. You will get the most nutritional benefit from your food if you eat it in its purest form. That means looking at a muesli bar or dried fruit and thinking about what the ingredients were before it was processed – you’d be better off just eating the fresh fruit. Similarly, you don’t always know what is in the food you eat, so even things like biscuits can be better for you if you make them yourself.
* Eat seasonal local produce. Buying foods which are in season is cheaper and you will be getting a much better quality product. You’ll also know that fewer chemicals were used to preserve the foods or encourage them to grow out of season, and by buying at your local farmer’s market you can buy direct and save money on a better product too.

After being a smoker for 15 years, Alban is now a strong advocate of healthy lifestyle. When he is not exercising, Alban is a contributing writer for a home loan comparison website.

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