Health is wealth!
Your health is your wealth is a very popular phrase, almost a cliché.
What does it mean? More importantly what does it mean to you?
When you hear this do you think of :
Being healthy saves money?
Being healthy is better than material riches?
Being Healthy gives me a future?
In today’s world poor dietary habits are the norm, many of us live a sedentary life and there’s a high rate of disabling and chronic disease. If you look deeper, we often see that poverty levels seem to correlate statistical findings with this. Is it true our heath is priceless? Or is it that our poor health and unhealthy living lifestyles affect our ability to be wealthy?
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) 6 of 10 adults have a chronic disease, 4 of those 10 have 2 or more. Chronic disease accounts for THE LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH AND DISABILITY and Leading Drivers of the Nation’s over $3.3 Trillion in Annual Health Care Costs. The top 9 chronic diseases are:
Heart Disease; Cancer, Chronic Lung Disease; Stroke; Alzheimer’s; Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease, Arthritis and Obesity.
The key lifestyle risks for chronic disease include: Tobacco Use – Poor Nutrition – Lack of physical activity – and excessive alcohol use. The 2 lifestyle issues that I feel are easiest to address are Poor Nutrition and Lack of Physical Activity. I know there are many that would say tobacco use and excess alcohol use…but let’s be honest, those are physical and psychological issues. These often support an increase in your insurance.
The average cost of health insurance is $477 a month for one, with no subsidy. Per HealthMarkets.com, there can be an increase of up to 50% if you have the lifestyle factors that could lead to a chronic disease. Oh I know – you can’t be denied, but you can be charged more. Add to that the average co-pay of $20 – $50, as well as the total “out of pocket” and let’s not forget prescription costs. Is it expensive to be unhealthy…you bet!
Here’s just a few statistics! Pulled from : https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm#ref5
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and another 84 million adults in the United States have a condition called prediabetes, which puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness, and costs the US health care system and employers $237 billion every year. And it is estimated that as many as ¼ of those numbers do not get checked and have untreated diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is generally a lifestyle illness.
Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia, is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that affects about 5.7 million Americans. It is the sixth leading cause of death among all adults and the fifth leading cause for those aged 65 or older. In 2010 , the costs of treating Alzheimer’s disease were estimated to fall between $159 billion and $215 billion.By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 billion and $500 billion annually.
In addition, direct healthcare expenses for providing Alzheimer’s patients with long-term and hospice care cost $236 billion in 2016 alone.
Each year in the United States, more than 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer, and almost 600,000 die from it, making it the second leading cause of death. The cost of cancer care continues to rise and is expected to reach almost $174 billion by 2020.”
Every year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer and another 500,000 die from the disease. And Cancer affects more children than ever before.
You may ask, are there nutritional choices that would support cancer prevention? YES!
The United States spends well over $147 billion on healthcare related to obesity and roughly $147 billion on costs related to inadequate physical activity. Obesity affects almost 1 in 5 children and 1 in 3 adults, putting people at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Over a quarter of all Americans 17 to 24 years are too heavy to join the military. Public health initiatives such as education, promoting access to healthier foods, and delivering preventive care to pediatric patients can help to keep patients at a healthy weight. As a health Coach I support and direct this type of education.
These four are just the tip of the iceberg..there are others that are also extremely costly and potentially preventable with lifestyle changes.
So why is this important in my world? In 2008 my mother passed from Alzheimer’s, my husband was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer; my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and my Aunt passed away from diabetes complications. At that time, I was not healthy, although I was in a great place financially. Stress/diabetes/high blood pressure and high cholesterol, overweight – I went to the DR regularly and paid for great insurance and had low co-pays. BUT that year made me realize that my health had to improve, or it was going to be a wealth issue soon. Being healthy overall saved my life 3 years later when I had a stroke while driving but made it home to call 911. I spent 3 full days in the hospital and rehab for 3 full days after being told initially it would be much longer. BUT according to my doctors my overall health is what allowed me to recover as quickly as I did. And you may say – how did she have a stroke, let me be clear my stroke did not happen because of any thing I did the previous years, but a cumulative result of the unhealthy lifestyle I led for many, many years.
I fully believe that education is the key. Education begins with you learning THE why’s, then figuring out YOUR why’s, recognizing the need for support and accepting support. Accountability is what coaching is all about.
There are many professionals in this room. We are the group that often neglect our health. I have heard, I have a career, I don’t have time. You don’t have the time to neglect your health. Let’s just say that’s putting the cart before the horse. Do you see yourself in this? Oh you may make some changes and go to the gym for a while, get some short term improvements, but after some time, you feel like your self-care is “costing” you forward movement in your career due to the time you are putting into it. So you stop, again and sometimes again…. as your neglect of yourself continues, more health issues catch up with you and the improvements you made fail. As a direct result, maybe your forward movement in your career comes to a staggering halt. Your lack of good health has literally handicapped your career. THIS WAS ME.
Do you ever feel this is YOU?
Now I understand that most of us have what is deemed “affordable” health care, however many of us don’t have the funds for the deductibles, or copays… so we just don’t go to the DR for wellness, only sickness. The DR treats your symptoms, instead of the cause. He prescribes a pill, instead of a lifestyle change. If a lifestyle change is mentioned, it’s usually, you should lose weight and exercise more. These words are often delivered by a physician who has not heeded his own very simple advice. If you are lucky, you work with a physician who understands what you need and makes specific recommendations. Health Coaches are actually on the forefront of this movement. Many physicians actually employ health coaches. In fact, there are certifications for that specifically.
Let me share several reasons why Health is Wealth for you personally and professionally:
Medical bills are expensive as is Medical Insurance.
AND not getting cheaper. Healthy people save money on medical spending. Sick people spend their hard-earned cash on medical spending often rather than on things they enjoy. Or maybe you just don’t go to the DR!
Healthy employees are more productive.
When we are in good health, we can work more productively. Studies have shown that people in good health are able to earn more money and work more productively. More and more companies are investing in “Lunch and Learns” for their employees in response to truly seeing this fact.
For us women – Beauty products do not come cheap.
How much do you spend on that “night cream”? Don’t get me wrong, I believe the options we have to improve our bodies abound. But imagine how much better they would work if we were healthy to begin with?
Feeling great gives you confidence.
When you have a high level of wellbeing, you will also tend to have a confident and go-getting attitude which will enable you to succeed in all of your aspirations.
Health boosts your brain power.
Eating foods rich in zinc, omega fatty acids and other vital nutrients keep your brain working to its highest potential.
Better Bone health
A diet rich in nutrients specifically designed for bone health keeps your teeth and bones nice and strong.
Health insurance may be expensive.
If you can choose a better health Insurance policy rather than the “cheapest” wouldn’t it make sense to have a healthy body.
Exercise is free, or reasonable.
Any good businessperson will tell you that if you pay nothing and get plenty in return, you have made a great deal. Exercise like walking, or just dancing in your front room totally free and yet it significantly enhances your physical and mental health and thus your material wealth. Taking up yoga or making a gym membership a priority ( If you USE it) does not break the bank.
You spend less on dental care.
Healthy teeth are much cheaper to maintain than unhealthy ones.
Poor health usually leads to poorer health.
If you let a condition go untreated, or if you are generally unhealthy, you increase your chances of getting even more unhealthy. And, this gets more and more expensive in the long run.
Mobility aids cost money.
If you get weaker in later life due to a lack of exercise or a poor diet, you may have to fork out a lot of money to purchase mobility aids, most of which are NOT covered by insurance and aren’t cheap. How many of you have known of someone who fell down and broke a bone? Often not even a big fall!
Healthy diets are cheaper.
OK, I know I hear this all the time – eating healthy is expensive. Not Really! Nutrient dense nutrition profiles are often cheaper, because you truly eat less. Diets low in soda, boxed cereal and generally anything fast food are significantly cheaper in the long run. When you learn how to shop the store and meal plan- you save money. Sakinah has more about this shortly.
Unpaid sick leave can be awful.
If you wind up taking unpaid sick leave, it can hit your wallet hard.
Over the counter (OTC) medications are often very expensive.
If you are generally unhealthy, you are more likely to catch colds and flu – leading to expensive trips to the drugstore.
Maybe avoid over supplementation.
A healthy diet means that you do not need to spend money on many expensive supplements, although I am a firm believer that the majority of the food we buy has less and less nutrients in it. UNLESS, it is 100% certified Organic.
Health is an investment.
Yes, you may spend money on a better brand of fitness shoes, smoothies at places like VIBE and maybe on targeted supplements. But this is an investment that will pay you dividends.
More time with family.
When we are healthy, we have more time on our hands. Being able to play with your kids or go hiking with them well into your 60’s and 70s is one of life’s true riches.