If you think it costs a lot to be healthy, consider that it costs more to be unhealthy.
Every time you exchange money to purchase entertainment, an activity, food, or beverage, you vote for something that will take you toward health or away from it. Sometimes those votes cost more initially. For example, high-quality food (well-raised animal products and organic, local food) usually costs more than highly processed, mass produced food from a faraway land.
Health care spending is generally focused on treating a disease after it has been diagnosed. The projected 2023 costs for chronic disease are 4.1 billion dollars. Seven out of 10 US deaths are currently caused from chronic disease, which is predominantly linked to lifestyle choices. The traditional health care system in the United States is focused on treating the complications of disease without forethought to the prevention.
There are signs of hope that prevention may one day be valued. For example, research is beginning to focus on the cost savings of simple health steps. Research in the United Kingdom demonstrates millions of dollars would be saved due to decreased health problems if breast feeding rates were to increase. Millions of dollars could be saved if children were to breast feed, like they did for thousands of years before the invention of formula. Simple, natural, common sense health measures are proving to be healthier and more cost effective than unnatural interventions. Prevention of health problems is more cost effective than treating the disease process after it occurs.
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
– Anna Lappe
Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date
You can vote with your finances to move towards a healthy life or towards an unhealthy life. It initially costs more to vote for good food, quality water, less-toxic cleaning supplies, more natural skin and body care, a gym membership, or activities that are nourishing to your life, such as photography, art, music, and dance. It initially costs more to take care of yourself with chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and other forms of bodywork. The payoff is down the road of life where you can visibly see that your vote mattered and counted with your improved quality of life.
It is more cost effective to maintain your vehicle than to let it run out of oil and have to fix or replace a burned-out engine. Prevention is less dramatic than curing. Curing a disease or saving a life against all odds is sensational, generally costly, and makes a good story. Prevention is not as glamorous, but it is exciting to not spend your money, time, or energy looking for a cure. Redirect the money that you are spending on cures, over-the-counter prescriptions, copayments, fast food, alcohol, and cigarettes, and invest it either in long-term money investments (such as an IRA) or back into your health in the form of good-for-you food, beverages, and lifestyle choices.
How you move, how you feel, and your general attitude about life are influenced by the decisions you made yesterday. Likewise, tomorrow’s quality of life will be influenced by the investments of today. It will show in the quality of your older years. You pay now or you most likely will pay more later. You can thrive as you age or you can merely survive.
Learn more about the value of prevention and true wellness in the book The Wellness & Prevention Paradigm by Dr. James L. Chestnut. It is full of great analogies and research to switch your paradigm of what it is to be truly healthy.