Real, organic, healthier foods cost more than processed, artificial foods. When you add this to the cost of a gym membership, your purified water, wellness visits to the chiropractor, massage therapist, and dentist, and good running shoes, it becomes apparent just how expensive healthy living really is. Can you afford to live the wellness lifestyle? I will tell you that you cannot afford not to!
If you look at your healthy lifestyle choices simply as expenses, you will fail to see the value and importance of such choices. If you instead look at these choices as investments, which they are, your whole philosophy on healthy living will change. By now, you have been impacted by the reality that Obamacare is not the solution to healthcare in this country. Many of my patients have seen their deductibles, copays, and overall cost of health insurance go up. Some have had to abandon health insurance all together because they simply cannot afford it. They have been stricken with the fearful thought that you likely have had, which is “What if I get sick?”
Getting sick requires going to the doctor. Going to the doctor leads to tests. Tests lead to a diagnosis. A diagnosis leads to a prescription, or prescriptions. All of this costs money. Big money!!! Most of you would spend any amount of money to be healthy, but the kind of money our current healthcare system charges exceeds what most people can afford.
Even if you go to the doctor, get the diagnosis, fill the prescription, and pay the money, you are not left with greater health. What you are left with is a condition that is managed with medication. This medication is rarely taken for a short period and then stopped. To manage your newly diagnosed condition requires continued medicating. How long will it be before the side effects of the medication lead to the need for more medications? It won’t be long before you are filling the average of 14.7 prescriptions per person, per year (2011). What does all this cost?
What about time? Many will complain about the time it takes to workout, read the food labels, and go to those wellness visits. What about all the work? Many will also sigh and shake their heads, saying that living a healthy lifestyle is just too much work. I would encourage those people to sit down and have a conversation with someone managing a chronic health condition. How much time and effort goes into managing sickness?
So the cost of healthier living is not an expense, it is an investment. The moment you shift your thinking in this way is the moment that your frustration, anxiety, fear, and concerns about getting sick and long term health care turns to excitement, joy, calmness, and confidence about a future filled with vibrant health. You are shelling out money for organic foods, you are investing in your body. You are not spending all that money on wellness care, you are building your body and maximizing its ability to fight off the sickness and disease that would wipe out your bank account.
To those thinking that the money they are saving by avoiding the healthier, more expensive, choices now will lead to a bigger retirement fund, I would say to be prepared to be spending that money on managing the chronic illness that will inevitably show up later in life. That vision of you hiking in the mountains, traveling overseas, or sailing on that boat will be replaced by you going back and forth to the hospital, from doctor to doctor, and to and from the pharmacy. Your level of fitness and health will not be sufficient to live the retired life you dreamed of.
It has never been more apparent than right now how important it is to spend the money, take the time, and make the effort to stay well. You simply cannot afford to get sick. The unraveling of our healthcare system is forcing people to take a good, hard look at how they are going to handle their health and the health of their families. So stop thinking about your healthy lifestyle choices as expenses, and start thinking about them as what they really are… INVESTMENTS. You will pay now, or you will pay later.