Health and Wellness – A smart investment

Did you see the cover article for the June issue of Smart Money magazine? Live Longer… and Healthier: Yes! $100,000 Can Add 10 Years To Your Life. It certainly caught my eye. First, as a health writer and wellness coach, I was thrilled to see that people are investing in their health. I guess it’s a “pay now or pay later” approach. But, I must say, $100,000 is a lot of money. Is that a smart investment?  I’m certain that people can improve their health and wellness and maybe even prolong their lives with a much smaller financial investment.

 

The article begins by profiling a 55-year-old man who lives his life like it it’s an Iron Man event: biking, swimming and working out in his home gym. He watches his cholesterol carefully, making dietary changes to keep it under control. These are great lifestyle changes (on the zealous end of the spectrum, I admit), but he also has a $3000 executive physical once a year at the Cooper Clinic. 

 

Others profiled in this article exchange thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars for genetic tests that might reveal their risk of not-entirely preventable diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, memberships at high-end health resorts, truly personal trainers and chefs, and treatments such as Vitamin C infusions.

 

I think the majority of us want to live longer, especially if we can stay physically and mentally fit. Who wouldn’t want the added time to fit in what we don’t have time in our busy lives to do now? Vacations, travel, finally pursuing interests set aside, spending time with friends and family. But do we need to spend our life’s earning to do so?  I was cheered to see that one woman profiles, a farm wife, is making some easy, basic, inexpensive lifestyle changes that could add years to her life, following the advice of Drs Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, in their book, You: Staying Young, The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty. ($26.00)  By making simple changes like eating less, adding flax seeds to her diet and taking omega-3 capsules, exercising with handheld weights, and using her treadmill, this former champion oreo-eater has lost 120 pounds and now has great optimism that she will live well past 100 years.

 

Recent scientific articles tout the growing evidence for the value of lifestyle changes for preventing or delaying disease and increasing longevity. These changes can be made by through a variety of investments, including, time, energy, emotional commitment, strategic planning to actually make the healthy changes you set out to make actually happen, and yes, some reasonable financial investments for the rest of us who can’t afford the $100,000 Smart Money says it might take to add another ten years to our lives. Put on your $100 walking shoes and start walking to your 100th birthday party. Pick out some beautiful produce at the farmer’s market; create your own home gym on a budget.

 

What are you willing and eager to spend on improving your health and wellness? There’s an investment plan for every budget. You just have to make the decision on how much you want to budget for your health.

 

If you want to read the full Smart Money article, here is the link: http://www.smartmoney.com/cover/index.cfm?story=june2008-healthy-living

 

I wish you well with your investments.

 

Beth Tansey Peller, RN, BS is a health writer and wellness coach certified by Wellcoaches Corporation. Beth focuses on helping women dealing with the multiple responsibilities of midlife amid the hormonal shifts of perimenopause to achieve long-desired positive changes in fitness, nutrition, stress management and overall wellness.

 

Beth offers affordable e-booklets in her series, Make It Happen in Midlife!, as well as a range of individual and group coaching services. You can find out more about Beth by visiting www.bewellwithbeth.com. Register to receive your free e-booklet, This Change Will Do You Good.

 

 

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