As the uncertainty of the economic crisis continues, many of us are being forced to cut our expenditures and look for places to save money. For many people one of the first things to go are healthy lifestyle options such as gym memberships, trainers, fresh (organic) fruits and vegetables, well checks at the doctor, etc. A recent article by Forbes outlines exactly why this is the wrong way to approach saving money. It details the 10 most expensive health conditions is the US. They are as follows:
- Heart Disease – Estimated Spending $76 Billion
- Trauma Conditions – $72 Billion
- Cancer – $69 Billion
- Mental Disorders – $55 Billion
- Asthma and COPD – $53 Billion
- Hypertension – $42 Billion
- Diabetes – $34 Billion
- Osteoarthritis – $34 Billion
- Back Pain – $32 Billion
- Childbirth – $32 Billion
What do 8 out of these 10 conditions have in common? They are all determined in a large part by your lifestyle! Outside of Trauma and Childbirth (I suppose you could include Childbirth as a lifestyle condition, but I’d say it’s a good one) you have control over your chances of suffering from one or more of these conditions.
What does this have to do with saving money? Over 50% of all bankruptcies in this country are due to medical expenses (and the majority of those are by people who have health insurance). By choosing to eliminate health promoting activities from your life in an effort to save money, you are actually costing yourself money in the long run by increasing the chance you will have one of these super expensive conditions. You can look at it like a retirement account, a little bit of investing in yourself now will pay big dividends in the future.
Over the next few weeks we’ll look at each of these conditions and talk about ways you can approach your lifestyle to prevent them.