Even if you’ve been hiding under a rock, it should come as no surprise that health care is a big topic these days. It’s all over the news, the internet, and circulating in conversations between our friends, family, and coworkers. Unfortunately, if you do your research, America spends more per capita on health care than any other country; yet this doesn’t translate to America having better outcomes. Though there are many opinions on correcting the growing health care crisis, the intent of this article is to offer insight on the importance of embracing a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce the need of medical care in the first place. Science has proven that proper diet and exercise helps lower your risk of disease. By reducing health related risks, you also reduce the chance of having to allocate your resources to health problems. The good news is that you can start making better choices at any age under any circumstance.
Take a look at some statistics recorded on a study done by Merrill Lynch on more than 4,800 pre-retired and retired individuals aged from 25 to over 70. The study looked into “life priorities” for retirement, which include the following: Family, finances, giving, health, home, leisure, and work.
- Health stood out — but not in a good way. Merrill Lynch explains: “Health is the biggest wildcard in retirement, sending ripple effects across the other Life Priorities. Two of the most important investments Americans can make in retirement are to maintain good health and cover its uncertain costs.”
So what should you do? The Merrill Lynch study participants cited two “course corrections” above all that they’d be willing to undertake:
- Make healthier choices now to save money later: 91 percent%
Everyone’s hand has been dealt differently. Some of us have pre-existing conditions that limit us. However, remember balance of mind, body and spirit. Take time to engage your mind through calling a friend, playing cards, or tending social activities. Exercise, go for walks, and remain active for physical wellbeing. Spiritual services, self-reflection, and spending time watching the birds or flowers can really calm the soul.
- Second correction is to use more generic medications / health supplies: 91%
Ask your doctor about generic brands of medications. Often times generic brands offer the same potency and effectiveness as name brands but with much less out of pocket expense.
On the bright side, the study notes these changes can make a difference in improving your quality of life and reducing your health risks.