The Best Investment You Can Make Is In Your Health.

After all, without that, any money you make/earn/put away/invest won’t mean diddly. This month’s Money Magazine had a great article on investing in your health and how it is the best investment you can possibly make. And let me tell you first hand that although you may think you are healthy, things sneak up on you, so it’s best to always be on the lookout for problems. So what did they have to offer as advice in the article?

1. Spot any problems early. Have regular tests and physicals done – body mass index, blood pressure, pap smears. Also, have a dermatologist check you for “bad” moles every 6 months (that’s my advice).

2. Take your medicine. – If you are on prescription medicine, make sure you never forget to take it – the consequences could be deadly. I have finally gotten off any and all medicine and only take vitamins, but when I was taking a prescription I put the bottle next to my cereal for the mornings.

3. Floss your teeth. I myself have to get better at this, but did you know that by avoiding flossing you increase your risk for heart disease? People with gum disease have been shown to have 21% higher healthcare costs – there must be something to it.

4. Get more sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity…and it leads to faster aging. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day – it will make you feel better.

5. Go for a walk. Every night after dinner my wife and I head out the door for at least a half hour walk, if not more. Helps us digest our dinner, gets our hearts racing (since I sit at the computer all day, this is very important), and helps keep weight gain down. Plus, it gives us time away from the TV and the phone to just “be”. I look forward to it every day.

What would you add to this list? Like I said earlier, if you don’t have your health, what use is making piles of money? It could be the most important thing you spend money on!

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Comments (6)

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  1. Kate says:

    I can personally attest to the value of #3. I neglected my dental hygiene in my 20’s. I wish I’d taken better care of my teeth back then. If I could advise my 22-year-old self on only a few things, taking up a regular routine of flossing would be one of them. Even if it weren’t for the increased risk of heart disease, taking care of your mouth and teeth just makes sense. Who wants an expensive and/or painful dental procedure? (Are there any painless dental procedures?) There’s no real argument for economizing on preventative dental care. Dental floss may cost a bit, but how much do you value your teeth, and your health?

    As for additions to the list, I would add: eat well by eating real food. Read Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, to understand what this means. Basically, ignore the pop-science surrounding nutrition, supplements, and the latest published diet du jour. Deep down, you know what real food is. It doesn’t come overpackaged, it wasn’t developed in a laboratory in response to a study or a focus group, it’s not highly processed, and there are rarely any health claims on the label. Eat the way your grandmother ate when she was a girl, and you’ll do just fine.

  2. david says:

    Good book choice, Kate – if people ate real food instead of packaged junk, half of our health care costs would go away. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. You’re absolutely right about the importance of taking care of yourself — both from the standpoint of your quality of life down the road as well as from the standpoint of the financial cost of poor health. The hard part is how “preventative healthcare” does not offer any sort of immediate gratification — its hard to tell if what you are doing is too much or if its working, and you won’t really be able to tell until later on. Definitely takes some self-discipline.

  4. I am all about oral health. flossing is a very important preventative health measure. As you said, it is not only good for your teeth, but has shown to prevent heart disease. And we all know how costly a trip to the dentist can be. Not to mention the pain of a tooth ache and the procedures to fix them.

  5. Doctor S says:

    I really think sleep is the most important because it just has some sort of natural healing powers. You can call me crazy but sleep fixes lots of problems. But I agree, you need to take the neccessary steps to take care of your own health and this is something that many people ignore in the early parts of their lives until something happens that makes them realize. Flossing is extremely underrated as well. Great blog you have going! I just got into this a month ago!

  6. david says:

    Thanks Doctor S!