Staying in shape is not just about looking good. Staying in shape is about lifestyle and freedom. Freedom to wear what you want, freedom to do what you want, freedom to take care of yourself, freedom to play with children or even grandchildren, just to name a few. However, you also need money to enjoy your freedom. And there will be not much money left over if you spend it on health care.
The biggest risks to health these days are cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes (type 2) and osteoporosis. These diseases do not appear suddenly and they do not kill suddenly. They are brought on by lifestyle and take years to develop. They also take a lot of money to treat as there is no known cure – only maintenance. In 2007 it was estimated that the total cost of type 2 diabetes in Australia alone was $10.3 billion. Now, if you add the costs of heart disease, obesity and its complications, and osteoporosis than the figures would be mind boggling.
These diseases are preventable. Staying fit and in shape reduces the risks of any of them. For instance, waist measure is a good predictor of diabetes. It also goes without saying that fitness level is inversely proportional to cardiovascular problems and obesity. Furthermore, there is a good statistical correlation with resistance training and prevention of osteoporosis.
The money spent on treatment of any of the above is money that you will never see again. What’s worse, is that people are very often afflicted by more than one as these diseases are usually connected. Wouldn’t you rather go on a trip than spend money for hospital treatment?
There are also financial implications for families involved and societies overall. This unnecessary burden puts a strain on the whole health system including, but not limited to, hospitals, GPs, ambulance service, Medicare and private health insurance.
As you can see, you can save yourself a bundle and enjoy life more, but you have to start now. Prevention is always better than cure. Start an exercise routine. Make some goals and stick to them. They do not need to be ambitious and you do not need to spend hours in the gym (as I have mentioned earlier). You will be glad in the years to come.