Don’t overlook the opportunity to live healthy, happy and save a ton of money with these healthy living tips.
Nearly all of my articles will save you money. Hey, I’m the Frugal Grandma – that’s what I do. But I’m especially excited about this one because it may just save your life also.
A study commissioned by Esquire magazine found that nearly half of U.S. men between the age of 18 and 50 don’t have a regular doctor, and a third haven’t had a physical in years. I couldn’t find a study for women but I would bet the results wouldn’t be much better.
Just as taking your car in for its regular maintenance and tune-up will save you money on bigger problems, taking your body into the doctor regularly can save you money on medical costs. More than that, it can save your life…and how much is that worth?
Just a 30-minute walk each day can significantly lower your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Suffering from just one of these could cost you up to $1,865 a year according to a survey of medical costs. Even that expensive pair of sneakers doesn’t cost that much.
In a long-running study by Nurse’s Health, researchers found that switching to a diet proven to lower the risk of chronic diseases like fruits, vegetables and beans saved lives and wallets. Not only did people see a 25% reduced risk in cardiovascular disease but saved the associated $830 a year in medical costs and medicines.
Make an investment in your health, when to see your doctor
Ok, we all know that we should see a doctor regularly. How long has it been since you’ve had a check-up?
I’ve had people tell me they don’t go to the doctor because he might find something. That’s exactly why you should go see the doctor!
Had I not gone for my annual check-up years ago, I would not have known I had cancer. By catching the cancer in time, I had surgery and have regular check-ups to see how the cancer is progressing. Had I not gone to the doctor, the disease would have spread throughout my entire body.
A major illness isn’t going to go away. This is one subject where ignorance is definitely not bliss.
If you haven’t been to the doctor in a while, it’s really nothing to worry about. Sure, she’s going to poke and prod. She’s going to want blood samples and might hit your knee with that annoying little hammer, but is it really that bad?
Your doctor will take a variety of tests that include blood samples, vitals, urinalysis and listening to your internal organs through a stethoscope. Answer any questions honestly and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have. You might even ask to take notes.
When should you see the doctor?
- Once a year for a check-up if you don’t suffer from any chronic illnesses
- Women should visit a gynecologist at least every three years. In many cases, a general practitioner will be sufficient for annual check-ups
- Colorectal cancer screening should begin no later than age 50 and should be done every five years
- Men should start getting checked for prostate cancer at age 40 and should be checked each year
Losing those extra pounds could save you a few pounds…or dollars
That spare tire around your waist isn’t going to save you from getting a flat but it probably won’t kill you either. Let your weight go further though and it could cost you big money.
A new study found that obesity costs the average American more than $92,000 over their lifetime. Obesity is a huge factor in chronic illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and hypertension and all of these carry steep price tags for medical bills.
Your doctor is probably going to recommend you lose some weight and may offer some advice. Don’t think you need to drop all the weight in a week or even a month. Crash dieting isn’t healthy for your body and you’re not going to keep the weight off over the long-run.
I like the weight loss program on the Center for Disease Control website. It’s helped me shed a few pounds and it offers some reasonable pointers. Don’t use a weight scale to monitor your progress, go by the way you begin to feel. You’ll have more energy and going for a short stroll won´t leave you gasping for breath.
Get more than a nickel for good dental care
Keeping your mouth healthy is an essential part of your overall health. Checking your teeth can actually reveal seemingly unrelated issues like diabetes, vitamin deficiencies or oral cancer. Don´t be surprised if your dentist checks your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joint.
Tell the dentist if…
- You have persistent bad breath or wake up with a bad taste in your mouth
- You have pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck
- You have difficulty chewing or swallowing
- You have a family history of gum disease or tooth decay
- You have a spot or sore that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth and it isn’t going away
Please don’t blow off your regular doctor visits. You can save money on your frugal lifestyle for decades, finally meeting your financial goals and ready to enjoy life but what good does it do if you miss diagnosing a major illness and end up losing everything to medical bills? It takes very little time to complement your frugal lifestyle with a healthy one. Frugal Grandma
About the Author
Joseph Hogue is a financial expert and investment analyst. After serving in the Marine Corps, he started his career investing in real estate before becoming an investment analyst for some of the largest private investors. He's appeared on Bloomberg and on CNBC as an investment expert and has published ten books in personal finance. Now he helps investors reach their financial goals and invest in the stock market with some of the same advice he used when working for the rich.