When it comes to saving money on healthcare, prevention is truly the best method. The cost of managing a preventable disease such as obesity or type 2 diabetes can cost an individual tens of thousands of dollars in only a few short years. Even worse, is that these costs often don’t fade away, they only increase with time.
If you would like to save yourself money that could have a better use elsewhere, say a mortgage or college fund, consider trying out a few of these low cost, money saving health tips:
One of the first steps in maintaining a healthier lifestyle, and therefore a healthier budget, is eating a balanced diet. Eating a heavily processed diet high in fats and sugar can lead to a variety of health conditions. Diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease are all highly correlated to overeating and poor diets, and all can result in high medical bills down the road.
To keep obesity, diabetes, and other diet related diseases away that often come with high health costs, you should eat a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, and lean meats. These items may costs more in the supermarket than the TV dinners you are used to grabbing, but they will dramatically reduce your health expenses over the long run. Also by shopping for fresh produce at your local farmer’s market or by joining a local co-op, you can save big on your grocery bill while getting quality, clean food and supporting your local economy.
Keeping yourself fit is a highly proactive way to keep money in your pocket. A gym membership may seem like a high up front cost, but when you compare a $300 per year membership and a $38,000 heart attack working out is definitely the cheaper option. Working out for 30 minutes a day can reduce stress, reduce or maintain your waistline, strengthens your heart, and gives you more energy. Regular exercise also seems to curb individuals’ desires to binge eat on unhealthy items such as highly sugary foods or drink beverages loaded with caffeine, which avoiding both can help maintain a healthy weight.
While certain diseases can be prevented with a healthy diet or regular exercise, others can’t due to genetics, work environments, and a plethora of other factors. Finding out that you have a disease in a later stage can greatly increase the cost of treatment, not to mention increase the likelihood of fatality. To better protect yourself and your bank account, you should consider having specific tests and screenings completed regular.
For women, a regular women’s wellness exam is a must. Regular PAP tests and breast exams can be lifesaving. Having an additional urine test completed by a company like Trovagene, which is capable of precision monitoring, can determine in advance whether or not women are at risk for HPV by determining how many of the at-risk genotypes an individual may have. Catching abnormalities in advance can greatly reduce the cost of treatment later down the road, and will help keep you healthier.
See Your Doctor Regularly
Annual check-ups are a must for high risk individuals, but should also be regularly scheduled for low risk individuals too. By attending your annual check-up, your doctor will be able to notice any differences in your health, and help you seek out a specialist should any abnormalities arise. Most annual check-ups are covered by health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance, and find the cost of a doctor prohibitive, local health clinics can also provide you with a regular check-up free or at very low cost.
Give Up Bad Habits
Do you smoke? Do you have just one more drink over the recommended each night? Do you swing through a drive thru on a regular basis? Bad habits are often the culprit to the development of costly disease. Both smoking and excessive drinking are linked to obesity. Smoking has also been associated with numerous types of cancer. Regular drive thru visits are also more likely to increase the waistline and load the diet with high amounts of preservatives and saturated fat which aren’t healthy. By giving up bad habits now, you could save yourself thousands down the road.
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