The cost of being healthy
BY WENDY HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Health is the first wealth.” Unfortunately, our health often goes unnoticed on a day-to-day basis. It is something we don’t think about until we don’t have it. We are becoming a sicker and fatter society. Lifestyle-related conditions and diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, IBS and heart disease are not only taking a toll on Americans’ quality of life, but costing billions of dollars.
What is even more unfortunate is that lifestyle-related conditions and diseases like these can be prevented. Most know that eating right and exercising regularly will improve your level of health. So why are we becoming sicker and fatter? These are some common excuses I hear as to why we don’t make healthier choices or exercise regularly.
• Too costly. It does cost more to eat healthy food, join a gym, hire a trainer, buy workout clothes, supplements, etc. But it is a small price to pay for prevention. Doctors’ visits and medications for preventable illnesses and diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, IBS, sleep apnea, heart disease, and others are far more costly.
• I don’t have time. The interesting thing about time is that we all have the same amount. It is what we choose to do with our 16-18 waking hours that is important. Meal planning and prep does take time, as does going to the gym, working out at home or going for a walk. On the flip side, having low energy and feeling sick robs you of the time you have.
Instead of playing with your children or grandchildren or doing the other things you love your time will be spent going to the doctor and divvying out your daily medications. You also will not get the most of the time you have if you don’t feel good or are sick. Remember the saying “an ounce of prevention leads to a pound of cure.”
• I have too many people to take care of. I hear so often that it is selfish to go for a workout or spend time making healthy meals instead of playing with my kids. I would argue that it is selfless, not selfish. Taking care of yourself to be fit and healthy creates the foundation for everything in your life. Taking care of yourself first enables you to take care of all the people you love and who depend on you. If you are sick and tired, how can you do all that you want and need to do.
The investment of time and money to be fit and healthy leads to a well-lived life. We only have so many days; we all are going to die at some point. I don’t know about you, but I want to feel good and be active until I take my last breath. I want to have the energy to play with my children and grandchildren and do all the things that add joy to my life. Do you? If you invest in your health now, the cost is a small price to pay for a healthy, happy life.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For more information, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.