I recently came across a study suggesting that for the first time in modern history, average life expectancy in the U.S. is expected to fall in the coming years unless preventive measures are taken up aggressively. When my friend Maddy recently described her lifestyle to me, I made the comparison for her between a healthy lifestyle and a sound financial plan.
Health, I told her, is like a bank account. If you continue to make withdrawals through unhealthy eating and lifestyle choices, you are hemorrhaging “whealth.” On the other hand, preventative measures are like deposits.
So I was able to come up with a plan for Maddy’s health solvency, understanding that she, like most of us, can’t stop all the spending.
Maddy’s Daily Savings Plan:
Nourish: Be conscious that “diet” literally means “habitual nourishment” and choose whole, colorful foods over refined foods, limiting sugar and decreasing portions — all daily, doable deposits that will add up over time.
Exercise: Getting in exercise doesn’t mean having to get into the gym. Start taking the stairs at the office, airports, and hotels; pack a resistance band for strength training in your hotel room; and walk a minimum of 30 minutes each day while traveling.
Supplement: Our modern-day living leaves us with increased nutritional needs and decreased nutritional intake. As a daily deposit, a prevention, or a way to pay off a debt already accumulated like Maddy’s high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and prediabetes, there are nutrients and time-tested, natural plants that can create that wonderful “cha-ching” sound as a daily deposit. A multivitamin and mineral as well as condition-specific products are necessary daily deposit, especially if you are in debt.
Maddy knew I was serious with my curt response, and that if she didn’t do anything different her health would hemorrhage past the point of healing. She vowed to take my 1-2-3 step approach to “whealthy” living and committed to writing me a weekly progress note. For further incentive, I reminded her about how much fun it is and how good it feels to have a savings account.
Applying that to health means she can make withdrawals at times, the occasional night out, being wined and dined, the summer vacation where she eats more than usual but those withdrawals would be occasional and budgeted and not plummet her into the red.
I hope Maddy’s plan helps you stop hemorrhaging health and start making daily deposits so you can maintain a hefty health savings account and truly live “whealthy.”
Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN, is a nationally recognized Naturopathic physician, author, educator, consumer advocate and natural products consultant. She is on the Worldwide Scientific Advisory Board of VivaPrime, A lifestyle company offering Holistic Nutritional Solutions for specific conditions.
Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN, is a nationally recognized naturopathic physician, author, educator, consumer advocate and natural-products consultant. She is on the Worldwide Scientific Advisory Board of VivaPrime, a lifestyle company offering holistic nutritional solutions for specific conditions. You can read her full biography here.