Healthy Finance and Healthy Lifestyle [column]

HEALTHY finance and healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. If your bank account and budget are in good shape, chances are that your health is in pretty good shape too.

When health is absent, your wealth is useless. The greatest wealth is our health. It is health that is real wealth and not necessarily the accumulation of dollars and material possessions. Wealth is beneficial when used to make healthy choices.

Financial problems cause you to make unhealthy lifestyle choices such as:

Spending your hard-earned money on things that destroy our health, such as alcohol, cigarettes food that damage our bodies, etc. Unhealthy choices are expensive. If you are overweight, chances are that you are spending more money on food to satisfy your belly.

Financial problems put us in even more financial debt, and that can lead to health problems and vice versa. Financial stress can cause anxiety, migraine, and insomnia (sleeplessness). A study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2012, states that more than 62% of US bankruptcies in 2007 were attributed to medical problems.

Being financially healthy requires us to be self-disciplined on how to spend our money, how to put away our money and how to pay off our debts to avoid financial trouble.

Just like you need to be disciplined with your finances, by managing your debts and paying your bills, you also need to be disciplined about your diet and fitness. No one can force you to eat right and to exercise, so you must use self-discipline to get off that couch that you love so much and throw away all the junk food. Why do some people seem to succeed, even against seemingly impossible odds? And why do some fail miserably under circumstances that you would consider ideal for success? What is the magic here? Is it luck? Or is it witchcraft (we live in Africa, after all!)?

The critical ingredient for success is our mental attitude, our consciousness, our thinking process, our belief, coupled with discipline to follow through!

It is not always easy, but you can improve your self-discipline with practice and exercising your willpower muscles. Willpower is learned behaviour. If temptations sometimes seem too powerful to ignore, just keep on trying by making small changes at a time. The more often you resist temptation, (whether it is the urge to eat unhealthy food or the urge to skip an exercise programme), the ger your willpower can become. Forming a new habit needs repetition and focus.

Just like bad financial habits can get you into financial trouble, good habits can help keep you out of it and help you spend wisely, save well and most importantly, to reach your biggest financial goal faster. You also need to create healthy habits by gathering some basic facts that realistically inform you about your body. These include: your weight for height, blood pressure level, cholesterol levels, family history, exercise habit, general diet habit, glucose levels and self-assessment of your stress levels at work and in your home life.

Change negative habits such as smoking and excessive drinking. Sitting all day is damaging to your health. Cutting unhealthy habits can be cost effective. Even from a purely economic sense only, eliminating alcohol intake and the use of tobacco can save you a lot of money. Imagine what you could do with all the money you used to spend on alcohol and cigarettes?

What does this information really mean?

It means that health and wealth are gly related and changes in one area of life can have a positive effect upon the other.

We should all be living healthy lifestyles for many reasons other than financial. But if you need a little boost in your motivation to get started living a healthy life, then why not take into account the financial aantages of doing so?

We wish you good health, abundant wealth and blissful happiness!

Source : The Namibian