Some complain that it costs to much to follow a healthy lifestyle. Paying more for healthy food, gym memberships, massages and counseling can run up quite a bill. But no one even thinks about how much it might cost them if they did not make those choices.
The Cost of an Unhealthy Lifestyle
Here is some interesting information regarding the amount of money you could save on life insurance premiums by making healthy lifestyle choices. The information came from a February 2008 Consumer Reports article. Based on a life insurance quote for a premium policy, the following can be saved:
- $4,600 for a 5’10" male who is 185 lbs instead of 205 lbs
- $4,600 to reduce borderline high blood pressure to less than 140/85
- $17,800 to cut cholesterol 80 points to less than 220; and total cholesterol to HDL ratio to less than 5.0
- $42,000 to quit smoking for three or more years
This is just savings over a 20 year period of life insurance premiums. Not mentioned are increased health care premiums, doctor visits, medication, and poorer quality of life associated with unhealthy behaviors.
The Cost of a Healthy Lifestyle
The other thing to realize is that it actually doesn’t have to be more expensive to eat healthy and exercise if you do some creative planning. Here are some ways to cut costs on healthy living:
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market
- Eat vegetable sources of protein rather than meat
- Walking or running are probably the cheapest forms of exercise
- Prepare more meals at home
- Bring your lunch
Healthy living not only saves you money in the short term, it makes for a more enjoyable life for the long term.
For those of you who live in North Carolina, and have Blue Cross Blue Shield, be sure to sign up for the ‘Member Health Partnership’ program to get six free visits with a dietitian this year. Now that’s cheap!