Most of us are concerned only about the expenses that we can look and feel in the short term e.g. say price of petrol, vegetables, bus fare, rent etc., but are totally ignorant or do not want to deal with things that can impact our finances in big way if ignored. We are so obsessed about getting that flat that we totally ignore the belly in place of a flat stomach.
One very important aspect of our life that we totally ignore is our health. Most of us do not realize that ignoring our health can hit us in a big way not just physically and emotionally but also financially.
Consider the case of a young man in his 30s who is totally ignorant about the financial implications of ignoring his health. Given below is the life style of our soon to be financially ruined friend:
1. Regularly smokes 2 packs of cigarettes.
2. Regular drinking binges on weekends and office parties.
3. Regular consumption of junk food.
4. No physical exercise ( unless you count chewing of food as muscular movement)
Now our friend is not only spending money on things that are unhealthy like cigarettes and junk food he is actually not prepared financially to take care of the long term side effects of some of these things in the long run. We all know in the long run cigarettes cause cancer and heart disease, same way all the junk food and empty calories that are transferred from the bottle of beer to your belly lead to weight gain which further lead to multiple complications. Some of the common issues related to weight gain are:
1. Heart disease
4. Kidney problems ( poor twins can not cope up with the additional work they have to do for which they were not designed for)
Let us consider only the case of say heart disease. Most of us have a strong believe that heart disease is something that happens to somebody else. It can happen to you any body but us. Unfortunately it does not work that way. Unless you are derived from the stock of Mediterranean people and are maintaining there life style chances are pretty high that if you abuse your body by smoking, drinking, eating junk food and not exercise your heart will give way. Let us remember our bodies evolved at a time when food was scarce and our forefathers were hunter gatherers collecting the fruits of nature in the grasslands or Africa. They had to constantly run from danger like lions, wolves and wild elephants. This constant travel on foot and living on scarce food helped in evolving of lean and muscular bodies. Societies that are still in the hunter gatherer mode in Africa (e.g. Masai) or say aboriginals in Australia are still maintaining their lean frames with not an inch of fat on their bodies. But where ever people have started stuffing their bodies with empty calories they have become obese and suffer from heart disease. Unfortunately we in India have a body structure that is much more prone to heart disease and heart attack. More and more young men ( as young as 32) today are dying of heart attacks in India than in any other country.
Let us look at the financial impact of a heart attack. If you do not survive the heart attack and you do not have adequate insurance cover then your family will not be financially very sound after you leave. Ever thought who will full fill your dreams once you are gone? If you do survive the heart attack you will be set back by a few lakh rupees in hospital bills. Even if you are covered by insurance still it will end up making you financially very week as the cost of medicine etc is going to be very high.
One of the best investments you can do in your life is in your health. Please do get a complete health check up every year if you are above 35. It costs only a few thousand rupees but can save you lakhs in medical care. I don’t see a reason to fall sick even if you can afford the hospital payment. You may be rich enough to have a backup car, a backup house even a backup girlfriend/boyfriend but my friend no matter how rich you are you are never going to have a backup body. Even with all the advances in medical science we still have only one body. Doctors today are smart enough to replace even your heart and kidneys but do you really want to go through the ordeal ? Still we do not have a whole backup or replacement body, actually to the best of my knowledge we have not even started research in this area if it is possible to have the whole body replaced? Just the idea gives me shivers in my spine.
So come on friends let us take the pledge to save our hearts and save our money at the same time. Simple things can do a lot of good.
The best thing about taking care of your heart is while cure is expensive prevention is not. All you need to do is a few simple things. For sake of simplicity I have divided them in 2 groups.
A) What you put in your body
B) What you do with your body.
What you put in your body: We are talking about food here. The more a food item is closer to its natural form the better it is for your body. So fruit is good, juice is ok and canned juice is not so ok. Any food item that is processed and goes through multiple stages of transformation is never going to be good for your body besides it will be more expensive to buy. So while eating potato as a vegetable is ok eating it as French fries is not ok. Avoid as much as possible that is deep fried or highly processed you will not only save some rupees you will also save a trip to hospital and save more rupees by saving the trip to hospital.
Let us look it another way. Consider your body as your bank account and your food as your money that you put in your bank account. Now this is where the similarity ends. While in our bank account we hope that money only keeps on accumulating and makes is big and fat with our bodies we want it to do just the opposite. We need to burn all the extra calories that we are putting in our body. Look at it this way the calories that you put in your body is the money that you put in your bank account but if you do not pay your taxes to the taxman you will be in trouble. So consider exercise as the tax that you have to pay for taking in all those extra calories. If you do not pay the tax of exercise for consuming all those additional calories then you will have to pay with all kind of diseases especially the heart disease. So my friend it is very important to do the exercise. Which brings us to what you do to your body.
What you do with your body: Worst thing you can do to your body is not doing anything with your body. So sitting on couch and munching chips is not good. Getting up and taking a brisk walk is good. Standing in the lift is not ok taking stairs is ok.
So let us take a pledge and not only save our heart but also our finances. Let us pledge while we will be working for that flat we will not forget to keep our stomach flat.