By Jeffrey Tan
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
According to Time magazine, two of the most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions are one, get out of debt and save money and two, lose weight and get fit. That being said, we are all aware of how challenging both endeavors are. We have encountered numerous tips, advice, and principles on how to save money in this magazine. But it seems that those wise words are also applicable to living a healthy lifestyle.
You can actually apply sound financial principles to a better healthy living. Imagine your health is like your savings or investment account. You can withdraw or deposit money. If you invest regularly, your money earns interest and compounds over time. If you withdraw money regularly, your money loses value over time.
This is very similar to our health. There is a compounding effect on whatever you put into your body. When you feed your body with nutritious food and when you exercise regularly, you are investing in your body. When you invest in your body, you are preserving your body for the future. However, when you regularly feed your body with bad food and engage in unhealthy habits such as smoking, your body deteriorates over time.
Here are my top eight personal tips that you can follow.
Self-discipline involves rational behavior. It is doing what you think is right rather than what feels good at the moment. This very well applies to investing, where you practice delayed gratification and sacrifice for something that matters more in life. Living a healthy lifestyle should also be a conscious and deliberate effort. As the saying goes, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. You need to develop the habit of living healthy. You can start by doing a self-evaluation of your current lifestyle or you can ask an expert to assess your current lifestyle. Create an action plan on how you can stop or minimize your unhealthy habits.
Everything in moderation.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not necessary all hard work. Consistency is more important than intensity. For example, three times a week of short jogging is better than doing a once a week of heavy workout. You have to actually enjoy what you are doing rather than dreading it. In the same way, it is better to save and invest a little regularly rather than breaking the bank in one painful go.
In investing, diversification is a good technique to minimize financial risks. In healthy living, changing it up will keep things interesting. Eat different kinds of healthy food, change up your menu every so often and reward yourself conscientiously. Also, doing various physical activities like swimming, biking and running is a great approach to add variety into your exercise program and to avoid injury by working out different muscle groups.
There is a misconception that eating healthy is a luxury. While it is true that organic foods and gym memberships may hurt your pocket, there are ways you can actually eat healthy and save money at the same time. The best way to do this is to prepare your meals rather than buying them outside or eating out. This way, you decide what goes into your food, control the portions, and do away with steep restaurant food prices. For physical activities, you can always do the most basic and inexpensive exercise, which is running. Try running in UP Diliman campus or around your village. Also, you might want to try bike commute to nearby places. Not only you save on gasoline but you get calories burned.
Keep a record.
Similar to doing a regular financial review, keeping a food diet log or fitness record can keep you motivated to continue on a food diet or exercise program. Nowadays, technology has made tracking your progress easier. You can download apps in your laptop or mobile phone to monitor your health goals.
Join a team or find support groups.
There is no better way to get tons of information and the support you need in your quest to a better healthy living than joining a team may it be sports clinics, running clubs, or fitness clubs in your office. Some teams have company sponsors, which can give significant discounts on sports merchandise.
Never too early.
Even if you are young, you cannot abuse your body by eating unhealthy foods or gorging on buffets. Practicing healthy habits should start at an early age. Likewise, saving and investing at an early age is a must. If you want to be successful in your finances, then it is imperative that you don’t allow procrastination to inhabit your life.
Never too late.
Some people resign to their belief that they can no longer do something about their health. You might have been smoking for 10 years or you are excessively overweight. However, it is never too late to change. Take little steps and always have a goal in mind.
Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle
Live longer and quality life.
No one wants to spend a big portion of their life not being able to move around or play with their grandchildren. A healthy person will not just live longer but can actually enjoy life even during his retirement years.
Work more and better.
A healthy person is less likely to incur absences from work. He or she is most likely to have more energy and better productivity from work. Thus, a promotion or higher pay is more likely.
Along with being strong on the inside, eating healthy and getting fit will make you beautiful on the outside as well. With your glowing skin and sexier body, you will get noticed for the right reason and you will have more confidence to take on anything.
Save on health care and insurance costs.
A healthy person spends less on medicines and trips to the doctor. Moreover, insurance premiums are usually based on health related factors. The unhealthier you are, the higher premiums you will be required to pay.
Jeffrey Tan is currently in the batch 27 of the RFP program. He is an engineering graduate from UP and an MBA graduate from AIM. He is currently manager of a manufacturing company, a triathlete, a husband and an advocate of healthy living. His number one supporter is his wife who also happens to be his most challenging student yet.