Healthy Habits Can Save You Money
We know that not smoking, being active and making healthy food choices are good for our bodies. But what about our wallets? Research shows that healthy habits can save us money.
Here are some tips for increasing your health and wealth in 2013.
- Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes (or more) each day. “Research shows that people who get regular physical activity are less likely to have heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
- Plan and prepare low-cost meals. A few hours a week spent planning your shopping and preparing meals can save your family hundreds of dollars a year. Include foods that are a good buy--produce that is in season or lean meat that is on sale. Planning a weekly menu also increases the chances that food you purchase will be used before it spoils. For example, you might save $5 per week by bringing two lunches from home rather than eating out, which adds up to $20 per month or $240 per year. And don’t forget to use foods that you might get from programs like WIC or gardens
- Read labels and follow directions. For example, if you or a family member have a nut allergy and are not able to read food labels, the consequences can be significant. Research indicates that the cost of low health literacy to the Wisconsin economy is in the range of $3.4 billion to $7.6 billion annually.
- Prevent illness. You’ve probably heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same thing applies to healthcare costs. Getting a flu vaccine at the local drugstore might cost $30 a year. But you save on the costs of medications, lost work, doctors’ visits and even hospitalization to treat the flu if you get sick. Similarly, early detection and treatment of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer through low-cost screenings, could save you the costs of more extensive treatment down the road.
Source: Gayle Coleman, UW-Extension Specialist