During the Christmas season of 2022, there were instances when my blood pressure spiked, and I felt dizzy after eating a lot of fatty food. I’m not yet old. I’m still in my early 30s and have a relatively active lifestyle.
When I told my father that I think I have “high blood,” he told me I was too young to have that, followed by one of the best illustrations about our health.
He said, “Ang katawan mo, para ka lang nagi-ipon,” roughly translated to “our health is like saving in a piggy bank.”
True enough, I realized that our health is really like saving in a piggy bank. We can’t expect a great payout if we are only inserting cents.
As a personal finance advocate, I easily relate the two ideas about health and saving. It made sense, given that my father is already 65 and still literally stronger than me in some aspects and always passes his monthly check-ups with flying colors.
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Personal Finance and Personal Health
It’s great that many people in the younger generation are concerned about building their wealth slowly and steadily. I also realized that about our health.
Similar to how we are slowly building our wealth slowly but surely and letting compound interest do its thing to increase our finances exponentially, it can also be true with our health.
Think of it this way. If we are eating healthier, exercising regularly, and avoiding bad habits like drinking or smoking, then it will be easier to imagine a more active old life.
On the other hand, if we eat everything we want without any restrictions, live a sedentary lifestyle, and have bad habits, then only a painful old age awaits our future.
Remember that money won’t mean a thing if we’re unhealthy, paralyzed, or worse, dead due to avoidable lifestyle diseases. We must take better care of our body because it is our most crucial asset, much more important than time.
How’s your health?
We should always ask ourselves about our health because we are the only ones who can feel our bodies. We know which parts are hurting, uncomfortable, or areas of concern.
As we age, we need to be more conscious of the food that we eat and the fluids that we drink. We also need to be more mindful of our physical health.
Remember that there are two main parts to the equation when building a healthier body – diet and exercise.
I wrote this post as a personal challenge to be more mindful of what is coming into my body and how to maintain a better fitness level comparable to my runner’s body almost five years ago.
Are we incrementally “saving” for better health or not?
If we frame the idea of our health as similar to saving money, it will be easier to visualize.
We can compare our bodies to a piggy bank (not that we’re fat, it’s just a representation!).
Every time we eat unhealthy foods, avoid physical activities and have unhealthy habits, we insert cents and small coins into our piggy bank ‘body.’ Sure, it is still getting something, but we are only getting heavier with little value. We may even be putting in things that will make our bodies suffer.
On the other hand, when we are eating healthy food, regularly exercising, and being mindful of our health habits, we are like putting in paper bills because we are not gaining too much weight but increasing our value.
Remember that our body is a great investment, we only have one body, and we can’t buy a new one if it breaks.
What habits do we need to make?
There are many adjustments we need to make if we want to live a healthier life. Here are some of the most basic changes.
1. Eat healthy.
Eating healthy is the most important part of the equation when working towards a better body. It is crucial to understand that our body needs proper nutrition if we want to be fit and stay fit.
We can still eat occasional junk foods, but it should never be our main diet. Also, as we grow older, we must be more careful about what comes into our bodies and always eat in moderation to avoid gaining too much weight, which often relates to various lifestyle diseases.
2. Exercise regularly.
Another important ingredient for a healthy mind and body is exercise. We need to exercise to help manage our weight and reduce various disease risks.
Exercise also strengthens our bones and muscles, which we need to maintain to ensure that we can remain active as we grow older.
We all know that most of our jobs nowadays require a lot of hours of sitting, but we must make time to move and remain active.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym, then walking is a great alternative. You can also try the two-kilometer rule.
3. Sleep for 7-8 hours every night.
Sleeping early is one thing I am guilty of not following strictly. Still, I am working my way to ensure better sleep quality every night.
Research found that we need up to four days to make up for an hour of lost sleep. Many of us think we can oversleep and recover on the weekends, but unfortunately, it won’t work.
Another thing about sleep is it should be done during the night because it has an adverse effect on our health. There are even researches that found that women who work on the night shift have an increased risk of cancer.
4. Avoid unhealthy habits.
Habits, especially unhealthy ones, are hard to break, but it is crucial if we want to live a long life because smoking and alcohol have been linked to a lot of preventable lifestyle diseases.
Also, by avoiding unhealthy habits, you can reallocate the money you will spend on other things. You may even save or invest it.
5. Regularly set for a physical check-up.
Finally, we need to know what is going on with our health, so we need to get a doctor’s appointment at least once a year to see how our bodies are doing.
As we grow older, our bodies change. Risk factors also increase our likelihood of acquiring diseases, so by regularly scheduling a physical check-up, we can be at ease with what is happening with our bodies.
Our body is the only body we will get, so we need to take care of it. We don’t want to keep adding small actions that only deteriorate our overall health.
We need to treat our bodies as an investment and continue to do actions that will earn positive returns.
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