Health is “real” Wealth

I’m recovering from a lengthy and painful throat infection this new year. So I thought it would be apt to start 2018 with this topic. All of 2017 I took pride in never taking a single pill except a painkiller for a dental issue. I finally took some Ayurvedic pills for this infection after realising that this infection might be serious.

YOU MISS HEALTH ONLY WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE IT:

I obsessively talk a lot about money but all the money in the world means nothing if you don’t have the health enjoy it. Like I mentioned in the Early Retirement article, my wife & I do Health SIP in some simple ways : yoga, nutritious food, morning walks, swims etc. I used to cycle & play badminton a few years back and I would love to get back to both activities.

DIABETES – A LIFESTYLE DISEASE:

Personally my need for Health SIP comes from the fact that both my parents are diabetics and I can see how their quality of daily life is reduced in old age, so I’m obsessed with avoiding diabetes as much as I can through healthy living.  My mother tells me they used to call diabetes “the silent killer” because people would know someone had diabetes only after they died. On the surface the person who died would look healthy but diabetes was corroding organs inside.

WORK & LIFE STRESS CAN MAKE YOU SICK…PERMANENTLY:

Diabetes is an epidemic in India even among poor people.  I was shocked to learn that apart from poor diet and zero exercise, a major contributing factor is “stress” especially for men.  In the case of women, stress is known to cause hormonal changes leading to weight gain among other ill-effects.

If you want to avoid major health expenses in your old age then you need to start paying attention to your:

  • DIET
  • EXERCISE
  • STRESS

The conventional approach to retirement is to earn the maximum  and save the maximum because you never know how much you need… coz you might get diabetes and diabetes treatment is expensive etc etc. But we forget that eating out every day because we are at work, skipping exercise because we work long hours and not dealing with work stress means that it will all catch up as you get closer to old age and will be very expensive to treat not to mention your quality of life will be so poor you can’t even climb stairs easily or travel to visit your children etc. So the solution is to lead a balanced life.

quote-man-sacrifices-his-health-in-order-to-make-money-then-he-sacrifices-money-to-recuperate-dalai-lama-80-98-11

 

We are trying a different approach inspired by moneymustache’s badass approach. We already see the oldies in our family and what kind of problems they face.

For example:

  • Elderly ladies always have knee problems from standing in the kitchen for long hours every day cooking for the family 3 meals a day
  • Elderly men have diabetes from having a “desk job” and not exercising enough
  • Liver problems from alcohol abuse
  • Antibiotic resistance : needing higher dosage of western medicine as a result of popping pills indiscriminately …Fever? take a Crocin, Headache? take Saridon etc . Would it have killed to let the fever go away on its own in 5 days? The body would have developed better immunity that way.

OUR HOLISTIC WELLNESS PLAN:

So our plan is to avoid atleast what we can see the oldies suffering from . And then prepare for some of the issues our generation is likely to get like

  • Poor eyesight from starting at phone & computer screens for too long
  • Diabetes from junk food, no exercise and work stress
  • Alcohol abuse as social drinking becomes more mainstream
  • Heart problems from working in stressful work environments or not dealing with personal life stress via meditation, exercise, better communication etc.

Here are some simple changes we’ve made to our diet, exercise and stress-management.

DIET:

  • Home-cooked food & eating out less but in high quality places.
  • Moderate Alcohol for social occasions.
    • Disclosure: we have a cook who comes home and makes us home-cooked food. The benefits far outweigh the costs.  

EXERCISE:

  • Swimming
  • Walks
  • Yoga

STRESS MANAGEMENT:

  • Meditation
  • Improving communication with spouse.
  • Not habitually checking on work after work-hours.

Starting now, I urge you to make small & simple changes to your diet, exercise and stress-levels. Trust me you’ll save a ton of money staying healthy.

Around me I see super-active and healthy 80-year olds and very-unhealthy and tired 60-year olds.  How old you “feel” is a matter of how healthy you are. Please start taking care of your health atleast now before it is too late.

Leave a Reply