By Rory Singer Co-owner of SBG Athens
Healthcare costs are skyrocketing at a time when many find themselves without insurance coverage, or with plans that leave much to be desired. After taking a look around, it is likely you will see a multitude of unhealthy and obese people. Factor in all those people that may physically look relatively healthy but are secretly suffering from the likes of diabetes, high blood pressure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), etc., and you start to paint a solemn picture.
Not only does it appear as though people don’t care about their health, but it becomes apparent they don’t care about their finances either. Here are a few statistics to wrap your head around:
- Obese adults spend 42 percent more on direct healthcare costs than adults who are a healthy weight.
- Per capita healthcare costs for severely or morbidly obese adults (BMI >40) are 81 percent higher than for healthy weight adults. In 2000, around $11 billion was spent on medical expenditures for morbidly obese U.S. adults.
- Moderately obese (BMI between 30 and 35) individuals are more than twice as likely as healthy weight individuals to be prescribed prescription pharmaceuticals to manage medical conditions.
- One-quarter of respondents to the 2005 Health Confidence Survey, sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, reported that they decreased their contributions to a retirement savings plan as a result of the increased cost of health care and 45 percent reported decreasing other savings.
- According to a study by The Rand Corporation, obese individuals also spend about 36 percent more than average-sized people on health services and 77 percent more on medications.
On the other hand,
Take a look at the financial benefits of exercise below:
- People who work out regularly, as in at least three times per week, are more productive at work than those who don’t, according to research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Those who get sufficient exercise also missed fewer workdays, according to the same study. Those absences can translate to lost income and lost opportunities for advancement.
- Another study published in the Journal of Labor Research found that men who work out regularly can expect to make 6 percent more than their sedentary counterparts, on average. For women, the pay boost is higher: Fitness-savvy females make 10 percent more, on average.
- Healthy lifestyle choices, such as proper diet and exercise, increase the odds of living a long and healthy life. If someone continues to grow their money between, say, ages 75 and 90, instead of dying in their mid-70s, their survivors and heirs will be in a much better financial position.
Not only should exercise be seen as a necessity, but it should be seen as a necessary investment. It’s an investment in a future with your spouse, children, family, and friends. A small investment in your health helps increase your 401K, savings accounts, and reduces your overall health care expenses.
I have seen students training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) lose 60-100 pounds in just a couple of years (one student lost 100 pounds in 10 months). Not only do these students learn valuable self-defense skills but the health benefits are innumerable. In the end it does not matter how you get moving; just make sure you do something. Isn’t it time you invested in yourself? Feel free to ask me how.
Rory Singer is co-owner of SBG Athens. Along with his brother, Adam. They are both graduates of UGA and 2nd Degree Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They have helped their members gain confidence, lose thousands of pounds, become world champions, and find their tribe. When not with their families, they can be found on the mats coaching and training.