Why Being Fit And Healthy Can Save You Money
2nd March 2017
The benefits of good habits are well documented, but between expensive gym memberships, organic produce and fitness-boosting supplements, you could be forgiven for thinking you need to spend big in order to become healthier. But with some careful preparation and determination, being healthier can be good for both your body and your wallet.
Bad habits are often the most expensive
According to the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, the average pack of 20 cigarettes costs £9.91 in the UK. Let's say you smoke 10 cigarettes a day - in one month, your habit will cost £150; over the course of a year, that total would reach over £1,800!
Many of us like a tipple every now and then, and The Independent reports that the average Brit spends £50,000 on alcohol in their lifetime. Men are the bigger spenders at an average of £934.44 per year, compared to £678.60 for women.
If you're a smoker who also likes a drink, this means your personal vices could be costing you £2,000 a year - if not more.
Researchers from University College London examined 96 people who formed new habits over 12 weeks. They found that the average time it takes for a new habit to become second nature is 66 days. If you're struggling to swap bad habits for good ones it's crucial to stay positive and keep going, as it will get easier!
Eating healthily can reduce your weekly food bill
A recent survey by Groupon revealed that Brits purchase an average of 15 takeaway breakfasts, lunches and dinners per month at a cost of £1,800 per year. This breaks down into a total spend of £82.98 a month on evening meals, £52.98 on lunch and £19.23 on breakfast from cafes, restaurants and takeaways.
Switching from buying lunch on the go to making a packed lunch is a simple change that can boost your health and save you money at the same time. For the price of a standard meal deal, you can buy the fresh ingredients needed to make and then freeze a batch of soup that will last you a week of lunch times.
Walking cuts down on travel costs
According to a study by the charity Sustrans, 40% of the short journeys we make in cars are two miles or under. Between shelling out for fuel, parking and maintenance, the cost of paying for all those little trips in the car often mounts up quicker than you expect.
The NHS say that undertaking their 10,000 steps challenge helps to build stamina and burn excess calories. Plus, a six-year study by American researchers has revealed that a brisk walk could reduce the risk of heart disease more effectively than running.
Swapping your motorised journey to work for a stroll or walking your kids to school will contribute to keeping you and your family healthy. But best of all, putting one foot in front of the other is a form of exercise that costs nothing.
Being healthy means less sick days
We can't live without eating the right foods. According to studies, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits helps you to avoid annoying aches and coughs and reduces the chances of catching the office sniffles.
Regular exercise is proven to improve the quality of your sleep and reduce the occurrence of tension headaches. Also, ditching bad habits such as smoking can reduce blood pressure and the chances of developing serious conditions such as cancer or heart problems.
A good diet, regular exercise and embracing good habits can equal less sick days and more cash to spend on the things that you enjoy doing most in life.
Being healthy will help you save money on life insurance
When buying life insurance, you will probably be asked to disclose your full medical history. It's also possible that you will need to undertake a medical examination. Your smoking and drinking habits as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are some of the factors insurers look at when calculating life insurance premiums.
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