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Building up your Health Account

May 29, 2011

Imagine for a moment that your financial advisor showed you a simple plan to take away all of your debt.  It’s not that there wouldn’t be effort involved, but over a short period of time you would be debt free.  How would that make you feel?  My guess is that you would feel pretty good.  Now if that same advisor then showed you a plan to keep your account balance at zero, how would you feel then?  Again, only guessing here, but you would probably feel some combination of confused, annoyed, and bewildered.  Why?  Because that’s not what a good plan for your bank account is supposed to do.

We all understand that a healthy bank account is one that’s growing or at least staying in the black.  We understand that when you make a deposit into your bank account it goes up.  And when you have a bit of a reserve saved up you have a sense of security.  You’re able to spend some without stress, and when an unexpected expense comes up, you’re able to cover it without breaking the bank.  There is both comfort and freedom that comes with an account that’s in the black.

On the other hand, when you’re in debt, there is an ever present stress.  Bills add up along with your cost of living and you hope just to be able to make the minimum payments to keep the creditors at bay.

And then there’s the middle – a zero account balance.  You don’t owe anything, but you also can’t really do anything.  And if a financial emergency comes up you have nowhere to go but into the red.  Neutral is not what they recommend when they describe a “balanced” bank account.  If someone suggested to you that this is the goal for your bank account you would, at the very least, think that they were misguided.

However, when it comes to your Health Account the latter is the exact view that most people have.  We wait until there is a problem with our health and then we start working on it.  “Ouch!  That hurts.  What should I do to get rid of these symptoms?” is the typical response.  This is followed by putting in some effort until the symptoms are gone and then stopping.  “Great, my symptoms are gone (I’m out of debt) and I can quit working at it (I’ll choose stay at zero in my account)”.

But as it is with your bank account, your Health Account is only as good as what you put into it.  Being symptom free is great.  But if you have no reserves, if nothing is built up, then you’re back down in the red fighting the battle of symptom relief or worse when the unfortunate happens.

My recommendation:  if you’re feeling well, don’t be complacent.  Approach your Health Account as you would your bank account.  Take a preventative approach and build up your health reserves.  Add in a daily walk, eat some extra veggies, do some relaxation breathing (and look through the rest of this blog – it’s full of healthy steps to take).  Every time you do something healthy you’re making a deposit into your Health Account.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever become sick, but you will be less susceptible.  And when it does happen, you’ll bounce back more quickly because your body has a good foundation to work with.

What steps are you taking or planning to take?  What has an active, healthy lifestyle meant to you?  Let us know.

From → Healthy Living

  1. Rob Campbell permalink

    Great Post!
    I know that with myself, I waited until my body was tired and drained of energy before I started to think about eating healthy and even drink the minimum amount of water every day. Preventative maintenence is harder to do than corrective action, but the rewards are so much more beneficial as sometimes we paint ourselves into a corner and can’t get out.

    • You’re right on both accounts: it takes effort to stay well, but it’s well worth it. Also, once you have the momentum going it’s much easier to keep it going. Thanks for stopping in.

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