Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.” While medical professionals teach us that proactive prevention is the key to treating many health problems, a lot of people still neglect to maintain healthy habits, thinking they can find cures when they encounter symptoms later in life. Do you wonder if it’s really worth investing the time and effort to prevent diseases, ailments, and injuries instead of waiting to cure them?
The Big Myth and the Truth
When people begin to debate the value of investing in prevention instead of cures for their health problems, many people reiterate the same myth:
Myth: I don’t have enough time (or energy) to focus on my health.
Many people avoid taking care of their health because they claim that they cannot make time to do so. When you spend all day working, taking care of kids, running a business, or pursuing education, you may not feel like you have the time to take care of your health. It can also feel like an uphill battle to take care of your health when you’re already feeling run down and exhausted.
If this is your thought pattern, you’re certainly not alone. The first step towards getting out of this pattern is to face the truth about your health:
Reality: You don’t have enough time (or energy) not to focus on your health.
Maintaining good health takes time. You will either have to invest your time in your health now or later. The difference between caring for your health now and later is that if you invest your time in prevention today, you can save yourself a lot of pain and discomfort down the road. In this way, you are able to live a full life now while spending a bit of time on your health each day.
If you choose to pay that time later, your quality of life may have already begun to decrease drastically. If you choose to wait until later in life to care for your health, you may be unable to preserve your quality of life. You also can’t guarantee what will happen down the road or what life will bring.
The good news is that if you spend time working on your health now, you will almost always get a high return on it later on. Think of working on your health early the same way you think of compound interest: The earlier you invest, the higher your return.
How is Prevention Worth the Effort?
Prevention habits will always be worth the time you invest in them. Even if you have never faced a health crisis before, prevention provides you with insurance against them.
Still not convinced? That’s understandable. Many young people or people who have never had a health crisis may feel invincible in terms of their health. They’ve never been faced with a scenario that has caused them to take their health seriously.
This invincibility won’t last forever though. Here are four reasons why you should focus on prevention alongside the consequences you may face if you don’t:
1. Prevention Habits Save You Time
Many people neglect their health because of time. They claim that they can’t find the time to cook a healthy meal or exercise a couple of times a week. They will have to face how they spend their time eventually though.
Think of it this way: you can spend a half-hour each day dedicated to your health now, or you can spend weeks, months, or years getting treatment for health problems later.
It seems like a simple decision, but it’s one you have to commit to every day if you don’t want to pay the price later.
2. Prevention Saves Money
Though it’s hard to pin down exactly what the difference is between preventative costs and treatment costs, preventative habits can save you money in the long run.
Many people would rather pay a small monthly sum toward a gym membership that helps them maintain their mobility now than weekly physical therapy sessions later in life to help them regain their mobility. Even with insurance, treatment for health crises can be expensive, so do what you can now to prevent them.
Think of it this way: would you be more likely to buy a house with a monthly mortgage or pay in cash all at once? When it comes to health, paying a little bit each month for healthy food, checkups, and exercise resources is a better option for your lifestyle.
3. Prevention Habits Are a Great Way to Experience Growth
Cooking healthy food, going to the gym, and getting adequate sleep are great ways to prevent health problems down the road, but people pursue these things for several other reasons.
Many people work to develop healthy habits because they provide them with a great opportunity for growth over time. Training for a marathon, for example, helps many people learn to discipline their minds as well as their bodies. Learning to cook healthy food can help people improve their nutrition while honing their creativity.
Taking care of your health is a great way to experience personal growth in your life. If you learn to appreciate these habits, the benefit of better health will be an added bonus.
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4. Prevention Protects Your Quality of Life
While many people avoid caring for their health because of time constraints, others choose not to take care of their health simply because they want to “burn fast and bright.”
In other words, they’d rather live a shorter life doing whatever they want than take care of their health to live longer. However, by neglecting their health they can drastically reduce their quality of life for years before their death.
Take sun damage for example: Studies have shown that many people incur 80% of their skin’s sun damage before the age of 18. This exposure can result in wrinkles, age spots, lesions, and of course skin cancer later in life. In this case, early prevention is the most effective way to avoid these ailments, which can seriously impact one’s quality of life.
The Bottom Line
Is prevention a better deal than finding a cure? Yes!
Many people assume that they will need to make a drastic change in lifestyle to care for their health. This doesn’t have to be true though, and in fact, it’s probably a much better use of your time to make tiny changes that stick rather instead of committing to drastic ones that may be unsustainable long-term.
It can be overwhelming to make these kinds of changes and adopt a proactive mindset along the way. That’s why our life coaches are so effective in helping you adopt preventative habits that are also fun and energizing. Speak with an Arootah life coach today!
What are the best prevention habits you’ve adopted to take care of your health? Let us know in the comments!