How To Stay Healthy When Money Is Tight

A stethoscope sitting on a stack of moneyEconomic disparities can do more than just empty your pocket. They can inspire skipped doctor’s appointments and the gym, scrimping on drugs, delaying preventive care, and eating more unhealthy foods. Recent studies have also found that people affected by an economic problems in middle age may be at risk for mental decline later in life.

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The American Heart Association says in another survey that it is concerned that people are cutting back on exercise and eating more low-cost fattening foods to save money, which could worsen the nation’s obesity problem.

The AHA survey also found that:

  • 32% had delayed preventive care, skipped doctor’s appointments, or stopped taking medication to save money.
  • 25% with gym memberships had canceled them in the past six months.
  • 42% percent planned to buy fewer fruits and vegetables.

In the AAFP’s survey of member doctors, 60% reported seeing more problems caused by patients skipping preventive care. Also:

  • 66% said they were reducing fees to cut patient costs or making other arrangements to help people pay. Others said they’d increased charity care or moved patients to cheaper, generic drugs.
  • 54% reported seeing fewer total patients, which is about when the economic recession in America began.
  • 73% reported an increase in uninsured patients.
  • 64% reported a drop in patients with employer-sponsored health insurance.


Stress Can Make You Sicker

Stress has a direct impact on the immune system, and this can make people sicker. Patients need to exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week, whether they can afford a gym or not. And this is not the time to go back to fast-food chains, which are less expensive than for people to buy more organic food. We have a sicker society because of the economic problems.

Alot of patients who are well off but think their jobs are in jeopardy. This is stressful, so they are cutting back on health costs. Blood pressures are higher. People are scared, but fruits and vegetables are expensive. And people get depressed and don’t exercise. And people are avoiding preventive practices such as mammograms and colonoscopies, which eventually will cost them, as well as society.

Staying Healthy When Money Is Tight

Now patients have to be proactive. Take a walk instead of worrying. Some people are saying they can’t pay, and we just try to do what we can. A lot of people have had to be put on antidepressants. I tell them to eat the right foods and exercise, even if they have to give up their [health] clubs.

More and more people are realizing that money spent on a health club membership is not just money spent, it’s an investment in and commitment to their health. The return on investment is high and the benefits of exercise are innumerable.


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