‘Health is Wealth’ Proverb means that the state of well being, free from disease or diseases, both physical and mental is indeed a wealth. The Adage is an ancient one, as can be observed from a great Classical Rome Poet, Virgil’s (Publius Vergilius Maro) Saying - ‘The Greatest Wealth is Health’. Virgil is considered to have suffered bad health throughout his life and perhaps it is possible that the status of his health inspired him to introduce this proverb as a word of advice for the coming generations. Similarly, a Spanish Proverb goes like this – ‘A man who is too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools’.
For majority of us ‘Wealth’ means having lots of money, a big piece of land, jewellery, cars, a farm, a flat, a house or any property which has a potential of having monetary value in the market. But this limits the scope and vision of the term ‘Wealth’, though in the conventional sense and dictionary definition, it is very much apt. But if we broaden our thinking and look beyond our limited vision towards ‘Wealth’, we will see and witness that, wealth is not just only what is being said about it. To better understand this, let’s observe our own lives. We study at school, college or have a profession and the ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Experience’ gained in these environment is also a ‘Wealth’, though you cannot touch or feel ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Experience’, like currency. Here, it is a wealth in the sense that it has a value which is practical, respected and admired in various social environments. Moreover, you can also create more wealth with the application of ‘Unconventional Wealth’. Amongst various forms of such Unconventional Wealth comes ‘Health’ which is by far the most important wealth one can have, more or less at the same level as that of ‘Spiritual Health’. This brings into light, the fact that ‘Wealth’ is actually dependent and linked with ‘Health’ in more than one way, a simple example is that - if you are physically and mentally ill, you will not be able to work properly or not work at all. And if you cannot work in a desired manner you will not be able to acquire the desired amount of wealth. It cannot be said conversely about health being dependent on wealth, simply because to be healthy, there is hardly any capital involved unless you pay to be trained for remaining fit. Having proclaimed that it is not wise to be ‘Unwealthy’ to be ‘Healthy’, i.e. don’t get obsessed with health to such an extent that it becomes a hindrance towards your productive capacity for wealth. Health is as much a wealth and an important one, whose value is comprehensible by those who actually consider it a wealth and not just a fad. Those who have not realised this need to think harder.
Why Health is Wealth?
Health is a wealth because of its multifaceted benefits which have far reaching positive effect on our lives, some of which may have been not realised as off yet. The benefits which have been realised, point directly towards the truth of this fact and establish it as a Truth. Health is the Foundation for other Wealth – Health and wealth are related in many ways. But one fact that stands out amongst all, is that health itself promotes wealth. A healthy person will be more active, intelligent and efficient, this directly affects his ability to earn more and this money can be further utilised in creating more wealth.
Health is an Investment with Good Returns – Health is one investment which has life long lasting returns. This is evident from the fact that – People affected with bad health often die at a relatively young age. They have been spending all their time in acquiring wealth and ignoring health. Their ‘Career Life’ was good but it turned out to be as reaping because they are no more alive. Added to the fact that many don’t live long enough to collect the pension and other benefits for which they spent a lifetime working. It is true that death is inevitable and unpredictable but the odds of dying early as the hands of a disease increase more in the absence of a healthy lifestyle. Conversely speaking a healthy person is more likely to live longer and reap the benefits of his hard work not only in the long run but also short run. Healthy lifestyle will keep him away from most diseases and they might even pass on their wealth to survivors and heirs and even benefit them.
Healthy Population contributes towards Healthy Economy – Healthy Population directly contributes towards a well developed economy of the respective country. It is very easy to understand this – if the employees of an organization are unhealthy or diseased, the profits of the organisation will come down or remain status-quo. This will not only affect the organisation it will further affect the revenue generated through these. A country’s economy can benefit only when its supporting structure is in good condition. The better the component of the structure the better will be the outcome. An example towards this aspect was highlighted by a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization. According to the study around 47% of the work force in urbanized industrial situations is overweight. Around 27% of those surveyed suffer from hypertension and around 10% are diabetic. The study discovered that workers are at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. One doesn’t need an expert’s opinion to imagine the future of such an industrial set-up. Health is a means to Better Living – Good health by default enables to maximize our body's capacity and the resulting aptitude to acquire opportunities to earn more and live better. makes one a better person not just physically but mentally as well. Financial security and health are strongly related to personal happiness and to one another. A healthy mentality promotes good values like hard work, sharing, kindness, discipline and other desirable qualities. On the other hand unhealthy life is source of unhappy life. A wealthy person may have all the luxuries of life but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is living a good life. Better living is only acquired by understanding that ‘Health is a means to Better Living’ not only infrastructure wise but also by attitude wise.
Healthy Mind stays in a Healthy Body – It is true by all means - intelligence, creativity, presence of mind, humour, humility, presentation, communication and other aspects of the mind are not just practice dependent, they are also dependent on healthy lifestyle. An active body enabled by physical regime, balanced diet, meditation and praying creates positive vibes, stimulates and energises our brain. It enhances the performance of the brain in all matters of life, with which one can achieve greater heights and inspire others to do the same.
Prevention is Better than Cure – There is a saying that ‘Exercise is the Best Medicine’, it has not been said just like that. The adage stands firm on its ground; proper exercise is a big deterrent to disease of all types. Exercise physical, mental and spiritual all improve immunity and make us stronger. We will be less likely to suffer from infections, allergies, stress and other problems affecting our health. More importantly, it proves the old saying that ‘Prevention is Better than Cure’. The money and energy spent on visiting and buying medicine could have been prevented, if we had sticked to the basic rule. Most of us don’t care to look at our health, it is only when we get affected that we tend to pay attention to the larger problem. The cure also comes at a price and can affect a person’s health even further. For example, the high expenditure and or overdue medical bills can cause physical symptoms of stress, i.e. migraines, insomnia and anxiety. If the person is all ready short of funds he is likely to suffer financial distress as well. Even far reaching consequence like poor credit history and/or bankruptcy and reduced income can complicate the situation even more. Preventive measures like proper exercise, good sleep, recommended diet, routine check-ups etc. are better than the consequences of not adhering to this simple rule of life.
Money Saved is Money Earned – Having a good health is a ‘Beneficial Money Saving Scheme’ simply because the money which would have been utilised in treatment of diseases and it’s allied expenses has been now saved and or utilised in further savings. There are several instances where the treatment of a disease makes people bankrupt and make the penniless. If only they had listened and followed the wise words, their expenditure would have been saved.
Prevention of Anti-Social Activities and Bad Habits – Alcoholism, smoking, drug abuse, and other criminal tendencies tend to be mitigated or non-existent amongst the practitioners of healthy lifestyle. Greed, jealousy, hatred, revenge and other negative emotions tend to be aggravated when one is ‘Money Minded’. For such individuals it is all about getting what they want, either by hook or crook. Their minds are corrupted and focussed on acquiring large amount of wealth, this tendency fosters further undesirable practices which affect even the incorrupt mind. Certain individuals start to take alcohol, drugs and indulge in promiscuous behaviour to relax. However, the consequences of such acts are always destructive even to those who are not directly related to that person. A healthy person knows the consequences because of his intelligent mind and as such will not only abstain for these but will also try and prevent these for the greater good of the society. As for the ones who have survived such activities, are all ready experienced and unwilling to do the same.
Makes Life more Fulfilling – Health is one thing which encompasses all the positive effects that can make one’s life a fulfilling one. Those who have understood to strike a balance between health and wealth have a sound mind. It is reflected in their behaviour and attitude. They are more likely to live life in a better way than those who aren’t healthy. We can only enjoy all aspects of life only when we have the time and energy to do so. A state of well being creates such an environment where one can focus on all areas of his life without being troubled or stressed about it. For a healthy person, even a small green leaf can give joy.
Health makes a Better Society – Healthy people compose a better society. Balanced individuals adhere to the rules, promote peace, cooperate, be responsible, do voluntarily work, indulge in productive activities and other valuable activities which make a society a better place to live. This establishes and or restores decorum in society. It is only when the individual is fulfilled with his life that he will think about others in society. The behaviour and activities of such people promote similar emotions directly and indirectly along all ages of people.
Why don’t we follow the Wise Advice?
Like all good rules of life that are meant to be followed, health is something which we take casually and at times don’t even bother about it. For some it’s too late to act and for some there is still time. Whatever, the situation or attitude, human tendency to fall for ease and comfort gives rise to negative tendencies.
Career Driven Life – When it comes to career v.s health, we chose career, advertently or inadvertently. All through our lives, career has been highlighted as the one major thing which we have to achieve in our life. However, we forget to put a light on the immense potential of health not only in our daily life but also in our career. Sometimes, the message of career becomes more louder than health and it is ignored altogether. Thus begins a career life – where they have to sit for long hours, work like ants and also get exploited in the process. Unable to balance our need for exercise, nutrition, amusement and other daily chores, we start living a life which is wholly or solely revolving around our work and work alone. Many of us go even more further, we work for 24 hours a day, all the 7 days without break, to earn our bread and butter. Working hard is not bad but at the cost of our health and lives is totally inappropriate. If we keep on working without creating a balance between our work and health, when will we get the time to savour our success. This type of life produces obese, hypertensive and weak individuals.
Lack of Time – This is the most common excuse for not being able to give time to health. For many of us, this is true, we are so deep sunk in our work that we even rush and ration our daily chores like washing clothes, eating a proper meal or skipping breakfast. What’s more we resort to fast food and other degrading activities like untimely late night parties, get-togethers and so on. Our schedule is full and health is not even in the list. We are so absorbed in these that we don’t even have the time to ponder and or schedule it in our lives. So we drop the idea, all together. There is always time, all we need is management and commitment.
Disease Free means Healthy – There is a large section of public which have a wrong notion that if they are not suffering from any disease, they are healthy and don’t need to worry about it. Just being disease free is a good thing but to maintain the disease free body will sooner or later require efforts. Everything around us has a life; this state of disease-free will also not last long until and unless we take the appropriate steps. Not to forget just because you feel that you have no disease may not necessarily mean that you don’t have one. Go for regular check-ups to avoid being under a probable wrong impression.
Youth Mentality – I am young, I don’t need any exercise, is the average youth mentality. Moreover, they find exercise and related activities boring, mundane and time consuming activity. Teenagers and alike generally have a good health because they live a scheduled life where physical activity is also involved. However, it isn’t true that being young means that you don’t need exercise. Regular exercise both mental and physical makes one a better and stronger person. A regime developed at this point of time becomes a regular habit which one may continue all his life.
Laziness – Urbanisation fuelled by technology has made us lazy. We commute in vehicles because it is convenient and time saving, we eat fast food, because we don’t want to cook, we have servants who do our daily chores and we sit in front of our PC’s or Television; playing or watching reality shows. Over a period of time, all these factors have made us lazy and heralded sedentary lifestyle. In this world of ready made we don’t like to work hard as it appears to be outdated especially when we have technology to do perform our duties.
Short Cuts – A new age of health products have been flooding the market, claiming to make you healthy whilst sitting in your homes. We have herbal teas, tummy tuckers, sauna belts, figure enhancers, body toning machines and what not. All these not only promote laziness, they also project that good health can be achieved through short cuts. However, there is no short cut to hard-work, hard work itself is the only short cut. These products are unreliable and they are supplementary in nature. They are no alternatives to conventional methods of exercising.
Slaves to our Habits – ‘Bad Habits Die Hard, the quote is true. Bad habits are hard to break because they have become a part of our psyche and body from a long period of time. On the one hand we have life threatening habits like smoking, drinking etc., there are other habits like sleeping late, watching late night on daily basis, glued to social network etc., which aren’t life threatening but can disrupt a healthy lifestyle.
Resistance to Change – Breaking our bad habits takes time, it cannot be achieved in one go. It is a gradual process and one which might require more effort than what is imaginable. Our bodies are adaptable and they also adapt quickly towards our bad habits. Our daily habits are become our routine and ever-present repetition makes them even more stronger. When we try to change this system, our bodies are not adapted to healthy lifestyle and consequently there is strong resistance. This resistance varies from individual to individual and based on the level of addiction.
Dependence on Medicines – In this fast paced world, we don’t have time to exercise but we do have time to visit a doctor and get relief from our ills. Most of the medicines are pain killers, they kill the pain but do not remove the ailment and it’s re-occurrence. But because we need immediate relief we find it convenient to pop a pill rather than walk for half an hour. Then there are those who are so busy that they cannot even visit a doctor to treat themselves; they take off-the-counter medicine. Medicines provide immediate relief from our pain and sufferings but is it the right way to deal with your health problems? Absolutely not, chronic problems do need a professional help but those having common problems can get rid of their problems with simple schedule of routine exercise.
Negative source of Inspiration – No doubt, that health is beneficial but the criticisers healthy lifestyle are always finding excuse to fend for their own faulty lifestyle. Examples of those who continue to suffer from diseases even after following a routine of exercise. But who knows what level of disease is one suffering from, how much time will it take to come to a normal level and is the exercise is being done properly. Then, there are people who still have pot bellies in spite of walking or running for many years. Here it is to be understood that we don’t have full knowledge and we jump to conclusions.
How to make Health a Wealth?
Making health a wealth is not impossible, though it can be harder. But then, there is no charm in doing a thing which can be done easily.
Believe in the Adage – To work on it, you have to believe in it. Believing and reaffirming this notion is the best way to make ‘Health is Wealth’ your Mantra. Belief in something makes that thing attainable and also motivates your efforts. Listen or watch health based programs or literature to invoke and inspire a desire to achieve your aim. Consider good health as a pathway to success in all walks of life. Belief is further strengthened by action take on the initiative.
Act on the Advice – When we cat on the advice we are establishing a foundation for good health. You don’t need to do anything special. Simply plan out your regime and follow it. You have to understand that it is a daily affair if not 5-6 days of affair in a week. One of the cheapest ways to pursue a good health is to wake up early in the morning and simply walk, run or jog. The only investment one requires is a good pair of shoes. As for mental exercise, one can meditate by sitting and closing eyes and think of nothing for 15-30 minutes for a start. Additionally one can also perform prayers. Similarly take a balanced diet, which include fruits, vegetables and other nutritious feed every day. One can also do exercise at home by using treadmills, cycling, personal gym and through other activities.
Firm Commitment – To maintain a healthy lifestyle, one needs a firm commitment, not for a week or a month, but for a life time. Initially, we are all pumped up for a week or just for a day. After that we are back to our sedentary lifestyle. Taking care of one's health should be a continuous process and not broken in parts. We need to follow a routine of exercises and proper food. To make a firm commitment, never give up, always try again and again; no matter how many times you might fail. Make a regular exerciser your motivator, observe and follow the pattern, if necessary put your own ideas into it. Additionally one can join a friend or any acquaintance in a fitness regime, this way you will get the stimulation to remain committed because now you are a team and responsible for each other. Make your shortcomings, fear of disease or anything which can be used to act as a source of commitment.
Don’t push yourself too Hard – Often we have all the tools to remain healthy but we lack or don’t apply the techniques in a proper manner. Do not take it too seriously or hastily as it can result in undesirable consequences. Take it easy, you are not in a competition. In an excited mode we often overdo certain activities which tires us or disease us. The best thing do is start with simple things and increase the intensity and duration up to suitable platform. Do not try too many things at once, focus on particular type of exercise rather than indulging in all. Remember ‘Slow and Steady Wins the Race’.
Change your Lifestyle – Tweaking your lifestyle greatly affects your health in a positive manner. Sometimes we just need to change our routine affairs to be healthy, like sleeping early and waking up early. This routine itself creates ample time to create a balance in our activities. Then we can change our diet pattern and quantity to suit individual needs. It is not necessary to eat whatever the whole family eats. Eat what suits you the best based on consultation with a nutritionist or doctor. Gradually bring a wholesome balance in the time given to your career, physical fitness, relationship with others, financial position, spiritual aspect, environment and all other aspects. Indulge in your lazy lifestyle only, once a week so that your current routine doesn’t become boring.
Seek Professional Help – Some individuals require a certain push or certain conditions under which he forces himself to pursue a healthy lifestyle. This effort can be accentuated by Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Fitness Expert, Rehabilitative Professionals, Fitness Coach, Gymnasium and so on. Many of us have no idea how to start or what to do, it is here that professional help comes in handy and appropriate. Spending money on health itself motivates us to be a regular in our professionally guided routine. This is because we are aware and conscious about the fact that we have invested some money; it shouldn’t go waste.
Access Health Resources – Health based material is available in various forms - books, DVDs, electronic gadgets, machines, magazines, newspapers, television, radio, internet et al. While some of these are cheaply and easily available on the internet, libraries and television, others are expensive. For those who cannot go outside or feel complex can exercise through Aerobics Video available in video stores, internet and television. These have fitness programmes which can be followed simply by imitating the exercises. Read and follow the health articles and use certain gadgets to supplement your prevalent health program.
Bring Variations – After a certain period of time, certain exercises tend to loose or become ineffective in keeping us as healthy as we want or as we should. Therefore seek alternative sources of exercise or vitiate your programme. If are bored you can pursue other activities which bring a fresh approach and effect on health. Experiment and be creative, mix 2 or 3 type of health activities as per your convenience. You can make your daily life chores your exercise as well, cleaning a room can be performed in a rhythmic manner to make it interesting or do something which you haven’t done for a while, like playing a game of cricket or chess. You can also bring variation in your daily routine, like once in every while take a cycle to office instead of a car. These small efforts pay large dividends.
Be your own Mentor – Often we join a fitness programme with our friends and often it happens that heir interest starts to wane after a certain period of time. Peer influence, here can distract us from our goal, we may fell lone or we might get frustrated when our designated partner doesn’t support us or looses interest. Here, we should always keep in mind that no matter what, you will follow your routine. Don’t rely too much on others, expect that your association may not last long, enjoy it while it lasts and be independent.