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Written by: V. Mancini

The core concept of a good health routine with respect to the long term more or less speaks for itself. You stand to live a healthier and likely longer life if you stick to proper nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Aside from the core concept of staying healthy though, it is also helpful to think about some other, specific long-term benefits you can enjoy in later years by being healthy today

1. Established Habits

We’ve written on the topic of ‘Making Habits Stick’ before, with a particular focus on weight loss. The idea is that losing a little bit of weight is much easier than establishing lasting habits to continue with weight loss and/or keep the weight off. The latter, however, has a greater benefit of affecting health for the long term, rather than just in the immediate aftermath of a dedicated but limited effort.

The same idea pertains to general health routines over the course of one’s life. And thinking of things this way, it’s fair to say that one of the best long-term benefits of establishing a good health routine now is that it establishes habits for later. If you get used to sleeping well, eating the right foods, and exercising regularly, you’ll be more likely to follow the same practices as you age.

2. More Activity As A Senior

It’s fairly well understood that a less active lifestyle in youth tends to lead to less mobility as a senior. Indeed, Reuters reported a few years ago on a study that confirmed this, suggesting even that more sedentary routines can contribute to the total loss of ability to walk. Now, this does not mean you have to establish a rigorous daily exercise routine now if you want to retain your mobility. However, it’s a nice snapshot of a broader concept, which is that a healthier total lifestyle now will increase the likelihood that you can be active later in life. If you’re used to exercise and you know how to keep up your energy through proper diet, hydration, and sleep, you will simply be more fit for activity — not just now, but over the long term.

3. Lower Healthcare Costs

We don’t always think of health in financial terms, but it’s also logical to recognize that if you establish a healthy routine, you will be more likely to avoid certain conditions or health events that can become costly later in life. For the most part, seniors in the U.S. actually have fairly good options when it comes to basic healthcare. Medicare is available to every citizen over 65, and though it comes in various forms and packages, it covers standard needs. Breaking down those forms and packages, Kelsey Care Advantage specifies essentially that hospital visits, general medical attention, and some prescription needs can be covered. With all of that said though, an unhealthy senior is still more likely to strain the benefits, or to require a given procedure or medication that may not be covered. Even with Medicare in effect, it’s possible for this sort of need to have drastic financial consequences — which is one more incentive to establish a good health routine now!

4. Better Preparation for Unforeseen Health Risks

Getting into a good health routine now will also help to prepare you for unforeseen risks — a lesson many have learned in just the last year. With the worst pandemic in a century having struck in 2020, it became clear quite quickly that people with certain health problems were more vulnerable to the disease. An article on NPR identified those with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes as early as April of 2020 as people who were contacting disproportionately difficult cases of Covid-19. This is of course only one example, and we can’t predict the nature or conditions of any similar public health crises in the future. Generally though it stands to reason that an individual with healthy habits and a healthy body will be better prepared to withstand unexpected illnesses or challenges in later years.

Hopefully this post has motivated you all the more to revamp your health routine! There are a lot of long-term benefits beyond the obvious, and there’s no such thing as getting started too soon.

For more information on how to establish good habits and live a higher quality of life, please explore some of our other content here at Balanced Habits.

Content Intended only for the use of Balanced Habits™ by V. Mancini

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