Manage Your Health like Your Finances

There’s nothing quite like tax day to make you take a step back and look at your finances, but how often do you do the same with your health? Wellness expert Michael Roizen, M.D., explains how we can ‘budget’ for our health.

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CLEVELAND – There’s nothing quite like tax day to make us take a step back and look at our finances.

But how often do we do the same with our health?

Cleveland Clinic wellness expert Michael Roizen, M.D., said many of us have a budget for our money, but the same rules should be applied to our ‘budget’ for calories.

“The inflow versus outflow is the same thing,” said Dr. Roizen. “What calories are you taking in, what are you putting out? So your baseline calories, for most people, is around 1,600 and then you do physical activity.”

Dr. Roizen said once we start to take note of how many calories we’re actually taking in and how many we’re burning, we can start to get a better ‘picture’ of what our health really is.

One way of keeping ourselves in check is by ‘automating’ our behavior, according to Dr. Roizen.

When we automate our finances, we put our funds into plans so that they’re automatically taken out and put where we need them. He said the same concept can apply to our diet.

Dr. Roizen suggested having two or three favorite healthy meals that we can automatically eat during the week, so that we’re not always making decisions on the fly. As a result, we’ll be in better shape down the road.

Just like planning for financial retirement, it’s essential to be able to look at the bigger picture with our health.

Dr. Roizen said it’s much more difficult to reverse chronic disease than it is to prevent it in the first place.

“If your health habits are good to begin with, then you’re probably not going to get chronic disease,” said Dr. Roizen. “In fact, you know, 80 percent of chronic disease can be prevented with the big four, which are avoiding toxins – tobacco’s the leading one – doing physical activity, getting food that loves you and you love back, and managing stress.”

People tend to consider both their finances and their health private, but Dr. Roizen said private doesn’t have to mean going it solo.

He suggests having a team of people in place to help you navigate your health, the same way a financial advisor would help you with your finances, which can greatly help you stay on track in the long run.

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