Making an Investment
When people think of investments, they typically think of the money they have tied up in property or the stock market. While yes, these investments are an important part of planning for your future, there are other types of investing that will yield lifelong dividends.
Here are five of those investments you should spend money on this year.
Invest in your health and reap a lifetime of benefits.
Your health is the most important investment you’ll make to ensure a long, happy life. Your health—either good or poorly—impacts your quality of life and your bank account.
Getting in shape, and staying in shape, will…
- Boost self-confidence
- Relieve stress
- Reduce cholesterol
- Improve sleep
- Reduce blood pressure
- Improve flexibility and range of motion
- Increase strength
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Strengthen bones
- Improve focus
- Reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease
- Help you maintain a healthy body weight
…to name a few.
So how much time do you need to invest in your exercise routine to reap all of these benefits? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ exercise guidelines, just 150 minutes a week for cardiovascular exercise (that’s 2.5 hours) spread throughout the week and 2 days of strength training are enough.
Strength training strengthens muscles and bones, and strong bones are important as we age. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardiovascular or “cardio” exercise) is important to keep our lungs and hearts healthy. You can complete a workout routine in just 30 minutes a day each day, or you can block together two days of longer workouts for strength training and cardio. However it works for your schedule, make sure you’re getting the minimum recommended exercise so you can live a long, healthy life.
The second part of investing in your health is making sure you eat nutritious food. Your food choices affect your health every day and affect how you feel, your energy levels, and mood. Good nutrition, combined with exercise are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle that will help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic disease and promote overall health and well-being. Not sure where to start? Here are some quick healthy eating guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Another great thing about taking care of your body is that your oral health can benefit, too. We know that oral health directly affects bodily health, so managing both is important for total body wellness. To make sure you’re in optimal oral health, visit Dr. Farless twice a year for a professional hygiene cleaning. Between visits, brush twice daily, floss daily, and follow the healthy eating guidelines above. As your dental provider, we care for your oral and total body health. If you’re thinking this sounds expensive, think again. Not only will being healthy help you enjoy life more now and in the future, but it will also actually save you money.
And while you’re looking for a new gym or for a wider variety of healthy foods, take this next investment into consideration.
Shop local and invest in your community.
In recent years, there’s been a movement to support local businesses—from retail, restaurants and service providers to everything in between. Perhaps it’s the up and coming generation of Millenials that seek out connection, meaning and authenticity in all things that spurred this trend. Or maybe it’s been our society’s overall shift to being more conscious of where the things we buy come from. Being able to talk to the shop owner or farmer as you purchase your weekly produce instills a sense of community, belonging and connectedness that we crave.
But outside of that, shopping local actually boosts your local economy. This study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remains in the city while only $43 remains if spent at a chain retailer. That $25 difference adds up and collectively can be spent on improving community structures, infrastructure, and contributing to city improvements that make life easier and better for everyone. In this time when a brand’s story and social involvement can be a key determining factor for consumers, shopping locally lets you get to know the business on a personal level.
Invest in self-care.
Investments of this kind, be it financial or time, are undeniably as important as taking care of your health. Self-care is important for stress management and reduction, which has many benefits and is part of our overall health care. It’s also critically important for your mental health which also impacts your bodily health. Are you seeing a pattern yet? It’s all connected.
Self-care looks different for every person. So it’s important that you listen to yourself and identify your needs so you can best care for them. Do things that bring you peace, joy, and happiness with the ultimate goal of contributing to the harmony of body, mind, and spirit.
Some people enjoy unwinding by exercising. Exercise is a highly effective method to reduce stress so you can get in your recommended weekly exercise and practice self-care at the same time! Others find that a little pampering or cosmetic treatment increases their self-confidence which is highly important to your mental state.
If a misaligned smile is holding you back from smiling freely, ask Dr. Farless about Six Month Smiles. You can even top it off with a bright smile by using our professional grade teeth whitening systems.
Reading books to educate yourself about something or reading to unwind is another method. Do the necessary mental work to get your mind in a place of calm. Here are some great TED talk videos about mindfulness and self-care.
You can start today and enjoy the lifelong benefits of self-care.
Invest to build.
If you’ve committed to transforming your health for the better and are looking for your next big goal, consider investing to build your future. The most common forms of investing money are in stocks and real estate, and if this is of interest to you, research some companies you like and determine how much money you’re willing to invest. This article from Forbes has good tips on investing.
This type of investing doesn’t necessarily have to be about putting money into something, you can use this to further your career by investing in continuing education (our team does this every year!), or working to become debt free. Either way, you’re contributing to your growth and that’s a good thing.
Invest in experiences.
Life is a series of experiences and these combine to shape who we are and how we see the world. In fact, investing in experiences can make you happier than material items, according to research. The research states that experiencing new things gives us a sense of wonder and joy, and sharing experiences with others give us the connections we seek. You can seek out new experiences in your home town or plan a trip to another country. All of the money you’re saving by being healthy and investing in yourself could go toward your trip!
And don’t forget to schedule your bi-annual visit with Dr. Farless. Investing in your smile with regular checkups and cleanings will save you time, money, and headache.