Monetary cost of being overweight, in pain and sleep deprived.

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Alex Tyson

Physics, specialist mathematics, Math method, English and music were the subjects I chose to tackle during my final year of high school. Outside of school I played soccer and obsessed over my guitar. This basically summed up my life between the ages of 12 and 18; one third of my life at that point. Prior to that it was a matter of just learning how to speak, read, write, add, subtract, do the dishes and go to bed early. After high school I studied engineering where a 'healthy person' was considered to be anyone who had slept more than 10 hours in the past three nights.

At not one point during my schooling did I learn of how our body assimilates food, what lifestyle choices may result in me living vibrantly to 100 and what choices may lead to a disease ridden death. The only time I learned about these things were through wise murmurings from my grandma, plus my mum lecturing about plastics in water and forcing me to eat salad in high school instead of the canteen hot dogs – forever grateful for that I am. But for most, there is little handed down wisdom.

And unfortunately, although our body does show signs of distress, they are often fleeting and go unattended to by the culprit, until much later in life. That first drag of a cigarette ALWAYS results in coughing and spluttering. Our body is telling us that smoking is no good for us. But keep on smoking and our body stops the distress response because, we’re not listening anyway, and the body needs to begin other methods of dealing with the habit. Same goes for alcohol or breathing petrol fumes.

The signs for other poor lifestyle choices are even less obvious: consider a stomach ache after eating something that isn’t suitable for our body, which we ignore.

Most of us are unaware of the statistics, and the increased likely hood of becoming one should we not look after ourselves. So we continue to make poor lifestyle choices.

I owe it to you to be honest about what is in store for those who do not begin to look after their health. I work with clients day in and day out who didn’t attend to the early warning signs from their body and now they’re paying for it.

Literally.

So what happens when we continue to ignore these signs? What are the true ramifications of not attending to our health earlier on in life? What happens when – like most- we wait until crisis point?

Overweight

The effects of being overweight snowball overtime. Perhaps a lifestyle choice that lead us to putting on those first 5 extra kg should have been addressed then so that it doesn’t become a habit which may – and often does – lead to bigger problems down the track.

A BMI considered overweight is greater than 25. And BMI over 30 is considered obese. Find all BMI clarifications here.

Supplied by BMI Calculator Australia

Heart disease or Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a chronic illness which the entire medical industry now agrees is directly related and influenced by lifestyle factors such as poor diet and exercise. it is also directly related to being overweight. CVD embodies many heart conditions such as Aortic Aneurysm, Arrhythmia, Atrial Fibrillation, Brain Health, Cardiac Arrest, Cardiac Rehab, Cardiomyopathy, Cholesterol, Congenital Heart Defects, Diabetes, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Heart Murmurs, Heart Valve Problems & Disease, High Blood Pressure, Infective Endocarditis, Kawasaki Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Pericarditis, Peripheral Artery Disease, Stroke,Venous Thromboembolism. It can result in the need for a stent, bypass surgery, heart transplant, heart attack, stroke and even death.

The World Health Organisation now considers a raised BMI to be a major risk factor cardiovascular disease, specifically heart disease and stroke. See fact sheet.

The UK National Institute For Health Research published a paper showing people that are obese are 2 and a half times more likely to develop heart disease than those that are of a healthy weight.

According to the American heart association, 41% of the entire American population now deal with some form of heart disease, which on average cost each patient $4,000 per year.


Triple bypass is now a regular surgery for heart disease. It costs $31,000 at a public hospital in Australia. This is not something we hear about, but it happens every day. Heart attack costs on average $5,060 for men and $4,760 for women in the age range 25–69 years for a 2 day visit. In 2013, Cardiovascular Disease cost Australia $5 billion according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Being overweight costs us mentally too. The effects it has on our self esteem, the direct link to depression and the impact on our sex life, our physical endeavours and our confidence.

This knowledge is what has me running on those cold mornings when I don’t want to. It’s what has me eating salads when I really feel like a doughnut.

We help our clients lose weight. Ask us how.

Chronic pain

Like being overweight, chronic inflammation in the body worsens overtime and results in the worsening of other health concerns such as weight gain and decrease in exercise.

A recent study showed that inflammation in the body was the only measurable bio marker which directly affected how much time we have on this planet.

For most, the antidote to chronic pain is consumption of regular pain killers.

Pain killers are the beginning of the downward spiral of western medical treatment. Pain killers interrupting our pain receptors, blocking their ability to receive information, to feel pain. The mechanism in the body that is creating the pain is still there, only our brain isn’t registering the pain being caused; the pain killers aren’t actually ‘killing’ the pain.

If we deal with the true cause of the pain, only then will we no longer require the pain to be killed.

Unfortunately, our body grows tolerances to pain killers and their function. So over time we need stronger pain killers, to deal with the same amount of pain.

The most commonly purchased pain killer in Australia is Maxigesic. When taken at half dose, costing $520 per annum.

Thankfully now it is common knowledge that the pain killer route does not work, and people are choosing natural alternatives to deal with their pain. I challenge you and ask, what is it that you are doing in your life that led to the pain in the first place?

Regardless, monetary cost is not the only cost of dealing with regular pain. Those in pain report that their pain gets in the way of enjoying their hobbies. This is especially prevalent for those who normally enjoy active pass times such as playing sport, yoga, rafting, walking, hiking – moving.

Those in pain also experience a sense of loneliness at home when others in the family don’t understand the pain. This can often encroach on intimacy too, adding unwanted stress to relationship and affecting sex life.

Frustration is also a common theme among those who are in regular pain.

Picking up the paper becomes more difficult when in pain. Doing up shoe laces is annoying. Putting socks on is a challenge.

This is not how life should be lived.

Pain does not need to become a part of your life. Take action to manage your pain now. We help our clients reduce pain. Learn more.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep as a health fundamental critical as it impacts EVERY aspect of our life. 7 hours or less sleep per night is considered sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation results in slower motor skills, less confidence, lack of motivation, low energy, poor decision making, poor hormone response, overeating, never feeling satisfied, weight gain, poor sex life, increased chance of developing heart disease, increased chance of developing diabetes..the list really does go on forever.

There is now research directly linking sleep deprivation, Alzheimer disease and dementia too.

Taking sleeping pills does not count as solid sleep.

The true cost to someone who lives with chronic sleep deprivation is immeasurable. But to those suffering sleep deprivation, it is clear. Even those who know nothing about healthy living understand the basic problems associated with poor sleep and the associated health implications.

Sleep isn’t something that you must deal with. Here are some tips to help you sleep better now.


As we know, health is not deductive. There are millions of factors that attribute to being overweight, in pain and sleeping poorly. BUT when the statistics are so blatant, it is important we take this seriously even if there is something happening in our lives that make us think ‘we are different because...’.

Health isn’t black and white as some of the above statistics may appear, but sometimes we need to get out of our own way to make change, instead of finding excuse to not make change when the consequences of doing so are clearly, dire.

For some reason, human beings always prioritise everything and everyone over them self and their health. I talk more about this here. We are quick to justify spending $5,000 on a week in Bali, but when it comes to spending $80 for a good myotherapist to fix that back ache we’ve had for months , we close our wallets.

Spending money to help keep our health in check now will save us double in the future. Or triple. I see it everyday.

I have written this article to try and help people see that not caring about their health now, will cost them in the future. There’s no way around it. Invest in your health today so you don’t have to tomorrow.

If we get out of our own way and invest in our health and our self now, it will not only save us money in the future, but also increase our quality of life now, improve our relationships now and make us enjoy our life, on this incredible planet, now.

Disclaimer: We are not licensed health care practitioners and we do not claim any specific health benefits from this information. You are responsible for your own health. Always consult a medical professional before using an iHealth Sauna