A healthy lifestyle is a bit like the weather; many more people talk about it than do anything about it. But what’s the real advantage of living a life that includes eating right, getting a decent amount of exercise, and avoiding unnecessary risks? There are plenty. In fact, when you ponder all the benefits that flow from being healthy, you might just feel the urge to lose a few pounds, get regular medical check-ups, stay out of the sun, stop smoking, and put on your seat belt every single time you get into a car.

Most of us don’t even bother wondering about the dozens of advantages we stand to gain just by doing the right thing in terms of eating right, avoiding substances and activities that bring long-term harm, and being a bit more careful about the decisions we make every day. If you are one of the many who need an extra jolt to begin saying no to tobacco, junk food, excessive alcohol, and fast driving, here are some facts about healthy living that might just win you over.

A Longer Life

Diet

At a certain age, which is different for everyone, people begin to realize that they have a considerable amount of control over their longevity. It’s not just about avoiding dangerous or illegal activities, like impaired driving, hang gliding, rock climbing, skydiving, and using drugs. There’s also the positive side of the equation, which refers to eating a well-rounded diet, getting enough sleep every night, exercising regularly, removing undue stress from your environment, and learning how to relax. If life were a game show, the reward for doing the wonderful things would be a pricey trip to a major resort city or a gigantic cash prize. But, for better or worse, it isn’t a game show, but the prize is just as good, as you’ll end up with more years to do the things you enjoy doing, to spend time with loved ones, and to go places you’ve always dreamed about.

Lower Premiums for Life Insurance

You can save a bundle on life insurance when you honestly fill out the insurer’s initial forms to say that you are a non-smoker, are not obese, and have no pre-existing medical conditions. The younger you are, the more you stand to save, and the grand total of that amount could be huge. Most companies will give you the non-smoker rate if you’ve been tobacco-free for five years or more, so stop smoking ASAP and get that five-year clock running.

Many seniors who are in good health and want to cash in their policies take advantage of a life settlement. That’s when someone sells their life insurance contract to a third party for something less than the death benefit amount but more than the cash surrender value. In the majority of cases, people who opt for these types of settlements are older than 65 and have coverage in excess of $100,000.Want to know how much your insurance contract is worth? You can find out in a couple of ways. The cash surrender value is usually printed on your monthly statement. Or, you can simply phone your agent and ask what the current amount is and how to go about selling your policy.

Fewer Medical Bills

If you want to stay focused on the dollar value of living and eating smarter, there’s always the fact that you’ll definitely shell out less cash for medical bills if you maintain your physical health and see a doctor regularly. Having a heart attack or stroke can not only threaten your health but can leave you with significantly high hospital and doctor bills. The alternative is to take care of yourself and keep a close eye on factors like your weight, blood pressure, body fat percentage, skin health, and other key metrics your physician wants you to pay attention to.

Better Overall Mood

Medical problems have a way of interfering with our positive mental attitudes. When you take care of yourself and avoid major medical problems, it’s easier to live with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Living a healthful existence has many measurable, tangible benefits, but a better mood is one of the advantages that are hard to put a number on. You’ll know it when you have it.

Fewer Accidents

It’s sad to read about how many people die every year as a result of impaired driving, but the data doesn’t lie. If you use recreational drugs or alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car, you’re instantly upping the chance that you won’t live long. There are two ways to beat this problem. One, don’t use drugs and don’t over drink. Two, never drive impaired. This practice does more than give you extra years of life, it stands to save you a ton of money in legal fees, court costs, fines, and possible jail time. The bottom line is that driving when less than fully alert and sober is a lose-lose situation. Of all the factors within your control, it is the one that can literally end it all in an instant.

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