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VidaCura Newsletter VidaCura Newsletter: Taking Care of Ourselves: Health and Wellness Information You Can Use
Health and Wellness Information You Can Use
The Great Stretch Tubing Handbook
  During economic downtimes people take better care of themselves.
Do Bad Times Mean Better Health?

New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope poses an interesting question in her article, “Are Bad Times Healthy?” She presents interesting data in response to her title question.

First the good news. During economic downtimes people:

* Take better care of themselves
* Take part in more family activities, spending more time together
* Cook at home, from scratch and eat more healthy foods

Then, there are negative consequences, such as:

* Access to medical care suffers.
* The rising cost of medical expense.
* Those born in a recession being subject to higher risk of having health problems later in life.
* Stress levels rising.

I watch the news and try to decipher what political figures are saying, their promises of my ability to keep a job, obtain health insurance and feed my family. My son goes off to college next fall. I worry about his ability to get a loan and how much I will be able to help him.

I review the state of my mutual funds, tally my losses and wonder how it will affect the future that I have planned so carefully for. These questions and concerns have kept me awake almost nightly until I realized: I’ve been wasting energy on things that I have virtually no control over.

In order to better manage my stress over these uncertainties, I needed to take action, to feel in control over something. For me that something turned out to be my body. I made a commitment to use my idle gym membership. I now go to the gym 2-3 times a week and I feel better, less stressed and finally able to get a good, solid night’s sleep.

There are other trends that are at least partly a result of our financial slow-down such as:

* A renewed interest in bicycling
* The felt need to save money again
* Social awareness on financial and health issues

The tomato / spinach / pepper scare has had a side benefit of causing us to rethink locally grown produce. Check out Life Begins@30 to learn 10 reasons to eat locally grown food. I love these guys’ mission. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few tables set up by a local farmer outside of a freeway rest stop in Massachusetts. They were doing a brisk business in corn, tomatoes, squash and other treats.

Better health can come in a lot of ways, most of which include educating yourself as a consumer, but if you ask me, a financial slowdown is healthy!

August 2009
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Bad Times = Better Health?
Issue 2: From the Editor
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NPR: On Health Podcast

NPR: Health Care
What if you don't have health insurance? VidaCura Co-founder Larry Berk offers some advice. Read more>

Do bad times equal better health? Read more>
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