You've heard the old saying, "You don't know whatcha got 'til it's gone."
Well, I believe this truism applies to our health. It really is our greatest asset. So why is it so hard for many of us who still have our health to work at maintaining it -- or improving it? Who wouldn't enjoy having an athletic physique and more energy and stamina at age 40 or 50, let alone 60 or 90? One would think that this would be motivation enough, but it isn't.
Building up our body's capacity through exercise and fitness while a young or middle-aged adult pays huge financial dividends for us as an older person.
To illustrate the value of health in later life, consider this: A person on Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance who needs the most comprehensive coverage available pays about $100 per month in 2008. What will that be when the 40-somethings retire in 20 years? Don't answer that. I don't really want to know.
As a middle-aged woman, I am well aware of the benefits of a strong, healthy body. I also know that being physically fit today will help me be financially healthy 30 years from now.
What is it going to take to motivate baby boomers (which includes me, too) to work on improving their physical health as they grow older?
Would we do it if the reward was lower health care costs?