How Much Should you Invest each year on taking care of your health and your body?

It’s a question that as a chiropractor in Toronto I get asked quite often.  I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while and decided I would start reading more and create this blog post for our downtown Toronto community.

The other day I was reading a few articles that got me thinking how much should someone invest in taking care of their own body.  I was initially reading an article where they interviewed Jay Cutler, a 4 time Mr. Olympia bodybuilder.  He said that he spent approximately $2,000 per week on treatments to take care of his body so he could maintain his championship physique.  I then read that Lebron James spends an estimated $1.5 million a year on taking care of himself and his body.

Now these are probably extreme examples of how much money someone would be spending on their body and health.  But it got me thinking about how much someone should invest in taking care of their body and their health as a percentage of their income.

Lebron James and Jay Cutler viewed spending that amount of money as an investment.  It allowed them to compete at the highest level of their respective sports.  Lebron James earns approximately $88 million dollars a year, so spending $1.5 million to take care of his body works out to 1.7% of his earnings.  Jay Cutler comparatively spent approximately 5% of his yearly earnings on treatments to maintain his physique.  Between the two of them they average 3.35% of their annual earnings just to MAINTAIN their bodies through treatments like chiropractic and massage therapy.

So, this begs the question, how much should we as normal everyday people spend on treatments to maintain our body.  The two examples I gave above are a large sum of money but as a percentage of their income, it’s not a lot.  Given that their source of income is derived from keeping their body in top shape, it is especially critical for them to invest in their body.  Also, consider that there is a ceiling as to how much you can actually spend on treatments, how often can you really see a chiropractor or a massage therapist in a given year?

So what’s the percentage of your income you should be spending to maintain your body through treatments like chiropractic adjustments or registered massage therapy?  If we use the deductible threshold the Canada Revenue Agency uses for annual healthcare expenditures, that would be 3% of your income.  This amount is actually pretty close to the average of the two athletes above .  3% of your income actually seems like a reasonable amount to spend on treatments like chiropractic care or registered massage therapy to maintain your current physical state.  So someone who makes $50,000 a year should look to spend $1,500 annually or $125 monthly to maintain their body.  Now in this calculation I am not taking into account any food or diet related services, we are strictly talking about musculoskeletal health and maintenance of that.  This could definitely raise that amount by easily double.

This is an amount to maintain your current levels of musculoskeletal health.  If there are any other underlying issues that need correction to get you to the point where you can maintain your body in a good state of health, that would create an increase in the cost in the first initial year to get you back to an optimum state.  Why one year?  Many soft tissue injuries could take upwards of twelve months to properly heal and rehabilitate.  It is a lot more work and effort to get someone’s spine into optimum health vs maintaining that optimal health.  Typically for chiropractic patients, I have found the amount of work needed to correct an issue can vary from 2-4 times that of someone maintaining their spine.  That means to bring your body up to an optimum state, you should be looking at investing 5-10% of your income.  This may seem like a lot, but ultimately your health is your single greatest investment you will ever make.If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email at hannikainenchiropractic@gmail.com .  If you are looking for a chiropractor or registered massage therapist and live or work in downtown Toronto, give us a call!

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