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Get Healthy, Get Wealthy
Get Healthy, Get Wealthy
45-50
45 | DRINK FROM THE TAP Americans spent about $10 billion a year on bottled water, $3 billion on sports bars and $23 billion on nutritional supplements last year. But most of that stuff has little, if any, proven benefit. So ditch the ginkgo biloba, drink from the tap and tote a banana, not a PowerBar, on your way to the gym.

46 | WASH UP Americans pay about $200 a year on flu treatments and countless more for colds but routinely neglect the best preventive treatment: soap and water. So get into the habit of scrubbing your hands for about 15 seconds, especially around the nails, before eating or handling food and after contact with any potential contaminants. Turns out Mom really did know best.

47 | LET THE BOSS HELP Take advantage of any wellness benefits that your company offers. About six out of 10 large companies now offer benefits like smoking-cessation classes, discounts on gym memberships and health risk assessments.

48 | ADULT-PROOF YOUR HOME Home accidents rank among the top reasons for visits to the emergency room. Some easy ways to make your home safer and avoid the $560 average tab of a trip to the ER: Install handrails along both sides of the stairs, use nightlights, put nonslick strips in tubs, check smoke alarm batteries every month and keep candles at least three feet from anything that can burn. (For more tips, go to homesafetycouncil.org.)

49 | FLOSS DAILY It's the best way to prevent periodontal disease (cost of treatment: from $200 for minor problems to $2,000 or more to replace a tooth).

50 | QUESTION YOUR TESTS You could spend thousands a year on cutting-edge medical tests, which usually aren't covered by insurance. Or you could hold on to that cash by sticking mostly with the baseline tests recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfix.htm), which makes recommendations for patients based on recent research. So if your doc insists you need a whole body CT scan (cost: about $1,000), check the PSTF website as soon as you get home, and don't proceed until you get a second opinion.
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