How to overcome health concerns without breaking your back

May 12, 2024 | Insights

Health concerns are a worry for the self-employed, so take the same responsibility for your self-care as your family and business.
As you age, health concerns become more prevalent. You may already be worried about chronic diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis), mental health (including cognitive decline and dementia), and general physical deterioration, especially if these conditions are prevalent in your family.

In this first Insight Post of a series focussing on the concerns of older independent consultants, you will be nudged into reflecting on why health concerns and self-care should be a priority:

  • Financial considerations: Access to quality healthcare and managing the costs of medical treatment can be a significant worry, especially if, as a freelancer, you do not have access to employer or government health schemes.
  • Professional considerations: Your clients and your business will suffer if you cannot work because of illness or disability. Should the worst happen, do you have a plan for taking care of your clients?
  • Personal considerations: You might think you will live forever, but you won’t. What remains unfinished on your bucket list that you will regret not doing? And if you do get ill, who is going to look after you and pay for your care?


Don’t just sit there; do something


There is plenty of external help you can plug into:

  • Now is probably a good time to get a full physical health check from a private healthcare provider, which should reveal any underlying conditions.
  • Appointing a personal trainer or coach will help you stay fit as you age and can guide you in managing chronic conditions, developing healthier habits, and navigating healthcare systems.
  • Instinct or gut feeling is no substitute for accurate data, so invest in a set of body composition scales and home blood and gut tests to find out your body’s true state. Measure your activities to track improvements in your fitness.
  • Ask your financial adviser or your trade/professional body for help in forward funding any health problems that might knock you and your business sideways in the future.
  • Appoint a locum to take over your business when you can’t


But start with DIY healthcare.


Take as much responsibility of your body and its health as your understanding will allow. There are five areas on which you should concentrate:

  1. Diet: The key to a good diet is food quality rather than quantity. Health professionals recommend 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 20% protein.
  2. Hydration:You are 60% water, so even mild dehydration of 1-2% can cause headaches, loss of concentration, tiredness, and reduced athletic performance. We naturally lose 2-3 litres of water per day, so it is vital to replace this.
  3. Rest. Your body recovers during sleep, and a good night’s sleep is essential. Again, quality is more important than quantity. Get six to seven hours of sound sleep to enhance your ability to deal with life on a day-to-day basis.
  4. Exercise. Humans are built to move, so inactivity can be fatal, hence the ten thousand steps advice.
    In contrast, strength training turns fat into muscle and leaves you feeling healthier. You don’t have to go to a gym; get into the habit of around 20 minutes of strength training (push-ups, sit-ups, the plank, etc) three or four times a week.
  5. Mental health. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. I do not profess to be qualified in any way to talk about mental health and its impact on resilience. However, I do know that a walk, preferably in natural surroundings, can do wonders to dispel feelings of anxiety and sadness.


Don’t forget time and money


You should invest a little time and money in your health. Most of the above can be done for free and should take no more than 20-30 minutes a day. Although preparing meals from scratch takes a bit more time, it is probably cheaper and healthier than ready meals.

Health concerns will always be a worry for the self-employed, more so than for employees who have financial and personal back-up. Therefore, your self-care should be as important as your family life and business growth.

Photo attribution


Photo by Yury Kirillov on Unsplash


Audio link


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My name is Jeremy Deedes. I am a coach with a background in business development, financial planning, and life coaching. I was the first person in the UK to qualify as a Registered Financial Life Planner, and I specialise in helping clients appreciate how their ideas and beliefs about money influence their every decision.

I created my unique FUTURE process, a combination of life coaching and financial planning, to help independent consultants in their 40s and 50s write a new life story through a better relationship with money and reorganise their money to achieve personal and financial freedom. In so doing, they achieve calm by making sense of their money, confidence from clear goals and plans, and a new clarity of purpose.

Discover your money maturity score by taking the Money Maturity Quiz at It’s free, takes only a few minutes, and you will get your score and recommendations by email immediately.

Then, use the link below to schedule a free 20-minute call with me so we can start you on the path to understanding your money and creating a new story to tell your family and friends.

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