Daily Dupaco

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exercise your right to healthcare savings

Trying to save more money?

Exercise, and eat right.

Here's why: When we're overweight, not exercising and not eating healthy foods, we're at higher risk for obesity, cardiovascular diabetes, hypertension, stroke and certain cancers, to name a few health conditions. And paying to treat these illnesses and conditions often comes with a big price tag.

"The incidence of healthcare dollars is huge that has to go toward any of these illnesses or conditions from leading a sedentary lifestyle," says Michele Malone, director of the Babka Wellness and Kehl Diabetes Center at The Finley Hospital.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis confirmed that individuals who are physically active have significantly lower direct medical costs. The analysis found that getting people to become more active could cut medical costs in the United States by more than $70 billion.

So, what should you do if you prefer the couch to your running shoes? Malone offers a few easy, inexpensive ways to get moving - and start saving more of your healthcare dollars:

  • "The No. 1 activity that you can do is walk. If you watch TV, walk around your house during commercials," she says. "Or put your exercise bike or treadmill in front of the TV. You can use soup cans around your home to do some weight exercises." 
  • If you haven't exercised in awhile, start with 10 minutes each day, and gradually increase your workout sessions (consult with your physician first). "Even if you have 10-minute segments three or four times a day, that still is beneficial for us," Malone says.
  • We're in a great environment to grow our own vegetables," she says. "If you're eating healthier, you're not buying so much pop and alcohol and processed things. Water is relatively low cost."

By Emily Kittle

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