How Eating Right and Exercising Can Lower Your Health Insurance Costs
In today’s economy it’s become increasingly difficult to make ends meet. The recession has abated somewhat, relaxing the strain on the job market, real estate values and investments. But the costs of living continue to rise, gas prices are through the roof and even the bill at the supermarket seems to be higher than it was just a couple of years back. Finding ways to trim your monthly expenses is crucial, but it isn’t always easy. There are short term solutions, such as eating in instead of going out to restaurants. But even more impactful are the longer term efforts you can make. They won’t always show their value right away, but as the years pass you’ll reap all sorts of rewards. One approach that’s entirely within your hands is eating right and exercising, with an eye towards lowering your health insurance costs. It makes sense when you think about it, but how does that all add up?
Healthcare is one of the largest expenses a family ever faces. First of all, you’ve got significant insurance premiums to make every month. But then there’s also the out of pocket expenses you face in medical emergencies, or due to regular medications and trips to the hospital if you’re dealing with a prolonged illness. The less you need to call on your insurance company to pay for these various ailments, the lower your insurance premiums will remain. And the fewer pills you require due to lifestyle choices that raise your blood pressure and cholesterol, the lower your lifetime medical expenses.
It’s hard to eat healthy on a consistent basis, but it’s one of the most important things you can do. As you age, those choices become even more important. Around 50% of people between the ages of forty and sixty deal with something called metabolic syndrome. That develops due to the mix of too little exercise and poor dietary choices. It results in elevated fat and sugar in your bloodstream, and a constant state of high blood pressure. Put together, that’s a sure lead up to strokes, heart disease, type two diabetes and cancer. These are all expensive ailments to treat, easily burning through your health insurance policy and attacking your savings accounts. By watching the amount of cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium you consume, you’ll minimize the likelihood of ending up in this position.
Diet is crucial, but it must be joined with consistent exercise. Working out is about far more than liking what you see when you look in the mirror. Responsible weight lifting helps improve your bone density, cutting down on the chance of fractures as you age. Cardiovascular work will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and joined with a yoga or pilates routine will minimize your aches and pains and keep you off the chiropractor’s table.
Finally, there’s the threat of diabetes. Although millions of Americans live long lives coping with this ailment, they spend an awful lot of money on equipment required to test blood sugar, daily insulin shots and an increased reliance on doctors. And in most cases, it’s entirely preventable. If you can choose low calorie foods to lose weight, every 5% reduction you see on the scale will greatly lower your diabetes risk. Again, it’s hard to see how these sorts of choices build up over time, as it can take years for poor diet and little to no exercise to result in anything. But if you’d like to spend less on health insurance, this is the best and least expensive approach you can take.