The Rising Costs of Health Care
|How to Get Started
|In one sense, it doesn't matter what kind of exercise you're doing, as long as you're doing something. The key thing, the bottom line, is to be physically active in some way, every day or almost every day.
Exercise is relative. If you're 20 years old, walking four or five blocks isn't going to do much for you. But if you're 80 years old, that same four or five blocks might be terrific exercise. The important thing is to start being active.
The immediate hurdle is getting started. This is a choice, and it's a choice we make every day. Do I choose to spend some time taking care of myself, or do I choose to put it off for another day and spend today feeling badly because I didn't do what I'd promised myself I'd do? It's much easier on oneself to choose the path of action.
The bonus is that exercise makes you feel good mentally because your brain produces endorphins in response to physical activity, so you get a double bonus of feeling good!
If you haven't exercised in a few months or a few years, start slowly. The purpose is not to look like a supermodel. The purpose is to be healthy and well. This takes time. Work gradually, paying attention to what you're doing. The more you can focus clearly on your activity, the more you'll get out of it, both mentally and physically.
Yes, exercise is work. And it's also fun. It really becomes fun when you start noticing your clothes don't quite fit anymore. It's really fun when your friends say, "you look great!" It's really fun when you find you have much more energy than you used to and you're enjoy your life so much more!
Health insurance costs are out of control. We're all painfully aware of this inflationary spiral. Monthly premiums are through the roof. Co-payments keep going up and up. Out-of-pocket expenses are so high we often wonder what we're saving by purchasing health insurance at all.
Every family has been hit hard by these financial burdens. If you're self-employed, your health insurance premiums for adequate individual coverage are close to $1000 per month. These bills are too high for many small business owners, so they opt for catastrophic coverage. These policies still cost $4000 to $5000 per year. If you encounter medical problems, you have to pay up to $5000 or more in out-of-pocket expenses.
What solutions, if any, are available to U.S. citizens? The Federal government may or may not address our crumbling health care system in the next presidential administration. Individuals and families need to take steps on their own to ensure better health. Improved health and well-being always translate into reduced health care costs.1,2
Health-affirming lifestyle choices make a real difference in both short-term and long-term well-being. Old habits may need to be broken. New habits may need to be nurtured. The outcomes will be better health and increased savings by reducing health care expenditures.
Nutrition and fitness are often the primary categories needing improvement. Obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease, and diabetes are a few of the main culprits raising our national health insurance costs. Each of these can be positively impacted by achieving a better diet and engaging in regular exercise.
Stopping smoking. Reducing alcohol consumption. Replacing soda with water. Cutting-down on snacks. Cutting-down on processed carbohydrates - white bread and white rice. Reducing portion size. Taking all these action steps, progressively and over time, will improve your overall state of health.3
Be in it for the long haul. Change doesn't happen overnight - it's a process. We're talking about a lifetime of good health supported by good habits.
Chiropractic health care is an important part of the process of restoring well-being and reducing health care costs. Regular chiropractic visits help a person stay active and are a key component in returning to fitness. Chiropractic treatment helps to improve flexibility, balance, and stability, increasing your ability to exercise and making it more fun.
Use your chiropractor as a resource as you work on improving your health. Your chiropractor will have many valuable recommendations regarding healthful nutrition and healthful exercise, and will be glad to offer guidance and support in your journey to good health.
Fronstin P: Health promotion and disease prevention: a look at demand management programs. EBRI Issue Brief 177:1-14, 1996
Parks KM, Steelman LA: Organizational wellness programs: a meta-analysis. J Occup Health Psychol 13(1):58-68, 2008
Pearce PZ: Exercise is medicine. Curr Sports Med Rep 7(3):171-175, 2008
Yours in health,
Dr. Christine T. Lipat, Niu Health Chiropractic, Your Honolulu Chiropractor