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Health Care Reform Starts in the Gym

It’s coming soon, whether we like it or not. The Health Care Reform Act, aka ObamaCare, is set to begin open enrollment in Minnesota in October 2013 with coverage starting on January 1, 2014. Nobody really knows at this point what the costs to consumers will be, especially those like myself who have to purchase individual coverage. Medical costs to our nation have been on a run-away train for years – my insurance premiums frequently increase by double digit percentage numbers every year (while the deductible also increases), far outpacing inflation. My monthly premium is now more than my mortgage payment, and that’s for single coverage on a healthy non-smoking female with a high deductible. Something has to be done. But truthfully, real health care reform starts with the lifestyle choices that each of us make on a regular basis; in the kitchen, at our workplace, and in the gym.

Real health care reform starts with the lifestyle choices that each of us make on a regular basis.

Statistically, almost 70% of adults over 20 years of age in the US are overweight, and 36% are considered obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 20% of adults meet the criteria for getting the minimum amount of aerobic and muscle strengthening activity on a regular basis, and the minimum amount is pretty darn low! Substantial health improvements have been shown to occur with as little as 2.5 hours of activity a week; that’s less than 1.5% of your time! Even worse, the trend of people who are completely sedentary has grown from 21.5% to 23.9% just in the last four years! Surely we can do better. Physical activity has been well documented to help with weight loss, lower blood pressure, manage blood sugar and insulin resistance which may prevent type 2 diabetes, improve mood, improve bone density, delay age related sarcopenia, among other benefits.

The choice to be more physically active is within complete control of each of us.

The choice to eat real whole food instead of processed junk or fast food junk is within complete control of each of us.

We may not be able to control what the government does with the Health Care Reform Act, but we all have 100% control of our choices to eat healthier and be more physically active. The reward for those better choices is that you’ll ultimately spend less of your hard earned cash on medical bills or prescription drugs and will have more energy, strength, stamina, and vitality to do activities that you enjoy well into your golden years 🙂

I’m going to walk down to the farmers market to do my grocery shopping. Care to join me?

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