A sedentary lifestyle can lead to costly chronic diseases and has many other costs as well. Do you feel like you’re getting enough exercise?
When I see surveys that look at different states in the U.S., across the board the answer is no. Generally about half the adult population does not meet physical activity recommendations.
Why Staying Active Is Important
Many people cite that it costs too much money or takes up too much time, however I’m convinced that being unhealthy can cost both more time and more money in the long run.
Inactivity, along with an unhealthy diet (and they are often linked) adds up to gaining more pounds, putting you at risk for chronic diseases that are very costly to treat.
When departments of health or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at the statistics and adds up the costs, the numbers are staggering. In Hawaii, for instance, if all adults were physically active, about $140 million could be saved on hospital costs related to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In the U.S. as a whole, health care costs associated with physical inactivity topped $76 billion in 2000.
If only 10% of adults started a regular walking program, $5.6 billion spent to treat heart disease could be saved. Please read that again because that number is staggering.
A 10% weight loss can reduce an overweight person’s lifetime medical costs by $2,200 to $5,300 by lowering costs associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and high cholesterol.
How much physical activity is beneficial to your health?
Studies show that 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. It can help you avoid premature death, and feelings of depression and anxiety. It also helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Now I’m guessing most of you reading this are already on the “I choose to make exercise a part of my lifestyle” train. Perhaps you take classes, enjoy Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi or Qi Gong and lead an active lifestyle.
However, lots of the people we know are NOT and they are all costing us a fortune! Simply put, a sedentary lifestyle is bad for health.
So this week think of just one other person you can take with you when you get out there and get going. With whom can you share your commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle? Your encouragement to others will help keep the costs down for us all!
If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.
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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness habit coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.