The Personal Trainer: Prevention vs. treatment — The rising costs of health care
by Ann Angell
Special to The Star
Mar 24, 2013 | 2643 views |  0 comments | 239 239 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recently an article in The Anniston Star said that the cost of diabetes has risen 41 percent in 5 years. This news is pretty shocking. It is increasingly evident that the cost of disease is not only a cost to our insurance and employers, but to our own wallets and our bodies as well. Whatever we are doing is not working too well. Why do we have so much disease? Why aren’t we being more proactive with our health?

In related news, it seems CVS is feeling the pinch too — literally and figuratively. CVS announced they will penalize their employees $600 a year if they do not complete a voluntary health assessment. Employees have until May 1 to have the pertinent tests done, which include body fat and glucose levels among others. If the costs of insuring their employees and the costs of missing work because of health issues are too much, maybe these large corporations should be more proactive with the health of their employees.

Would it be less costly to implement a fitness and health program and give the employees the time to be fit? Maybe a gym membership if there is no on-site fitness. Either way, exercise can fend off many types of diseases. Just as auto insurance rewards you for safe driving, health insurance should reward you for safe living.

Many disease symptoms can be improved, and some eliminated altogether, with something as simple as exercise. Since Type 2 diabetes is by far the most prevalent type of diabetes, commonly caused by poor lifestyle and diet among other things, then it seems that exercise would go hand in hand with a better diet as a means to manage the disease more effectively.

Regular exercise can help your body use insulin better, and the loss of pounds can improve the sensitivity to insulin. Of course, all diabetics should consult their doctor before beginning an exercise program. There are complications from this disease that may prevent you from exercising.

Exercise really can be a magic bullet and can help people with all types of issues. From depression sufferers getting the endorphin release and mood elevation that comes from working out, to Parkinson’s disease sufferers improving the stiffness and rigidness of their muscles by practicing yoga regularly.

With all the ways we know of to to get and stay healthy and improve our lives, we should be seeking out health assessments rather than being fined for not doing so.
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