What if there was a vaccine or a pill to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, some cancers, osteoarthritis and dementia, in addition to reducing the incidence of many of the common maladies of the 21st century including fatigue, heart burn, decreased sex drive, low back pain, frequent headaches, difficulty sleeping, snoring, depression, and anxiety. Would you take it and comply with the prescription and dosage? I’d say – “absolutely”.
If you agree – then lace up your walking shoes and get active! Because physical activity undeniably and positively affects all of the above conditions! The debate is over. The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. Physical activity is the most under utilized and under prescribed medicine to promote health and reduce disease on the market. If physical activity were a pharmaceutical or surgical procedure it would be prescribed for everyone. But it doesn’t have a CPT code. There is no reimbursement and no big pharma behind exercise.
And here’s more good info…It is well documented that health claims increase as activity levels decrease. In fact, inactive persons cost $1543 per year more than active people in health insurance claims. Just think of the savings if we could get the 80% of physically inactive Americans active!
Here’s the average cost of a pharmaceutical regime to manage several prominent disease conditions:
• $8000 /yr to maintain a pt on a 4-drug therapy post-angioplasty
• $7000/yr to maintain a pt on a 3-drug therapy for bone health
• $8000/yr to maintain a pt on 3-drug therapy to reduce dementia
Now compare those dollars to what it would cost to participate in an exercise program for a year. And I ask – Why do we jump so quickly and confidently to the little purple, blue or white pill when physical activity overwhelmingly has demonstrated the same or greater outcomes and benefits to health in terms of reducing disease risk and managing chronic conditions?
So here is your charge – share this information with everyone you know. My next several blogs are going to give you some great tools and strategies to get moving and stay active. So PASS IT ON!