As we all know, today’s modern medicine costs A LOT. There’s the cost of insurance premiums, co-pays, doctor fees, medication costs, and so on and so on. It seems the costs of seeing a doctor is increasing exponentially. According the National Coalition on Health Care, the nation’s health spending is expected to reach $2.5 trillion in 2009. And by 2018, national health care expenditures are expected to reach $4.4 trillion; more than double 2007 spending.
So what can an individual do to avoid expensive doctor and hospital visits? Prevention. Preventing costly health conditions is something every indivdual should be doing everyday. We all know to eat right and exercise, the foundation of good overall health, however, there are some very simple ways to prevent major health problems, and expenive visits to your physician, emergency trips to the hospital. Here are the simpliest preventative health care tips to help you avoid costly doctors visits.
1. Walk- For all of those out there who able to walk and are not under doctors orders to stay off their feet: Walk! It is the simpliest way to exercise, increase your heart rate, and get yourself moving. Try a quick 10 – 20 minute walk in the morning, during lunch, and/or after dinner. Walking after dinner is a great way to burn off excess calories and get rid of that “too full” feeling from eating. Experts will tell you to walk for 45 minutes to an hour, but really, if you only have twenty minutes, it’s perfectly acceptable. Try to incorporate walking into your routine in creative ways. For instance: instead of driving a half a mile to the deli for lunch, walk it. Little things like this will keep your weight steady, increase your heart rate with exercise, and keep your joints working and agile, thereby preventing trips to the physician. Plus, walking is a great way to get yourself outside and enjoying some fresh air.
2. Take the Stairs- Where there are stairs, there are usually elevators or escalators that take so much less energy for you to use. Instead of taking the lazy way out, simply take the stairs and burn more calories! As a result of simply taking the stairs, you are getting exercise, keeping your weight in check, and keeping your body mobile. Such a simple way to avoid the doctors office.
3. Breath- This sounds so simple, but did you know that the average human inhales and exhales about 20,000 times a day! Think about it: When you are excited, stressed out, or exercising, you breath more quickly. When you sleep or are in a relaxed state, you breath more slowly and deeply. Every human emotion and mental state causes changes in the breath. The beauty of breathing is that you can either be concious or unconcious of your breathing. The more concious you are of your breath, the more in control of your emotions and mental state you can be. Doctors will rarely bring this fact up during your doctor’s visit. Here’s what you can do. First, try to become concious of your breathing throughout the day. What causes you to breath faster, slower, deeper, shallower, etc.? Next, try to manipulate your breathing patterns. For instance, when you are stressed and find that you taking fast, shallow breaths; focus on inhaling slowly and deeply, and then exhaling at the same rate. After a few minutes, you will notice your mood has changed to match your breathing pattern. As a result, by simply focusing your awareness on your breath, you will find yourself less stressed out, tired, emotional, etc. In this way, you can help lower your blood pressure, decrease or increase your heart rate, promote your body’s overall health, and prevent future trips to the doctor.