According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preventable chronic diseases are responsible for 75% of American healthcare spending. Those preventable illnesses like diabetes and heart disease drive up your insurance premiums, but the healthier you are, the less you’ll have to spend on treatment.
Staying healthy is easier than you might think.
In fact, you can make a few small changes today to get healthier, stay healthier, and reduce your risk of serious illnesses.
1: Eat More Leafy Greens
You already know that a healthy lifestyle involves healthy eating.
Eating well isn’t an all or nothing proposition, though. Adding more healthful foods to your diet and reducing your sugar consumption is a smart move, and you can do that without adhering to a miserably strict diet.
Start by eating more dark, leafy greens.
Leafy veggies reduce your risk of developing cancer, boost your metabolism, and keep your energy levels high throughout the day. They’re excellent for your digestive health, and they’re packed with important vitamins that support your vital functions.
Increasing your consumption of green, leafy veggies also slows the aging process, so reach for some spinach before you shell out the cash for anti-aging treatments.
2: Sit Less, Move More
Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time drastically increases your risk of obesity and heart disease.
One study compared adults who spent less than 2 hours nightly sitting in front of a screen with adults who spent 4 or more hours sitting each night, and it was determined that the more sedentary adults were 50% more likely to die from any cause.
Even more concerning, the research indicates that a regular exercise routine doesn’t reduce the risks of sitting for too long.
The simple solution is to move around more throughout the day.
If you work at a desk, set reminders for each hour throughout the day to stand up and stretch, and when you’re at home, spend less time on the sofa and more on your feet.
Moving more keeps your blood circulating and your body functioning well, and it reduces your risks of serious illness a lot.
3: Schedule a Checkup
Major health problems are rarely sudden. In most cases, a severe illness could have been prevented if the signs were detected early enough.
Checkups don’t necessarily make you healthier, but they do give you the chance to catch any potential problems before they have a chance to greatly impact your health.
Making small changes to correct minor problems is far easier than trying to treat major illnesses.
For example, if your blood pressure is slightly elevated, your doctor might recommend adjusting your diet a little and perhaps taking up a physical hobby like tennis or jogging. If you didn’t know your blood pressure was a little high, though, that condition can develop to the point where you’d need medication and major intervention to recover from a heart attack or other complications.
It’s likely your health insurance plan already includes annual checkups. If you’re paying for them, you might as well go, right?
Staying well is the best insurance you can get. With just a few good habits, you can reduce illness, feel better, and do more.