In America, the health care crisis has gotten out of control.
On the political side, you’ve got everyone arguing over the merits and Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), and, unfortunately, the polarizing nature of the debate isn’t going away any time soon.
On the fiscal side, you’ve got a country where health care spending accounted for 15.2% of the GDP in 2008, and stands to grow to 19.5% of the GDP by 2017. In terms of dollars, that’s somewhere between $2.1 and $2.5 trillion dollars per year. Trillion. With a T.
Lastly, on the health side, you’ve got a country where, in 2008, roughly one-third (1/3) of the population was obese (and addition third were considered overweight but not obese) and, according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, over 40% of the population will be obese by 2030. Along with the weight problems comes a host of other medical issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, increased risk of stroke and cancer… the list and the associated costs goes on and on.
So, how can we stem the problem on our own? How can we put ourselves above the political fray? How can we circumvent the ever-increasing costs of health care?
The answer is simple: take better care of yourself!
Eat better. Like many Paleo and non-Paleo dietary experts have said, eating well is the single biggest step to improving your health. Cut out all the crap (read: processed foods and sugars) and replace it with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Read up on “whole food” diets like Paleo, Mediterranean, Vegan and decide what is right for you (either on your own or in consult with a dietitian, nutritionist, or your doctor).
Move a little more. Exercise doesn’t have to be 45 minutes of mindless cardio on the treadmill. Just get up and walk a little more, take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you’re able do some pushups during a commercial break. Even little things like this will make a huge difference in the long haul.
Sleep more. I think sleep is the linchpin behind all of this. If you get plenty of sleep you wake up refreshed, ready to hit the ground running, stick to your diet and maybe even exercise a bit. If you cut your sleep short, you wake up groggy, more likely to reach for a strawberry pop tart instead of fresh strawberries, and forget about exercise! Not to mention the fact that skimping on sleep can increase risk factors for many diseases and ailments.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but if we just made the effort to do the things we know we should, we could slash health care spending by many billions of dollars each year, and given the current state of the economy and Federal deficit, that huge amount of savings could really come in handy.
What are your thoughts on the above? Am I on point or off my rocker? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.