Exercise for 30 Minutes, Save $2500?

If you exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you’ll pay $2,500 less in annual health care expenses than someone who didn’t. That’s one study we’re keeping front and center in our minds as we prepare for 2017.

The New York Times has a good write-up of that study here, by reporter Gretchen Reynolds:


The findings come from an analysis of 26,239 men and women, published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers from a number of universities and hospitals around the country, including Baptist Health South Florida, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Emory and Baylor, decided to see if they could determine what being active or inactive costs each of us annually in health care spending …


they looked at how much each person had spent on health care in 2012 and whether being physically active had changed that outlay. It turned out that it had, substantially. On average, someone who met the exercise guidelines paid $2,500 less in annual health care expenses related to heart disease than someone who did not walk or otherwise move for 30 minutes five times per week.


Those numbers included annual savings of about $400 on prescription medicines and far fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations for people who regularly exercised.


This study is only focused on cardiovascular disease related expenses. So the actual savings from exercising could be far higher than $2,500, as Dr. Khurram Nasir, from at Baptist Health South Florida hospital in Miami, who oversaw the study, points out,

So as you make your new year’s resolutions, alongside the many other reasons for exercising, there’s a strong financial one too. The same goes for family and friends. Enlist them to help you, or you can help them. Whether the goal is to get that beach body and chiseled abs, or just lose some pounds, or save that $2500, having workout buddies makes a difference.

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