Which would you rather spend your hard-earned money on health care costs or to use at your own discretion? Here’s another question – for those of you who say you don’t have time for exercise, you might want to start making time for it as it can save you up to $2500 per year in health care costs.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association discovered that the average adult with heart disease who regularly exercises can reduce health care costs by $2500 each year. Even people who are healthy without heart disease can save around $500 per year just by having a regular workout routine.
This study followed over 26,000 Americans aged 18 and older from the year 2012. To be expected, participants who had heart disease did have higher health care costs. But, the exciting finding was that those same participants who met the recommended guidelines for weekly moderate-to-vigorous exercise averaged $2500 less in health care expenditures than participants with heart disease who did not exercise regularly.
The message from this study resonates loud and clear – a positive and health-affirming activity such as routine exercise can result in a significant reduction of health care expenditures such as being hospitalized, going to the emergency room and the use of prescription medications.
Researchers from the study estimated that if just 20 percent of people with heart disease who are currently inactive would make physical activity a regular part of their lifestyle and meet the standards for exercise this could save the U.S. billions of dollars each year in health care costs.
The current recommendations for exercise by the American Heart Association is to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-intense aerobic activity, five days a week, or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity three days a week, or a combination of the two.
Examples of activities that would qualify for this recommendation include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, bicycling and playing tennis.
Anyone who has not participated in a regular exercise routine for quite some time and has heart disease should always consult with their physician on establishing their individual exercise goals.