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 If  only we could hold our personal trainer, physician, friends, family, work or neighbors responsible for our personal health and wellness, then perhaps we could rationalize why we gained weight, forgot to have an annual health check-up, neglected to get our teeth cleaned for two years, or didn’t schedule a host of other important health procedures. Unfortunately, unless you are a child, we are all responsible for our own health, wellness, and lifestyle choices.

 The rising costs of healthcare, prescriptions, and hospital expenses mitigate that all of us take an active participation in assuring that our health needs are met with the best services for the least cost. How can we achieve this ambitious goal while staying apprised of our individual wellness needs? Research has shown that billions of dollars can be saved every year on acute healthcare costs by having people practice personal wellness, advocate for their own health, and through making simple individual lifestyle changes.

Here are some helpful, easy suggestions that when followed can contribute to a healthier lifestyle, better bodies, and the resulting cost savings that can then be used on having fun:

• Regular Health Screenings- A multitude of health problems can be detected through health screenings, many available for free at drugstores or health clinics. The earlier a health problem is detected, the more likely the treatment will be successful and more cost effective.

• Health Savings Accounts- Many employers and some banks offer an annual health savings account benefit. The owner of the account is allowed to have money taken out of their pay check prior to taxes and put into a separate bank account to cover the costs of medical expenses, prescriptions, and medical equipment.

• Regular Exercise- Exercising at least three times per week for the minimum of half an hour greatly increases a person’s health, mental health and longevity. Research has shown regular exercise to increase the health of a person’s body organs, skin, digestive system, and contributes to lower risk of all types of cancers, cardiovascular disease, orthopedic problems, and increases undisturbed sleep patterns.

• Use Network Healthcare Providers- Most insurance companies will only reimburse for medical and dental expenses that are provided by their network healthcare providers. When people go outside of the network, there is no obligation for insurance companies, or a far reduced obligation, for reimbursement for the services provided. Be sure to check the terms of your health and dental insurance, and then go online to find the network providers.

• Good Nutrition- For millennia people from around the world have known the secrets of health plants and foods. Indeed, there are always certain local foods, vegetables, and fruits, such as the noni fruit in the Hawaiian Islands, that have been used for health and healing by indigenous peoples throughout history. Planning healthy meals, buying organic foods, buying locally grown produce, growing your own fruits and vegetables, and cooking non-processed foods at home are all ways to keep a healthy body.
• Weight Reduction- Much medical research has shown that even losing 10 pounds of body fat can greatly affect a person’s health. Knowing your personal BMI and having it checked annually can help to evaluate whether or not a person needs to reduce weight for improving health. Fat deposits onto all body organs, in the vascular system, and underneath the skin, and losing some unnecessary fat will improve overall health, boost one’s self-esteem and mental health, and make daily living much easier.

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