Decreased Weight = Decreased Insurance Costs

Weight loss can significantly decrease your chances of developing diabetes, and also significantly decrease your health insurance premiums.

One of the largest health insurers in the nation, UnitedHealth Group, has developed an approach to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and to increase the health of the American public. This program is predicted to be the start of many partnerships after the pass of the new Health Care Reform. Ā Teaming up with the Y.M.C.A., UnitedHealth has set up the program in seven cities, including Minneapolis, Phoenix and several MidWestern cities with others expected to be added in the future. Ā UnitedHealth is paying the Y and pharmacists to help members learn to eat better and exercise through the use of lifestyle coaches. Ā This approach is specifically directed at decreasing the risk of developing adult on-set, or type 2 diabetes.

Approximately 24 million people in the United States have diabetes with another 57 million Americans with pre-diabetes.Ā  A pre-diabetic has an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.Ā  The cost of treating both these conditions is estimated at $200 billion a year. Ā By joining the Y and losing the weight, health premiums are expected to decrease. Ā Teaming up with Y.M.C.A. is one of the first steps by a health insurance company to reduce not only these health care costs but also reduce the risk of diabetes.

Diabetes commonly develops in adults that are obese and have a poor diet.Ā  Starting your own exercise program can greatly reduce your chances of obtaining the disease and benefit your life in many other ways.Ā  In fact, losing only 5% of your body weight can reduce your risk by up to 60%.Ā  Here are some tips on how to get started on your own exercise program, through the Y.M.C.A., at any other gym, or in your own home:

  • Choose an activity you enjoy.Ā  Many Americans do not enjoy weight lifting as theyā€™ve never had proper instruction, but something as simple as briskly walking can get a person in the right direction.
  • Set up a program. Try to incorporate days of the week with cardio workouts, resistance training and days of rest.
  • Pay attention to your diet.Ā  Eating healthy is not only important for weight loss, but for recovery of the body.Ā  The body may feel sore or lethargic after the initial workouts, and focusing on post-workout meals that have protein can prevent the body from feeling so tired.
  • Get help from a professional. Health coaches, nutritionists, and personal trainers are able to work with a person to set up a program that encompasses both diet and exercise.Ā  Working with a personal trainer for just 2-3 times should be enough to have them set up a program for you, and then it’s up to you to incorporate the program into your daily life. Ā A dietician or nutritionist can evaluate what you are eating and how else you can improve your diet.
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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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