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Does Staying Healthy Reduce Lifetime Healthcare Costs?

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Healthcare seems to be getting more expensive year after year. Many retiring seniors have to carefully plan for health insurance. Right now, the average retiree looks at spending $266,000 for the rest of their life on health insurance. That's a huge chunk out of your retirement savings.

You never enjoy going to the doctor's office. You always feel anxious once there, and can't believe how much it costs. You know that as you age, doctor trips become more frequent. Between all the various checkups, tests, and prescriptions that are filled, doctor visits are an important part of your life. But your health insurance plan has likely changed from the one you had in your working years. The bills are starting to add up, and you find yourself asking if all these doctor visits could be avoided.

Everywhere you go, you see advertisements for a new way of healthy living. You've asked yourself, “would making any healthy lifestyle changes reduce the amount of doctor visits I need and save money on my health insurance?” Alert1 is here to help you answer those important questions. We pulled together some healthy lifestyle changes that are easy to implement in your life. But before you make any changes, consult with your doctor first.

Slow and Steady

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Although you're trying to reduce your annual number of doctor visits, your doctor is actually one of the best people to talk to about making lifestyle changes. Ask your doctor for any healthy lifestyle tips. They're here to help you be in your best health and would love to share special tips with you. Your doctor can provide you with a list of resources to aid you in any changes.

Clean Out the Kitchen

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Your doctor can also refer you to specialists, like nutritionists, who can further help you with lifestyle changes. Nutritionists will create a healthy eating food plan for you that can be specifically designed to fit your needs.

One of the biggest changes to start a healthy living lifestyle is the diet. It's time to take a good hard look at the food you are eating. With the food plan from your nutritionist, clean out your cupboards of all items not on the list. While grocery shopping, fill your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grain breads and crackers. If you've loved eating ice cream after dinner, switch over to fruit sorbets for a low-guilt refreshing treat.  

Elevate Your Heart Rate

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One of the easiest ways to stay healthy and reduce trips to the doctor's office is to stay active. Step outside and take a walk around the block. Getting outdoors will refresh your mind and energize your brain. Ask your gym if they have any special programs for seniors. Check in with your local yoga studio. Yoga studios offer special classes for seniors, including yoga in a chair and therapeutic yoga.

Do you need extra motivation? Join a fitness group, and be part of a supportive community where you hold each other accountable for your fitness goals.

Downsize Your Home

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It may not seem obvious, but take a good look around your home. Is the extra space filled with things you don't need? Do you have a hard time finding the things you do need? Without organization, it feels overwhelming to navigate through your home. Consider downsizing and organizing your belongings.

Enlist the help of family or friends to clean out the items you no longer need. You'll feel better reclaiming your living space from items that no longer serve you. You'll be able to breathe easier without things crammed into your living space. And you will no longer carry the stress of wondering what to do with everything.

Reduce Stress

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No matter your age, stress is a big reason why doctor visits are becoming so popular. Stress can speed up the aging process and effect your health in a negative way. Not to mention all the stress that comes from continuing to see the doctor! A simple practice to reduce stress is as easy as taking five or ten minutes a day for a self-check in or meditation practice.

Do you feel better having a social circle to talk to? Check in with your local community center or with you church group. Many healthcare providers also have resources to groups where you can share your stress and be provided with support.

Meet the New You

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As you start to make changes towards a healthier you, be patient with yourself. Breaking old habits takes time. Remember that you are surrounded by a community of people who care about your well-being. While you'll still go see your doctor for your checkups, you may surprise yourself by not needing to see them every month.

Your doctor wants you to be the healthiest you, as do your friends and family. You can team up with friends and family for extra support and become healthier together. It's never too late to say hello to a new you.

Comments

2:16 PM on October 6, 2016 Darlene Sanchez
Good idea. I rather spend money on healthy things.
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