• By Elizabeth Coots, Extension Agent

Family and Consumer Sciences -Exercise can save you thousands

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. However, if you need another reason to add movement to your lifestyle here it is - you will save $2,500 a year. The savings, a result of reduced medical costs, do not require much - just 30 minutes of walking five days a week is enough. These findings come from research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Research results strongly suggest that being physically active is not only good for your health but your wallet. It is important to note that the study focused only on expenses relating to cardiovascular disease and that actual cost savings from being physically active could be higher than $2,500.

Sedentary people are more likely than physically fit people to develop a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer or colon cancer. The costs associated with treating these diseases can be extremely expensive. While it may sometimes feel difficult to justify spending money on fitness if you are on a tight budget, this study helps to prove that it is worth it. By saving over two thousand dollars a year, here is a breakdown of how much exercise can cost you and still have money left over:

• Yoga Studio Year Membership: $1,100

• CrossFit Year Membership: $1,500

• One year of Unlimited Boutique Cycling Classes: $1,900

• 10 Years of a Membership at Planet Fitness: $19.99 per month

By having a regular physical activity routine, the money you spend on working out is coming right back to you in the form of healthcare savings. In addition, you get all those other well-established benefits of working out, like:

• Weight control

• Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

• Reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

• Reduced risk of some cancers

• Strengthening your bones and muscles

• Improving mental health and mood

• Improved ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult

• Increased chances of living longer

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