Why I believe that being healthy is a great way to serve our country and how to start today.

The cost, cause, and effect:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.

According to www.obesitycampaign.org the effects of the nation’s obesity epidemic are immense: taxpayers, businesses, communities and individuals spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year due to obesity, including nearly $200 billion in medical costs.  It is estimated that 75 percent of the $2.7 trillion the United States spends on healthcare annually goes to treat diseases that are almost entirely preventable.

Why does this all matter to you? 

No matter what happens in Washington, if we do not undergo an extreme cultural revolution now we will all go broke on healthcare in the future.  Healthcare costs make up almost 25% of the federal budget.

How to Start – You’re in Control

Make a decision today to control You.  Control your diet, control your time to exercise.  Control the money you spend and most importantly control who you spend time with.  Encourage your family to get involved and onboard.  Surround yourself with others who are trying to become fit or are already fit.  Set easily achievable goals and write them down every day.  Amiably disconnect from friends and relatives who are not on board or supportive of your new lifestyle (at least until you are firmly settled into new habits).

Instead of cruising social media and news stories online, look up exercise videos on Youtube, read articles about nutrition and lookup easy meal prep ideas.  Follow Health and Fitness related boards on Pinterest.

Instead of spending money on fast food, buy and prepare meals that are so simple you can create them in less time than waiting in line at the fast-food restaurant.  Go grocery shopping with a friend or family member for added accountability and to make the trip more fun.  Try an online grocery delivery service if shopping in person creates too many temptations for you.

Create a healthy post-dinner meal ritual such as taking a walk or turn up some music for an all-family dance fest.

Find an activity you enjoy and look forward to doing every day.  There are many exercise groups and classes you can try for free.  There are many meet up groups for running, biking and dancing in just about every city.

Invest in a gym membership that is so expensive you feel guilty if you don’t use it.  Find a gym that you look forward to going to every day, maybe a place that is as nice as or nicer than your home.  I belong to one called Life Time Fitness.  It is one of the most luxurious places to get healthy and surround yourself with like-minded people in the country and available at multiple price points across the United States and in Canada with new locations added every year.  Most Health Insurance Plans connect with gym memberships giving you a discount when you have gone to the gym a certain number of times.  When I don’t feel like exercising, my gym membership is a great incentive for me.  I will often reward myself with a post work out Eucalyptus steam room session or a 10 min post work out hot tub break.  Sometimes my husband and I will go together to shoot baskets or play table tennis or racketball for our date nights.

Whatever you do to get there, know that you are in control, you have influence over those around you and spreading fitness like an infectious disease among your family and friends will have a positive effect on generations to come.  A healthier nation means lower insurance premiums, lower costs for care and longer happier lives.  Changing your life today and encouraging others to do the same will make for a healthier United States of America tomorrow.