5 Ways to Put Health Back in Your Health Insurance

July 05, 2012

Let’s forget for a second that it costs as much as a small country’s gross national product for a doctor to save your life or that there is 40 million uninsured Americans. There is something, more important, that comes before all that, your health. You know, how you live, feel and function on a daily basis.

If you start focusing on the root of the problem and take care of yourself, you will greatly reduce your need or dependence for both. Here are five easy tips to help you put health back into health insurance.

1. Get Your Annual Physical Exam

Did you know that any health insurance plan sold after March 23, 2010 covers preventative services 100 percent before your deductible? Or essentially free of charge.

There is no reason everyone should not be scheduling a physical exam with their doctor once a year to make sure everything is running fine under the hood. You will feel better and prevention is always better then reaction, it’s also much easier to treat. I have made good on this three years running. Practice what you preach they always say.

2. Take a Hike

Alright, not a real hike. Unless you want to. I always found hiking to be kind of boring. Not that I hike much, or ever come to think about. Okay, it just sounds boring.

Either way, it doesn’t matter what you do, find an activity that involves moving your legs on a regular basis. I am always of the opinion if I am going to spend the time to do something I minds well get the most out of it.

I turned to P90X and P90X 2 to get me active and going. This program requires fairly intense workouts 5-6 days a week. Obviously you don’t have to start here, anything you enjoy that requires you to move frequently should do the trick.

3. Eat Something Not in a Bag

The health care crisis extends so far beyond just how we pay and are treated for health related services. I have long advocated that you cannot have true “Health Care Reform” until you address the industry that fuels our lives.

No, I’m not talking about the oil industry, I’m talking about the food industry.

Solely blaming health insurance companies for our nation's poor health conditions is like blaming the hazmat team cleaning up a polluted river. Regardless of your views or opinions on what may or may not be healthy for you, I’m looking at you whole wheat flour.

If you eat something with just one ingredient (see foods, whole) such as a piece of fruit or a vegetable, you will undoubtedly be doing your body a favor. While food movements and philosophies can be a little too rigid, I prefer the idea of eating “Real Food.”

4. Relax, Play a Video Game

How many times have you heard someone tell you, “I don’t have time for that.” As if enjoying their life was some form of Chinese water torture.

Always make time, even if it’s as little as 15-30 min a day, for something you enjoy. Maybe it’s catching up on a TV series you missed, The Wire, or perhaps it’s going head to head with foul mouthed 14 year olds in Call of Duty.

Just because you have a mortgage, kids or a big person job doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun. I personally enjoy unwinding with a combination of a good movie, TV show or video game of choice.

5. Don’t Do That

This might be the hardest tip of all, but possibly the most beneficial. Identify one unhealthy habit in your life and make a strong attempt to remove it.

Trade that cup of coffee for some freshly squeezed juice or put the cigarette down in favor of, well anything really. The old addition by subtraction method applies nicely here. Once you dust off your willpower and learn how control the habits in your life, the possibilities are endless.

The Bottom Line

Obviously these changes aren't going to happen overnight. Focus on one at a time. Once you have master one area move on to the next. To steal a line for P90X front man Tony Horton, “Do your best and forget the rest.”

As long as you keep moving in a positive direction, no matter how slow, you will ultimately achieve your goals. It’s not a sprint, it’s not even a race.

The only way to get healthy and stay healthy is to make lasting lifestyle changes. Otherwise you will be right back where you started, no matter how much progress you make.