An ounce of prevention is worth…

Ok, soap box time – the top ten most expensive medical issues cost the United States $591,800,000,000 per year. That’s five hundred ninety one billion, eight hundred million dollars. US dollars. Per year. That is 17.9 % of the Gross Domestic Product. That list, from one to ten, is as follows

#1 Heart disease

#2 Trauma

#3 Cancer

#4 Mental illnesses

#5 Osteoarthritis

#6 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease

#7 Hypertension

#8 Diabetes

#9 Hyperlipidemia

#10 Back problems

Since 1975, Health Care Expenditures have exceeded the GDP by, on average, 2.1% annually.

Granting that two thirds of cancers are caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices and granting that 85% of COPD is caused by smoking, then eight of the ten issues listed above are directly treatable through EXERCISE. The two exceptions are mental illness and trauma, although indirectly I would argue that exercise is very good for your mental health as well as your physical health and... that a mentally and physically fit person is significantly better prepared to prevent and avoid automobile collisions. Accepting all of the above, we can reduce our country’s medical costs by $375,150,000,000 per year.

That’s three hundred seventy five billion, one hundred fifty million dollars. US dollars. Per year. Through EXERCISE. I’m pretty sure that is worth more than a pound of cure, don’t you?

Don’t thank me now, go out and do something about it, for yourself and for your country.

This is your call to arms!! Stronger, healthier arms!!!

Andy Baxter is a medical exercise specialist, consultant and author

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