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Walking Saves Health Care and Mental Health Care Costs

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Updated May 09, 2005

$$ Fact 3: Walking saves you $330 a year in health care

If you walk regularly (3 or more times a week for a half hour or more) you are saving $330 a year in health care costs, according to a survey published in the October, 2000 issue of The Physician and Sportsmedicine. These costs included doctor visits, hospitalization, and prescription drugs. Even active smokers spent $369 less a year on healthcare than couch potatoes who smoked.

Want your insurance premiums and taxes to go down? Get some of the 88 million inactive Americans out walking with you and the country could save $76 billion a year, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Countries with universal health care could also save big by getting their inactive people out walking. Finland has gone so far as to pass a "sports law" that requires local governments to provide exercise and sports programs.

$$ Fact 4: Walking is Cheap Therapy

Stress? Depression? Fighting with your spouse, partner, kids, boss? Take a hike!

Walking is Good for Mental and Emotional Health: Studies continue to show time and again that regular exercise can relieve stress and depression.

Walk It Out With Them: Do you have somebody you are having trouble dealing with? Go for a walk with them. Walkers have reported to me that their teens loosen up and confide in them on walks. Couples get away from the other cares and have time together to talk. Families make memories together.

A Family Walk Once a Week: Start a new tradition in your home of walking together at least once a week. It doesn't have to be a long walk - a half hour stroll around the neighborhood or through a local park. You will be amazed at what develops.

Holiday Walk-Togethers: For holidays and family get-togethers, make a walk together part of the celebration. Again, just a half hour or so around the local area.

What have you saved?

  • Divorce/separation/relocation expenses
  • Lawyer fees and court costs
  • Family counseling fees
  • Drugs/herbal supplement costs
  • Psychology/psychiatry counseling fees
  • Costs of finding a new job
  • Costs of teenage rebellion: drug treatment centers, bail money, unplanned pregnancy expenses, private detectives to locate your runaway, etc.
  • Loss of inheritance from your parents/relatives because you ignore/fight with them.

Next: Walking is Cheap Fun and Cheap Adventure Travel
Find or Make Money Walking
Walking Clothing and Gear - Cheap or Splurge
Shoes are Cheaper than Cars

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