Visiting the doctor or hospital without insurance or assistance is expensive. Even if you have insurance coverage through work, purchase it on your own or choose an alternative—such as a health sharing program—the cost of an unexpected doctor’s visit can be daunting. The best way to lower medical costs is through simple, healthy living. Here are five tips that you should follow for an overall healthier body and life.
- Get Plenty of Sleep – A good night’s sleep is one of the most important ways you can take care of your body. Every person needs a slightly different amount but put in the effort to make sure you get it. It will pay off in helping you feel your best and keep you healthy.
- Reduce Your Stress – While you cannot eliminate all stress from your life, it is possible to reduce it. Reducing stress may mean saying “no” to a commitment after work, hiring someone to help with chores around the house or talking to a professional if you feel overwhelmed and depressed. Reducing your stress level is good for the mind AND the body.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – Snacking on junk food all the time will catch up to you eventually. Try to eat a well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Pack your lunch each day so you are not tempted to hit the vending machines, or fast food take out place. Small changes can create significant results and lower medical costs.
- Exercise – Exercise doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym every day. Even a short walk each day during your lunch break or in the evening with your family is better than nothing. Get moving and get healthy.
- Quit Any Bad Habits – Bad habits like smoking, drinking or even overeating make it hard to get healthy and can also make it difficult to lower medical costs (since all forms of health coverage may not be available to you). Make it a point to stop today, or get help from an expert, if necessary.
While taking care of yourself can make a big difference in how you feel and how often you need to go to the doctor, it is important that you have health coverage as well, especially with the passage of the ACA. This does not necessarily mean insurance. For many people, a faith-based health sharing organization, like Altrua HealthShare can be a more affordable option.