Your local FastMed understands that sometimes getting the right amount of activity is hard in a fast-paced world. But we want you to stay active. It’s important for your body, especially your heart, your brain, and your wallet. In fact, just a little bit of exercise may be able to save you quite a bit of money.

Let’s take a deep look at the cost of inactivity. As you read, try to decide what’s been holding you back from getting the amount of exercise that you should. Is it mental? Do you not know where to begin? Or do you have a nagging injury that is keeping you out of the fray? We can surely help with the last issue, and maybe the others — so let’s get started.

The impact on your body 

Think about this: a recent study found that inactivity or a lack of exercise may be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Research shows that since 2008 inactivity has taken the lives of 5.3 million individuals. Compare this to 5 million from smoking over the same time period and you see the impact a lack of exercise can have.

The American Heart Association reports 69% of Americans are obese, and there are a number of reported factors. First, technology is an emerging cause of inactivity, as people sit in front of televisions or on their phones more than ever. Second, an increase in sedimentary 9-5 jobs that require little physical activity with few breaks with physical movement. In fact, only 20% of jobs currently require physical activity. So if you find yourself in a chair too much, you’re not alone. It’s becoming a cultural issue we have to overcome.

What’s more troubling, the World Health Organization draws a connection between physical inactivity and very serious diseases. The organization estimates “6% of heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, and about 10% of colon and breast cancers, are linked to lack of activity.”

The impact on your mind

The amount of exercise you get each day also affects your brain. Some studies have shown regular exercise will improve your memory. This means exercise may have a direct impact on your ability to perform your job, help you keep track of appointments and details, and improve your relationship with your spouse or partner — as you remember to take out the trash. Of course the trash isn’t as important as remembering the time you spend with your grandkids, but you get the gist.

As an added bonus, think about this: exercise was shown to increase the creation of certain brain cells in rodents — and this may translate to humans. So you get home from work and take a walk around the neighborhood and as a result your brain may actually grow! That’s pretty neat, isn’t it?

The impact on your wallet

The last piece of this puzzle is how inactivity can affect your wallet — specifically healthcare costs. Obviously if you have a condition or have to see the doctor more often than another person you will spend more money, but how much money?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the annual cost of obesity at $147 billion in 2008. They point out that medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher each year compared to people of normal weight. You have to stop and weigh the things holding you back from exercising against the impact on your health and the cost.

Arizona and North Carolina, the two states where you can find a FastMed, are around the middle of the pack when we talk about states battling obesity rates. Around 25% to 30% of people in our home states are obese. We’re prepared to help you get back on the right track if you need help. We know that often the hardest part is getting started. Speaking with a healthcare provider about building an activity plan that is right for you counts as a brave first step.

FastMed can help you get back out there

Whether you have slipped into a bad habit or found yourself going without exercise for a while, FastMed is available to help. We are a quick and affordable alternative to the emergency room and our community-focused staff is happy to have you visit, talk about your barriers to exercise, and see how we can help you get back out there.

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