You probably know that regular exercise is good for your health, but you may not be aware that it could save you up to $2,500 in medical costs annually. The new report suggests that patients with heart disease who exercise regularly can save some money in healthcare expenses.
Senior study author Dr. Khurram Nasir said, “The message to the patient is clear: There is no better pill in reducing the risk of disease and healthcare costs than optimizing physical activity.”
The researchers tracked data from over 26,000 Americans. About one-third of patients with heart disease and half of patients without heart disease said they met the standard guidelines for regular exercise.
Patients with heart disease were found to have higher medical costs annually, but those who partook in regular exercise saved on average $2,500 annually.
Dr. Nasir explained, “Even among an established high-risk group such as those diagnosed with heart disease or stroke, those who engaged in regular exercise activities reported a much lower risk of being hospitalized, (having) an emergency room visit, and use of prescription medications.”
The researchers speculate that if 20 percent of heart disease patients partook in regular exercise it could save the U.S. healthcare system several billions of dollars each year.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five times a week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous activity at least three times a week. Alternatively, you could perform a mix of both.
Activities can include walking, mowing the lawn, or even heavy cleaning.