Lack of exercise is a big risk factor for developing diabetes and complications such as heart disease. It has also been shown to impact the amount of money you pay in health care costs.

More about health insurance and physical activity level:

Inactivity has been linked to higher risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Many women with heart disease are not exercising enough, which leads to more health problems in the long term. Women between 40 and 64 years old are the fastest-growing age group not getting enough physical activity. The research has shown that Latina women and those from low-income households are the most at risk group for not exercising enough. This is important because heart disease, which is a common complication from diabetes, affects 43 million women in the United States and is also the leading cause of death among American women.

Physical activity is a way to prevent diabetes that also lowers health insurance cost in the long term. The American Heart Association’s recommendation is at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week. For example, this could look like just 30 minutes of exercise per day for 5 days of the week. The percentage of women that said they were not meeting this exercise guideline rose from 58% in 2006 to 61% in 2015. The lack of exercise also has been shown to increase health care costs for women with heart disease. For example, the researchers of this study reported that the average health care costs rose from $12,724 in 2007 to $14,820 in 2015. This fact should serve as motivation for women with heart disease to find ways to increase their physical activity level to maintain good health and also lower costs for health insurance. Dr. Erin Michos, a professor of medicine at John Hopkins, stated, “The expense of poor health is tremendous. Many high-risk women need encouragement to get more physically active in hopes of living healthier lives while reducing their health care costs.” Specifically for Latina women, it is important to make sure they are exercising regularly as a way to prevent diabetes, improve heart health, and also lower health care costs down the road.

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