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Step Up Physical Activity

The benefits of regular physical activity are many - we look better, we feel better, and our overall health can improve. And that's not all - by exercising regularly we can help control the rise of health care costs for everyone. In fact, increasing regular moderate physical activity among the more than 88 million inactive Americans over the age of 15 years might reduce annual health care costs by as much as $76.6 billion.

Being physically inactive significantly increases the risk of developing many chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and osteoporosis. Health care costs related to these conditions total more than $600 billion nationally.

Fortunately, each of us has the power to impact our health and health care costs by increasing our physical activity. Talk with your doctor to find the best way to add physical activity to your daily routine. Check with a local community center, senior center, school or church for free or low-cost exercise classes and athletic activities. By getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise every day, you could improve your personal health while helping control the rising cost of health care for everyone.