Get Healthy, Stay Healthy and Avoid Pricey Healthcare Expenses

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Healthcare costs are expensive, but it's not an expense we have to "live" with. By taking control of our family's health and being proactive about staying healthy, we can keep costs to a minimum. Grandma has some suggestions that can help keep families fit, happy and healthy, and keep those health costs low.

Look at this number: $15,609. That's the expected cost of medical expenses for an average family of four in 2008, according to the Milliman Medical Index (milliman.com). It's no surprise that healthcare costs are rising, but many medical expenses can be lowered or avoided entirely by becoming proactive about your health. Weight loss expert Grandma Bev Grey suggests taking control of your family's health in the article "Lower Healthcare Costs with a Little Family Teamwork," which is available for download at http://www.grandmashealthykidsclub.com.

According to Grey, "We must do everything in our power to keep the medical costs for our own family as low as possible." This can mean tackling big obstacles such as quitting smoking, or changing little things such as washing hands often.

"Take advantage of all free health-care screenings provided in your town," offers Grey. "Free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, and other services are often available once or twice a year. Call your county health department to see when these screenings will be available, or attend a local health fair where these services are often provided."

Grey, an expert in childhood obesity, strongly recommends paying attention to diet and exercise habits. "If your family members are overweight, do something about it," she says. "Stop frying your foods and switch to baking or other healthier cooking methods. Turn off the television during dinner, and get to know each other again. Plan two healthy snacks a day for everyone. Put sensible portions of food on your plates instead of serving family-style, and eat slowly. Follow the USDA food pyramid suggestions when planning your family's meals."

"Take the whole family for a walk every day, or just get out and shoot hoops, play freeze tag, throw a Frisbee, ride your bikes, or do whatever it is you like to do," Grey adds. "If you prefer to stay indoors, put on some music and dance, or work out to an exercise video. Take turns letting each family member choose the exercise activity for the day, and get everyone to agree to do the chosen activity without complaining!"

Find out more about reducing your family's medical costs by reading this article in its entirety at http://www.grandmashealthykidsclub.com.

Bev Grey is founder and president of Grandma's Healthy Kids Club, a Web site that offers age-appropriate weight loss programs and other items for children and adults. She is also author of The Project, a fictional story for children or adults who work with children, and Ending the Cycle of Obesity, an e-book containing several articles she has written about healthy living and childhood obesity. Visit http://www.grandmashealthykidsclub.com.

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MICHELE PARIZA WACEK
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