Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bikram Yoga - Anecdote to Obamacare

How we spend a cold morning!
Are you one of the thousands who saw their insurance premiums and deductibles go sky high with the advent of Obamacare? I've been thinking that the only real answer here is to be so healthy you don't need a doctor. If you have a $5,000 deductible, spend a fraction of that going to hot yoga classes and, barring accidents, you may never need to spend all that money on healthcare.

The past 20 years or so, my entire health goal has been boost my immune system and be so healthy that I don't need medications as I get older. I was 63 yesterday and I need no cholesterol or blood pressure meds. I don't have diabetes. I'm not overweight. I've never had cancer or any serious health issues. Just a touch of arthritis in the joints and shoulder pain from a partial tear in my rotator cuff.

The current health care crisis really points out that, even with Obamacare, people may have insurance but they might not be able to afford to use it. Can they even afford the premiums? Of course many people will be forced onto Medicare or otherwise subsidized but what about the middle income people who may struggle already to pay bills?

I'm sure many out there would love to get a membership to their nearest Bikram yoga studio but might consider it a luxury. The studio I go to costs $99 a month for a regular membership. However, I can get a military or senior discount so it costs me $69 a month. The military discount is for all retired military and their dependents. Even $69 a month might be a stretch for those on a retirement budget or for students, etc. But what is your health worth to you? By spending that monthly fee, you might save yourself hundreds or thousands in medical costs over the years.

Hot yoga benefits include:
  • losing weight, which helps all sorts of health issues including diabetes and blood pressure.
  • increasing flexibility which will keep you off the arthritis medications
  • improving balance which means you'll never fall and break a hip or anything else
  • improves knee and hip health and flexibility so you won't need those parts replaced when you get older
  • improves back issues which can be debilitating as you get older
  • improves muscle strength, which helps also with balance and general body health
  • improves energy
  • improves sleep
  • helps decrease stress, which is a huge factor in how well you age, as well as being a component in diseases such as cancer.
I could go on and on about the benefits of Bikram yoga. Is it hard? Yes! Do you feel great afterwards? Yes! Do you feel like you've really accomplished something? Definitely!

Of course there are  other components to good health, including diet, but when you're busting your buns in the hot yoga studio, you start feeling healthier and less stressed, this affects your food choices too. Maybe you'll even take up green smoothies or juicing:)You never know where your love of Bikram can take you.

So when you're weighing up those health care costs, consider spending a little more on wellness and saving those big bucks in insurance deductibles. A friend of mine from the studio says she considers hot yoga like medicine. You take it 4-5 times a week for good health. This woman, who is in her late 50's, was recently told she shows no signs of the heart disease she previously had - after 2 years of Bikram.

You'll look great and feel great after just a couple of weeks of visiting the hot yoga studio so if you've tried it and gave up, consider doing yourself a favor and going back. I did.

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