Photo courtesy of ShutterstockBy Kenrya Rankin
$3,157. That's how much the average American paid out of pocket for health care in one recent year. (We can think of better uses for your green: say, new running sneakers or that awesome Garmin GPS watch.) Alarmingly, a Harvard Medical School study found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills or loss of income due to illness. Here are seven simple steps to cut your health care costs -- no messy calculations necessary.
Related: 5 Shocking Ways Your Cell Phone Is Hurting Your Health
Your Savings, Decoded
Use this key to see how much moola these strategies could net you. Ca-ching!
$ You save $$ You save $100 to $1,000
$$$ You save > $1,000
Double-check your insurance.
Never assume that your doctor is still in your insurance network. Physicians typically reevaluate their list of accepted plans at least annually, so ask each time you book an appointment. If your MD now works with your plan on an out-of-network basis, her services will often be
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Photo courtesy of ShutterstockBy Kenrya RankinRead More »from 7 Ways to Save on Health Care
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Wed, Mar 20, 2013 1:32 PM EDT
Claire Benoist/Fitness MagazineBy Paige GreenfieldRead More »from Should You Swallow? Vitamins and Supplements You Really Need
Taking vitamins to stay healthy seems like a no-brainer. But new research has found that supplements aren't the magic bullet we've been led to believe. One recent review of 78 studies found that antioxidant supplements don't reduce the risk for death from disease; in fact, in some cases they actually raise it. And now calcium supplements, which so many of us have been dutifully popping for years, have been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks. Say what? But don't trash your stash just yet. Read on so you can make the best decisions for your body.
Related: QUIZ: Test Your Vitamin IQ?
5 Facts About Vitamins and Your Health
Fact: Vitamins don't cancel out bad health habits.
"There are so many different disease-causing culprits in our lives that one vitamin cannot protect against them all," says Mark Moyad, MD, a FITNESS advisory board member and the director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. "Vitamins can't
Justin Stephens/Fitness MagazineBy Kelly MickleRead More »from Jillian Michaels' New Balancing Act
Jillian Michaels barely has time to order an egg salad sandwich before the deli clerk begins telling her about his recent weight loss. "That's incredible -- good for you!" she says, as though rooting for one of her contestants on The Biggest Loser. Most of us wouldn't want our jobs to follow us wherever we go, but not Jillian. "This is what I was born to do," she says.
It's hard to disagree, considering how she's helped inspire and shape up millions of people. But life has changed for the tough-as-nails trainer. Returning to the show after a two-year hiatus, Jillian, 39, is now a mother of two, having adopted a 2-year-old daughter, Lukensia, from Haiti and welcomed a baby boy, Phoenix, with her partner, Heidi Rhoades, last spring. Suddenly her no-nonsense approach to fitness isn't quite so black-and-white.
"I used to say, 'If you're going to exercise, then you do it, and you do it 100 percent.' Now if I've got to answer e-mails while I work out on the StairMaster,
iStockPhoto/Fitness MagazineBy Danielle PaquetteRead More »from 5 Surprising Superfoods You Should Be Eating
Apples, almonds, broccoli. If you eat the same things every week, you may be missing out on an easy way to boost your health. "Many of us pass up foods that are nutritional powerhouses, because we don't know how to prepare them," says Angela Ginn, RD, a nutritionist in Baltimore. Bust out of your culinary rut with these five disease fighters.
Related: 10 Superfoods for Gorgeous Skin and Hair
Why? A great low-calorie, high-fiber veggie packed with antioxidants that help ward off cancer-causing free radicals.
How to Enjoy: Find bamboo shoots in the canned-food section of your supermarket. Add to salads, stir-fries, and soups.
Why? Rich in protein and phytosterols, these little treats have been shown to reduce levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.
How to Enjoy: Eat them plain for an afternoon snack or sprinkle some on top of your salad for added crunch.
Related: Live to 100: 10 Diet Tips to Live Longer
Why? This leafy green is
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Chee GatesRead More »from How to Relieve Stress Naturally
Your misplaced wallet. A dead car battery. Stress is a thug we encounter almost hourly. The question is, do you have what it takes to stand up to the bully? If you're like most people surveyed last year by the American Psychological Association, you may be losing the good fight: Sixty percent said stressful situations left them irritable, 53 percent felt fatigued, and 52 percent were unable to sleep at night.
Stress takes a toll on more than just your mood. All that tension puts a whammy on your waistline, thanks to the stress-related hormone cortisol, which rises during anxiety-inducing events and makes you crave fatty, sugar-packed foods. Those excess calories are more likely to be stored in the gut as visceral fat, the type that's been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and gastrointestinal cancers. Visceral fat also increases the production of cortisol, perpetuating the cycle (as if you need any further assistance).
Moreover, "chronic stress releases
Brian Klutch/Fitness MagazineBy Maridel ReyesRead More »from The Dirtiest Spots at the Gym
You hit the gym regularly to be healthy and fit. Yet you may be getting more than flat abs and strong arms there. Gyms are hotbeds of germ activity, researchers say. Norovirus, which causes stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, can survive for a month on the surface of exercise machines. The fungi responsible for foot infections multiply at a blinding pace in the shower. And microbes like MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to dangerous skin infections, lurk in the locker room. To help you stay safe, FITNESS asked top experts to ID the biggest danger zones in the gym and to share the best germ-beating strategies.
Related: The 7 Worst Health Habits Ever
Hot Spot: Free Weights, Weight Machines, Exercise Balls
Germ Meter = High
Because so many people handle it, this equipment is rife with bugs and viruses that can lead to colds and other infections. "I've even found MRSA on an exercise ball in a gym," says Philip Tierno Jr., PhD, a clinical professor
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Mar 12, 2013 11:34 AM EDT
Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Sally Kuzemchak, RDRead More »from The Anti-Diet: How Not Dieting is the Key to Losing Weight
Put your calorie-counting, food-journaling ways on freeze. Here's new thinking on exactly how to eat to lose.
Related: 10 Strategies to Lose Fat and Keep It Off
The Intuitive Eating Approach
Jill Carlson, 36, had issues with ice cream. So the Chicagoan, who had lost and regained 60 pounds through a series of different diets, did something drastic. Instead of following conventional weight-loss wisdom and banishing Ben & Jerry's Cake Batter from the house, she filled her freezer with it, stocking 10 pints and giving herself permission to eat it. At first she did -- a lot. But after a couple of months the sweet treat sat untouched. "It lost its sparkle," she said. "I knew at that point that ice cream -- or any food -- no longer had an unhealthy grip on me."
Jill is among the growing number of women who are turning their back on typical diets. They're making peace with food and their weight, using what experts have dubbed a no-diet approach.
James Michelfelder/Fitness MagazineBy Colleen MoodyRead More »from Running Gear: When to Save Vs. Splurge
We know. It's hard to spend so much money on something you're just going to get sweaty in. And sometimes it's okay to be cheap! "A general rule of thumb I follow when buying my running clothes is that the closer it is to your skin, the better quality it should be," says Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise and certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Read on for her advice about smart spending.
Related: How to Find Your Perfect Workout
When shopping for shorts, keep your eyes out for some serious savings. "Tons of brands are making running-specific shorts with fun additions like mini pockets for your keys," says Matthews. "You can definitely save and still get a good value, so long as they don't ride up." But if you prefer running in tights, splurge for the better quality. "You can feel the difference between a pair that's made right versus one that's not," says Matthews. Choosing a pair that's
Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineBy Paige GreenfieldRead More »from 5 Seasonal Allergy Remedies
After months of indoor exercise, it's finally warm enough to ditch the treadmill and hit the trails to get your sweat on. You lace up your sneakers, step outside and -- ah-ah-ah-choo! -- hay fever puts a damper on your spring fever.
If you've noticed more sneezing recently, you're not alone. Scientists have seen a two- to threefold increase in some common adult seasonal allergies since the 1970s; the condition affects approximately 46 percent of people in the United States today. They pinpoint "spring creep" as the culprit. No matter what Punxsutawney Phil predicts, spring arrives earlier than it did 20 years ago, extending the growing season by 10 to 14 days, according to data from the U.S. Global Change Research Program. That's great news if you want your tomato plants to grow like gangbusters but not so swell for your sinuses. "Pollen hangs around longer because warm weather does, and today it lingers much longer than it used to," explains Kim Knowlton, senior
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Mar 7, 2013 11:33 AM EST
David Arky/Fitness MagazineBy Hollace SchmidtRead More »from Danger in the Air: How to Protect Yourself from Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is earning a scary new reputation as a disease that can strike fit young women who've never smoked. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself.
Related: How to Protect Yourself from Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer and Nonsmokers: Know Your Risk
Kathy O'Brien of Westfield, New Jersey, thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. She was driving her three kids to school two years ago when she noticed that the stop sign was blurry. Her eye doctor sent her to a retina specialist, who spotted six tumors in her left eye and four in her right. The next day -- after a battery of tests including an MRI and a CT scan -- Kathy was in an oncologist's office, blindsided by news that was beyond shocking: She had stage IV lung cancer. "Never in a million years did I think I'd hear something like that," says Kathy, who had recently run her fifth marathon and had become certified as a Bar Method exercise instructor. "It seemed impossible because I had never smoked."