Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friendship, healthcare, and a gym

Find a friend, says the NY Times, and your wellness factor increases!

The American healthcare system sucks. Not because the doctors or quality of healthcare sucks; but because of insurance issues. You can't get decent care in this country without buying into the insurance system. Ironically, frustration, rather than being about the medical system, is about measly insurance companies who couldn't cure a patient even if their life depended on it.

Because I'm an independent consultant, I'm responsible for my own health insurance (most Americans get their insurance through their employers). And because its so expensive and so hard to decide what type of health insurance to get, I've been living without health insurance for several years now. But the tables are turning (as they always do).

I'm getting out-of-shape, and everyone is scaring me about terrible calamities to come. So I went to several gyms yesterday and found out that insured people have lower monthly fees, which really pushed me to start hunting for an insurance policy. I am having SO much difficulty picking something. Every one of my friends then gives me an opinion about which one to pick and they are all different, further confusing me.

In the midst of this, I read three different articles in the same issue of the NY Times, all relating to healthcare: this one about a family struggling to keep their son free of cancer, and this one about friendship being good insurance.

I'm lost and frustrated, have high gym rates, run the risk of taking my wonderful family into financial bankruptcy; but I have friends and hopefully that will keep me alive and well. Maybe I should take my friends to the gym, and we really will be alive and well to an exponential degree! :-)


Paul C said...

Pragzz, don't waste your money on a gym. Watch your diet, and start exercising at home - slowly at first, but build up a routine, and you can get exactly the same benefits as a gym. See if you can find a friend who likes to run or cycle, and exercise with them - it really helps to have somebody else to keep you going. It's increasingly clear that the route to health is helped if you have friends (and preferably family) close both geographically and socially, but it sounds like you already have this. Lucky you!

pragzz said...

Awww, thanks Paul C. Yes, I'm very lucky with my family and friends. And I'm taking your advice. I found a local pool (I love swimming) that charges per visit, as opposed to a monthly fee.

I don't mind the gym fees, I just travel a LOT, often to the developing world; and its pointless for me to pay monthly fees because I don't use it that much. (the same with health insurance...I usually get healthcare wherever I am in the developing world, and its FAR cheaper!)

Most of my friends are not anywhere close to where I live. But that's not an excuse to stay unmotivated.

Thanks for sharing! :-)