Individual health plans have requirements.  You may have a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater that 32 but your health insurance premiums will be more than your thinner friend.  If you weigh way more than you should in relation to your height you may not be able to select any major medical health plans at all.  I read about a woman whose weight was 200 pounds at 5’1”.  Her blood pressure was normal.  No diabetes.  She even taught fitness classes and walked between 10-20 miles a day.  Good for her!  Unfortunately for her, she will not qualify for individual health insurance.

Can you be fat and fit?  Yes and no. Before you head for the nearest buffet bear this in mind. You may pass the cardio tests and have great blood pressure and be on the heavy side.  Most doctors, however, will be telling you to get your weight down.  You can also be thin and unfit. The King of Couch potatoes might not be overweight but if he has belly fat he is at an increased risk for heart disease.    Here’s a quote from Dave Barry’s very funny book “Stay Fit & Healthy until you’re Dead”  “Your body is like a superbly engineered luxury automobile: if you use it wisely and maintain it properly, it will eventually break down, most likely in a bad neighborhood.”  Most health care professionals believe that if you are fit, you will break down later rather than sooner.

Her are10 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit:

1. Quit smoking

Smoking kills by causing cancer, strokes, and heart failure. Smoking leads to erectile dysfunction in men due to atherosclerosis.

2. Keep active

Do something to keep fit each day- something you enjoy that maintains strength, balance, flexibility, and promotes cardiovascular health.

3. Eat Well

Many illnesses – such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise.

4. Maintain a healthy weight

Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

5. Prevent falls

Did you know that people who walk barefoot fall more frequently?  Wear shoes with good support to reduce the risk of falling.

6. Stay up-to-date on immunizations and other health screenings

By age 50, women should begin mammography screening for breast cancer. Men can be checked for prostate cancer.  Those who are new to Medicare are entitled to a “Welcome to Medicare” visit.

7. Prevent skin cancer

Too much sun and ultra violet rays can cause skin cancer.

8. Get regular dental, vision and hearing checkups

Your teeth and gums will last a lifetime if you care for them properly.  By age 50, most people notice changes in their vision, including a gradual decline in the ability to see small print or focus on close objects.

9.   Manage stress

Try exercise or relaxation techniques as a means of coping.

10. Fan the flame- sexual intimacy and aging

Age is no reason to limit your sexual enjoyment.