Wouldn't it be great if you could rejoin the ranks of the healthy without spending a ton of money? I managed to do it. It isn't as hard as you might think.

First of all, the cure for prediabetes can be very inexpensive. In a FAQ on their web site, the American Diabetes Association states:

"Q: What is the treatment for prediabetes?

A: Treatment consists of losing a modest amount of weight (5-10 percent of total body weight) through diet and moderate exercise, such as walking, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. A loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference. "

It can by very simple and inexpensive to follow this advice, but it is right here that we need a reality check. Sadly, most of us would rather eat what we want, be as lazy as we can get away with being, and then hope to take some magic pill to avoid the consequences. The problem is magic can be very expensive. And more often than not, dietary magic proves to be just an illusion.

It doesn't have to be that way. If done the right way, getting healthy can actually save money. Eating less, decreasing portion sizes and eating high protein foods that satisfy longer, can actually lower your grocery bills. Even if the food budget goes up a bit, it is still cheaper than medicine. Frankly, I would rather financially reward a farmer for proving me good food, than help fund an industry that profits from my sickness.

A healthy diet can save you money, but what about exercise? Gym memberships, special equipment, shoes, clothes, classes, etc., can add up to quite a bit. But, just like a smart diet, exercise can be a bargain. Walking doesn't have to cost anything if you do it right. Instead of buying pills to cure your ills, why not just walk for 30 minutes? It can be as simple as walking out the front door, choosing a direction and noting when you have walked 15 min. Then turn around and come home.

If you want to spend some money to motivate yourself, fine. Some people find joining a gym and working out with a buddy to be just the thing. But driving to a gym, taking the shower there, etc, can eat up a lot of time. When time is short and demands are high, skipping that drive and saving that hour or two becomes very tempting. In choosing an exercise method, a very important question is: "Will I do this every day or regularly without fail?" If the gym, or other more expensive method works for you, great! It is cheaper being a gym rat than neglecting yourself and evolving from a prediabetic into a full blown diabetic. If spending some money keeps you exercising, you are on your way to better health. Eventually there will be a positive R.O.I (return on investment).

Personally, I like it simple, cheap and inside. Keeping it local or in the house saves a lot of time. This inside method works for me because I can listen to my favorite podcasts, stay dry, and avoid dogs, rain, cars and the mocking stares of kids at the bus-stop. I find that I am more likely to do it every day if it convenient and not subject to interruptions of traffic and tropical storms.

My program has two parts. The first part is weight lifting. I purchased an exercise bench from Sears for about $80 and installed it in my home office. I workout every day (except Sunday), focusing on the different parts of my body, on alternating days, I started light with a lot of reps and added more weights a little at a time. I am up to 85 lb. bench presses, 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

For aerobics, I am going cheaper. We have a step inside the house that I have started using. An hour or so after dinner, I usually do 500 steps in 20 min., about the time it takes to watch one of my favorite old shows on Hulu.com. The step is free, the entertainment is free and I lower my blood sugar levels, saving money on medications. That is a "win-win-win" situation. How many "wins" in a row do you need? I can string together a few more, but I think you have enough reasons to stop hiding behind the excuse that weight loss and exercise are difficult and expensive.

OK, so I spent some money on a weight bench. I am not a bit sorry. I might even ask for a $99 "Wii Fit Plus" for Christmas. I might have spent some money, but I am already enjoying benefits of my improved health in my journey towards fitness and haven't spent over $100 in total so far.
The twin pleasures of saving money and getting results are great motivators. Ina addition, my wife Tina and I have started watching "The Biggest Loser" and consequently, are getting tougher on ourselves. Today we walked 35 min. in the park together and planned another walk for later today. But the biggest motivation is seeing that scale go down! I started at 175 about two months ago and weighed in at 152 this morning. That is 23 lbs of success!

The point is, you can get healthy without helping your doctors, pharmacists or health food practitioners get any richer. If you are a cheapskate ( I prefer "thrifty") like me, saving some significant cash every month could be just the extra motivation you need to eat right and to lace up those walking shoes and start stepping your way into the land of better health and lower expenses.