I must admit it. I am an NPR junkie. They review a book. I buy it. Two days ago, there was an interview with a financial columnist who discussed long term health insurance. For those of you who are not aware of this outrageous product, it helps us finance our healthcare when we no longer can take care of ourselves. I am sure, that for most of you young parents, this is not of great concern right now. And anyway, I wasn’t ready to buy her book.

Photo by Russell Thurston

Then last night I heard Terry Gross on Fresh Air. (It’s a radio show. Not TV…this is for the TV junkies in our audience.) She talked to New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. In her new book, The First 20 Minutes, Reynolds breaks some exercise myths that I have lived with for a long time.

Don’t do those stretches at the beginning of your exercise workout. She suggests doing some simple warm-ups makes your body more limber.

Chocolate milk is the great after exercise meal. Be careful, she warns. This advice is for those who are exercising for a least an hour. It’s all about those calories.

You don’t need eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Apparently our bodies are good barometers for telling us when we need more water.

What does this exercise book have to do with long term health insurance? For me it’s everything!

According to Reynolds, when we keep fit we increase our lifespan by 17% (or maybe it’s 20%). I am sure there are diminishing returns as we age. For example, for those of you in your 30’s that only increases your lifespan by five or six years, but for me it could increase my life span by fifteen years.  And the best part is that exercising helps not only our bodies but our minds as well. Read her blog  “How working the muscles may boost brainpower.”

So this is my idea. If I exercise at least a half hour every day I probably won’t need long term health insurance.  And isn’t that the best money-saving idea you have heard yet!! Besides, think how smart I am going to be.