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Indianapolis, IN

Living Well and Staying Covered in Indianapolis

Health & Medical Insurance in Indianapolis

The home of the Indianapolis 500 doesn’t exactly scream “health” at first glance, as the city is less than perfect when it comes to providing adequate parks and recreation, or reducing smoking and chronic illness. However, like many American cities that don’t make healthy living the backbone of their culture, Indianapolis still has organic, local foods hiding out in the shadows, and though lacking in urban parks, residents can blaze a trail of their own to stay active. Take comfort in the fact that several biking and hiking trails are located right near the city, and a variety of farmers’ markets serve the community. With these elements, anyone can adopt a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle on a budget, regardless of how the rest of the population lives.

In order to maintain your good health, or manage a condition so you can feel normal and healthy, health insurance is certainly a helpful tool. While you shouldn’t have to pay for it, it is a necessity that connects residents of Indianapolis to the providers of their choice, as well as preventive care and other services at an affordable cost to keep them going. If you are in the large percentage of people in Indianapolis whose physical health could use a boost, several private health plans in the area offer free services (and rewards) to inspire you along into wellness.

Indianapolis health plans generally cost less for men and more for women of the same age, which will change in a few months. Some very good options for comprehensive coverage are available, however. UnitedHealthcare offers a $2,500 individual copay plan for $203 per month for a 32-year-old female resident ($147 per month for a male of the same age), which is the best deal in this demographic. All rates vary from one person to the next, so input your zip code below if your curious to know how much your premiums will be.

 

Living Well and Paying Less

Since certain Indianapolis insurance carriers like to keep their members healthy, you may want to find one of these plans to help you manage your diabetes, lose a healthy amount of weight, or bid farewell to cigarettes. Plans such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Indiana, Humana, and Physician’s Health Plan offer assistance with meeting your personal health goals, sometimes with incentives.

For example, Physician’s Health Plan offers health incentive programs for weight loss, tobacco cessation, and diabetes management with support, coaching, and reduced or eliminated deductibles and copays for medication and certain supplies.

If you feel confident in managing and improving your health solo, the city has plenty of resources for you to stay physically active, choose nutritious foods, and form healthier habits. As you continue to use these tools in combination with any medical care you may need, you will find yourself at the doctor less and less over time. Being healthy is a great way to reduce your spending (medically and otherwise), and Indianapolis can provide the access to nature and natural food every human craves (whether they know it or not).

 

Healthy Activities

So, Indianapolis is a bit dry when it comes to city parks, playgrounds, ball diamonds, and other public recreation facilities, yet the area has a higher than normal amount of golf courses to balance it out. There are some parks throughout the city, but even then, it’s difficult to get a true sense of nature or escape from the metropolis. Fortunately, right near the city there are a variety of different trails and other outdoor activities to keep you occupied and active, and more content than staying within the confines of a gym.

 

Road Biking

No matter your preference – featherweight carbonfibre frame, aluminum mountain bike, or anything else you like to take on the road – cycling is one of the greatest transportation and recreation options in any locale. Traverse the city on wheels, or explore a Rail-Trail like the Monon Trail for an off-road experience. Visit the Greenways Foundation for more places to ride without traffic.

 

Mountain Biking

There aren’t many mountains anywhere in Indiana, but if you’re looking for an outlet or a place to start, the state offers a few different options. In Indianapolis, several trails are located in the city, such as Town Run Trail Park, an 8-mile singletrack loop of good times for any skill level, and River’s Edge Trail. To get more trails in your life, another 15 trails are located in the state within an hour’s drive. View All Trails‘ list for a full directory of mountain bike parks.

 

Hiking

Central Indiana has a wide assortment of hiking trails, several of which are right nearby the state capital. Fall Creek Trail is a pleasant, short hike located at Fort Harrison State Park which is great for beginners and a nice break from the city with wooded scenery. The same park also features a longer trail, extending for nine miles and dog-friendly. Yellowwood State Forest is another ideal spot, with multiple nature trails and decent inclines. Explore all central Indiana trails at Trails.com.

 

Paddling

Whitewater and flatwater canoeing and kayaking is available throughout the Indianapolis region, with rivers and creeks lining the area. Go with a local paddling club or Meetup group, family, or friends, and enjoy a recreational experience for a low price and a great outcome. Paddling is great for your heart, posture, arm and core strength, and can lengthen your life as a result. Kayaking is especially great for beginners, as the boat is light and easy to maneuver.

 

Yoga

Just last week I heard someone say they couldn’t afford yoga, which may be a common misconception as there are many ways to get around paying for boutique classes. Attending classes every now and then helps keep your costs down, while giving you the ability to practice at home for free. Indianapolis has several free and donation-based classes, as well. Of course, yoga people may want you to join the namaste mindset, but take advantage of the religious undertones and get an inexpensive and effective workout. You can also use Wii fit yoga or search the web for instructional videos.

  • Pay-What-You-Can Happy Yoga: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St. (317) 846-3404.
  • All People Yoga Center: (Free into classes every 2nd Saturday) 1724 East 86th Street. (317) 818-1800.
  • CITYOGA: ($5 classes on Saturdays) 2442 Central Ave. (317) 920-9642.
  • Evolutions: (Free yoga night and donation events) 2801 Fairview Place, Greenwood, IN. (317) 881-YOGA.

Indianapolis Farmers Market

Healthy Eating

Indiana is full of farmland, and the capital city gets to sample the fruits (and vegetables, meats, and dairy) of the land at a number of farmers’ markets. This is the least expensive way to shop for nutritious foods grown without pesticides, so you get the freshest products.

And on those days when you don’t feel like preparing your own meals, there are a few healthy (and not ridiculously overpriced) restaurants in the city to fill you up with nourishment. Do your own investigating and start with a few of these spots for healthy, cost-effective dining and shopping around Indy.

  • Indianapolis City Market’s Original Farmers’ Market: Outdoor summer market, open every Wednesday from 9:30am to 1:30pm, with local produce, meats, cheeses, herbs, spices, and more. 222 East Market St. (317) 634-9266.
  • Waterman’s Farm Market: Open late May through early November, this market is connected with a farm in Greenwood where you can pick your own produce. 7010 E Raymond St. (317) 356-6995.
  • Broad Ripple Farmers’ Market: Set up in one of the cultural districts of the city, this market features over 60 vendors including prepared foods and natural treats for your pets. Open Saturdays 8am-12:30pm May through November at Broad Ripple Magnet High School, and Wednesdays from June-September 5-8pm at Broad Ripple Park.
  • Traders Point Green Market: Local, organic foods offered from up to 25 vendors at the Traders Point Creamery, open year-round. Made-to-order foods are offered in addition to a rotating schedule of fresh produce, meat, bakery, and dairy vendors. 9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville, IN. (317) 733-1700.
  • 3 Sisters Cafe: Well-priced, healthy menu full of vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore-friendly options. Plenty of plant-based dishes and grill items are great for breakfast, lunch, or any time. 6360 Guilford Ave. (317) 257-5556.
  • Duos: Referring to its menu as “slow food fast,” this cafe is heavy on the veggies, sources locally for as many ingredients as possible, and also has a companion food truck. 2960 N Meridian St. (317) 508-8614.
  • Pogue’s Run Grocer & Deli: Part of the Indy Food Coop, shop for local, organic and natural foods or pick up a fresh deli item for a reasonable price. 2828 E 10th St. (317) 426-4963.
  • Sobro Cafe: Moderately priced, healthy, international menu with everything made from scratch. Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as carry-out. 653 E 52nd St. (317) 920-8121.

 

 

References

 

1. ACSM American Fitness Index 2012. Indianapolis, IN. PDF.

2. Livestrong. What Are the Health Benefits of Kayaking?

3. Examiner. Free and donation-based yoga in Indianapolis.

4. Visit Indy. Indianapolis Farmers’ Markets.

5. Happy Cow. Health Food, Vegetarian, & Vegan Restaurants in Indianapolis, IN.

 

Images: Jasssmit via Wikimedia Commons, UrbanTimesOnline.com

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