As a Personal Trainer, I’m touching on a very personal topic here. Am I going to lose business because of the economic downturn? Is the gym I work for going to lose memberships? Is the average person wasting his/her money by paying for a gym membership every month?
Maintaining your health is a lifelong investment in the sense that it takes your entire life to maintain your health and that you’ll reap the rewards of health throughout your entire life. Since it takes your entire life to maintain your health, yes, you do need to exercise. However, you don’t need to spend money in order to exercise. You can run, walk, hike or bike outside, and you can spend a mere $10 on a resistance band to do strength-training exercises at home. How many of us do this? Unfortunately, most people don’t have the self-motivation to exercise consistently, especially in the winter. Therefore, if keeping the gym membership or trainer, especially through the cold, dark winter, will keep you in shape, then that is a worthwhile expense for your lifelong health. How many times have you felt guilted into using your gym membership? It’s not a great reason to go, but it works.
Some of the long-term savings and rewards of maintaining your health are: saving money on insurance premiums, healthcare costs, prescriptions, doctor visits, tests and exams, larger-sized clothes, etc. How much do you (and your insurer) pay for these items per year? You don’t have to if you maintain your health. My doctor called me “medically boring” because, besides my annual exam, I never see him. He doesn’t make much money off me. Strive to be “medically boring” by living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Do everything you can to be healthy. Besides, health helps you handle stress in these difficult times.
My opinion of the best ways to save money and improve your health are: buying and eating healthy, homemade food and walking more while driving less, if possible. Here’s an article on ways to save money: http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Savinganddebt/Savemoney/P36019.asp and of its seven suggestions, none of them included cutting gym memberships. Here’s another article about 30 ways to save money: http://www.dumblittleman.com/2008/01/30-easy-ways-to-save-money-and-no-you.html and, again, no suggestion to cancel your gym membership. Do you agree with these money-saving suggestions, compared to quitting the gym?
The humongous successes of the healthcare industry, pharmacological industry, processed food industry, and clothing industry are all thanks to Americans’ lack of health. Invest in your own physical health instead of these industries’ financial health.