The Financial Cost of Being Fit

by Heidi on October 9, 2013

The Financial Cost of Being Fit

Some of the best business books around talk about a fitness regime to keep you body healthy and your mind active and to obtain the best results in your business life. So why do we hesitate and claim all sort of barriers (including financial ones) to us keeping fit. How often have you said “I don’t have time to do this” at a cost to yourself in the long run?

Couch potatoes, for example, are prone to heart related ailments. They not only sit all day long accumulating bad cholesterol, technically known as Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) (i), but are also too lazy to assemble the ingredients for a balanced diet.

The ailments associated with lack of exercise include diabetes, depression, arthritis, and even cancer and stroke. The list could be longer considering that exercising helps the organs of the body get supplied with oxygen, something that is a pre-requisite to good health.

So whats the best method for you to get fit?

Some people associate exercising with affluence because what comes to mind quickly is a well equipped gym in the house or in an exclusive spot in the street; yet this is not necessarily the case. Take for example the people I saw yesterday training in a park all they needed were their usual running shoes and light clothing and they were good to go. You can exercise effectively from wherever you are, using the strategy that suits you best. But since we cannot realistically ignore cost, let’s analyze a few methods at our disposal and compare the financial implications of each.

1. Enrolling in a gym

Obviously with the mandatory fee that you pay on a weekly or monthly basis, you don’t want to lose your cash missing sessions and so that’s motivation enough to keep up your gym visits. In fact, some ingenious people have come up with a program on iOS that penalizes you when you miss out your scheduled visits to the member gyms and pays you some cash bonuses when you maintain your schedule. Quite an incentive to walk the healthy road and waste not!

Gym membership fees cannot be said to be that low and when you get down to it Gyms profit from our innate lazyness. They want you to sign up but not turn up! One great tip is if you do your math well you could end up paying peanuts by joining Groupon and such other discounting sites. Or buying membership when it’s low season, like in summer when everyone wants to be outdoors. Still you’ve got to factor in the cost of gear as gyms will not go below certain standards.

financial cost of being fit2. Working with a personal trainer

This has the benefit of having exercises specially tailored for you along with personal motivation to suit. But affording a personal trainer is not for the average Joe. A personal trainer is much more expensive than a gym especially because you are the trainer’s only cost center PLUS they often have an arrangment with a gym to use their equipment. Your almost paying gym membership fees twice. And so all overheads are on you. Besides the cost the motivation from a personal trainer can really help you achieve your fitness goals. You cannot afford to keep cancelling on the trainer just because you’ve got personal commitments. While this aspect will keep you on track, it can be an inconvenience sometimes.

3. Boot camp fitness program

Here, you look forward to training time not necessarily because you are eager to exercise, but often because of the network of friends you’ve made. This motivation helps you achieve your goal of keeping fit especially because often Boot Camp is outside in nature and fresh air. This atmosphere gives room to compare notes and train hard unlike in a gym where members are very individualistic. The financial cost of boot camp is even lower than that of a gym. But long term your probably not going to remain in what is high intensity boot camp for ever so you might still need to join a local gym later if you can’t keep up the exercise routine on your own.

4. Training on your own

This is the most cost effective exercise regime you could embark on. You get to wear what you want and you have no designated venue or time so you are very flexible. However, it is the weakest in terms of keeping you on track. So unless you are in the military or have the mindset of a professional athlete, you had better choose the other options and use this only as a stop gap.

The financial cost of being fit includes paid training, gym membership fees, cost of training outfit, and even cost of travel. As such you may need to be a little more creative if you want to keep fit but have no funds to pick some of the more costlier options.

All in all any of these options are  a price worth paying because the alternative is likely to be huge hospital bills that tower over the cost of exercise if your health suffers from lack of exercise.

 

Already in boot camp? Started considering your gym membership costs? Leave us a comment about your financial cost of being fit and don’t forget to share!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

dojo October 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I stopped doing sports, since I’m pregnant and the doctor advised me to take it slow these months. I did go swimming 2 times/week and also did TaeBo. Being fit is a great idea, you’re more energized (so you can work better) and also healthier (and this saves money you’d otherwise pay to get back your health).

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Mike October 14, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thanks for the Comment Dojo! I find sneaking in for a few laps of a friends pool has the same money saving effect for me! Plus it helps out with my shoulder rehab after surgery last year.

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