An article was posted on Fitness Economics a few days back broadly looking at the overall cost of poor health and the purely financial benefits of exercise. Those of us who have been taking care of other people’s health for a long time clearly see and understand how beneficial staying healthy and fit is, and in so many more ways than just financially.
However, around the holidays we all have plenty of conversations with people who “can’t afford to workout” or “don’t have the time right now”. My proposal is that you can’t afford not to. You’re welcome to read some great ways to help those you care about around the money issue in my previous write up “Why Wait” where I help mitigate those excuses.
There’s another part of the story that is a bit more granular. Many health issues result from being out of shape and eventually succumbing to Obesity. The U.S. is on a staggering decline towards widespread obesity and we have the ability to do something about it. Below is a breakdown of a few obesity and inactivity related health problems and the costs associated with those issues.
By the way, these statistics and images are directly from the CDC – not to be conflated with an opinion.
We can look at Type 2 Diabetes as a good example of the cost of letting your health slip via poor exercise and nutrition. The number one cause of Type 2 Diabetes is obesity and an inactive lifestyle (fitness and nutrition are the opposites of this!).
Type 2 Diabetes costs, on average, $6824/per person per year. That’s $568/month.
The hard part about this number is that once you have Type 2 Diabetes, spending $568/month is not a choice. Right now, you have the choice to spend your money where you choose. With obesity, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, etc, you are forced to spend money to stay alive.
If you’re worried about the cost of joining a gym or the time spent in your garage or living room, be honest with yourself and run the numbers. Would you rather add years and quality to your life?
Or save less money (medical costs far outweigh a gym membership or workout equipment) and some time now?
Unfortunately, what you may find is that people get upset when you point out the reality of their situation. This is common. However, for the few that do sit back, think about it, and realize they can make a positive change, it is completely worth the effort and potential hurt feelings. I’d rather offend a few people and have the chance to add years to the lives of those who listen.
My favorite stories to tell are of those who have decided to take control of their lives and make a change. I love looking back on my first memories of meeting them and seeing the amazing change they’ve made through simple steps in their fitness and nutrition.
I hope this is helpful and a gentle push over the starting line to help you save money and, more importantly, make yourself healthier for you, your friends, family, and all those you have the potential to help.
Posted By Steven Grant
Written By Ben Tyler, 925 Head Coach