One of the biggest excuses I hear from women who are looking into our program is they don't have the money. Having been in this industry for over 15 years at this point, this is probably the most common excuse. Now, I absolutely understand financial hardship. I've lived it! However, we are living in a time of “Black Friday” promotions, people spending extraordinary amounts of money during the holiday season, a flat screen HDTV in almost every house, some with multiple, eating out, buying lattes, etc. So, when someone says its the money, excuse me if I don't empathize right away. After all, what price do you put on your health?
According to a report by Susanna Kim with ABC News back in January of 2012, the average working American spends $37 a week on eating lunch out. That comes out to about $2,000 a year. What's worse is the food they are eating may not be ideal for health, let alone improving fitness levels and addressing exercise and nutrition related illnesses. So, we could argue that spending that money on lunches may also lead to spending more money on various food related health issues in the future. And the way health care costs are, that means those lunches will cost you way more than $2,000 annually!
Another alarming statistic is the “latte factor”. In the same article, Kim mentions that the average working American also spends about $20 a week on coffee, which accounts for another $1,000 each year. And, just like those lunch choices can get you in trouble, think about the added cream and sugar! Once again, those coffees could lead to more spending down the road!
We won't broach the subject of smoking and how much people spend on the habit (One report cites as much as $2,000 a year!), but let's take into account that obesity related health care costs now trump smoking related health care costs, according to a March 2012 report by Sharon Begley with Reuters! This article also explains that hospitals are dumping wall mounted toilets for floor models, to support the increasing amount and weight of obese patients.
Now, back to holiday spending. According to a survey by the American Research Group that was just published this November, the average American plans to spend $854 this holiday season. That is the highest since the pre-recession days of 2007! Now, I'm not the Grinch and I'm not saying to forgo giving gifts this holiday season. On the contrary, I am saying give the gift of health and fitness! This is a gift you can give yourself!
If the average working American can spend $3,000 a year on lunch and coffee and be very generous to others during the holidays, then the average working American can make the necessary adjustments to their budget to invest in their health and fitness. Again, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” And, if you are in need of a cure there isn't much that proper nutrient dense nutrition and consistent physical activity won't help with and possibly even cure!
Again, think of your health and fitness as an investment. Who do you invest with? Did you make sure of their credentials and check out their track record? You should do the same when you chose where you are making your investment in your health and fitness. I do highly recommend working with an exercise physiologist, or at least an experienced and well educated personal trainer. Exercise physiologists like myself have at least a 4 year degree from an accredited college, where they are graded on clinical work as well as academics. Personal trainers, on the other hand, may have as little as a 16-hour certification and as much as a 500-hour diploma. You can see the variation in education, so chose wisely! Focus and specialties will vary, also. For example, my program at Get In Shape For Women is specifically designed to work with women on achieving total body transformation, concentrating on weight training, cardiovascular exercise, nutrition and accountability for as little as $19 per session! We don't work with body builders, power lifters or those women who may be looking specifically for sports performance based work outs. Although, pretty much all clients will increase performance based variables. There are many qualified professionals around the area who will work with those populations, as well as men. Sorry guys!
So, do yourself a favor this holiday season and budget for a health and fitness investment and gift for yourself. As I mentioned above, the cost may actually pay itself back over the course of your life.