Financial health is not something that gets discussed a whole lot in the fitness industry but I think it is really important for overall wellness. It is also foundational to creating a fit lifestyle that is sustainable and balanced with your other priorities. Should you really be spending 50% of your income on expensive supplements, gym memberships, and personal training if you can’t afford it? Is it really a good idea to go into debt to get into the “best shape of your life” and then be stressed out about paying your bills?
The obvious answer is no but unfortunately we often make decisions based on our feelings rather than on logic. Deep down we know that the answer is to eat better and move more but marketing takes advantage of our insecurities and desire for immediate results. From my experiences over the years I have come across useless supplements, terrible online training programs, and really bad nutrition advice (e.g. only eat fruit and nothing else; meal timing doesn’t matter; I could go on…). I’ve also found some great products that I find very helpful and know awesome trainers and coaches who know what they are doing and do it well.
When I worked as a Personal Trainer at a gym many of my clients were strapped for cash and it was always difficult to help people reach their fitness goals when they couldn’t afford the training fees and healthier food. In fact, one of the reasons I decided to leave the fitness industry and become a nurse is because I believe that health and fitness should be available to everyone, regardless of their income. Working as a geriatric rehab nurse I get to put my kinesiology and nursing expertise into action and help people without selling anything. However, I wish my job was not necessary! I believe (and research strongly shows) that if we put more energy and money into PREVENTION we wouldn’t have so many sick people.
It seems entirely backwards to me to take care of people after they’ve become so unhealthy that something devastating happens to them but make them personally responsible for being healthy without much support. If fact, I would argue that you have to go out of your way to be healthy and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. It isn’t easy! Keeping in mind that there are structural factors that make it challenging (and in some cases impossible) to make supportive choices in day-to-day life, whether we like it or not, we have been given the responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families.
Most of us don’t have millions of dollars to spend on fitness and health (or anything else for that matter) so I thought it would be valuable to write about some inexpensive ways to be a little bit healthier and also to think about how fitness and health fits in with your overall budget. Over the next several weeks I am going to write a post every Friday about fitness & financial health.
This week your mission is to save all of your receipts. Put them in an envelope, a shoebox, or even an old (clean) jar.
Until next week….