True health care begins with healthy habits

As the baby boomer generation ages, and the hours employees are expected to work increase, we see an increase in the number diagnosed with diseases related to obesity, unhealthy diets, and too many hours of inactivity.  As a result, many in our nation are highly concerned about their health care.

When considering matters of health care, we take a less traditional approach: focus more on health, than care.

New Zealand gets it.  The country provides stipends for fitness programs and nutrition in their health care as a means of preventing health problems as opposed to simply preparing to deal with the onslaught of complications of an aging population.

It’s encouraging to see that the definitions of health care are evolving. Society and health experts alike are beginning to acknowledge that the root of many lifestyle related health complications is tied to inactivity for years upon years. The good news is that we can avoid many of these complications by prioritizing exercise. 

Where is health ranked in your priorities?

Everything has a cost. This month I was looking at my bills and found the usual health insurance, auto insurance, rent, groceries, cell phone bill, gas and the list goes on. Groceries are for me quite high in cost, due to my desire to only purchase local, organic produce and limit my intake of unclean foods. I also spend money on time with friends, fitness, activities, and higher education courses.

You can tell a lot about someone’s values and lifestyle by looking at their finances.

 What makes people categorize certain costs as “have to haves” versus the “nice to haves” is the value they place on those.

If I were to ask you what you would remove in the following list, what would you choose?



Eating out on weekends

Cell phone

Cable TV

New attire for business

Different people place higher levels of value on health, fitness, and leisure. Others place a higher value on vacation or fine arts.

We don’t mean to assume that if you are not spending money on fitness, you are not choosing health. Plenty of people prioritize team or outdoor sports that are low in cost, if not free. 

No matter what you choose to do to get the blood flowing in your veins, don’t wait around for health complications to catch up to you. Pave the way to a lifetime of freedom from health care burdens. Reap the financial benefits of that choice in the long term.

For those of you considering paying for a workout program or a personal trainer, here is another way to view this kind of investment:

Investing in your health today pays like an IRA

Simply said, an investment in fitness and healthy diets today is in many ways as good an investment as your Roth IRA’s.

Like your Roth IRA, you put in money now to get returns in the future. People put a lot of money into their Roth IRA accounts. Say you put roughly $5,000/year into this account. You won’t see that money for 10,20, or 30 years, but you feel good about it because you know that money will “pay you back” in your old age.

Training is the same idea, only you see results throughout the process, not just at the end. We put money in our healthy living bank each month and expect gains in our old age. Less weight to carry around and stress out our heart, bones and body. We expect larger range of motion for more of our life.

Treat your body well now and have it operate better in a physiological and biological stand point throughout your life.

People don’t realize that a single instance of hospitalization could be as expensive as years of training. If you can ward off a fall when you are seventy, or fend off a work related injury or ward off a major illness taking you away from money making hours in your business, you are saving yourself costs.

Personal training can be expensive, don’t get me wrong. But it makes sense because you’re paying for someone’s time and experience/education as it applies you. 

Health may come with a life re-direct as you negotiate your monthly budget to account for it. You may have to go without your morning Starbucks ($5/day, 7 days a week = $35/week,) or eat in on Friday night to make $50 each week fit into your budget. But it’s worth it.

The money you “get back with personal training” is not in dividend form; it’s in the money you save.

From a value standpoint it makes a lot more sense to put $50/week towards your health. You will feel better during the years of training, and in your old age you will be in far better physical shape which will only support your financial security by side stepping the lofty hospitalization fees and in-home care that consume many seniors’ savings.

Promote health for a lifetime

The goal of Gymnazo is to promote overall health to the human body and in doing so help clients ward off diseases that stem from unhealthy diets, inactivity, and obesity. Our goal is not to just look good, it’s to feel good and be healthy and build a strong foundation for the rest of our lives.

If you want true Health Care Reform to spread throughout America, it comes with re-defining the role health has in your life today, and invest in preventative fitness for your future!

By Michael T. Hughes - founder of Gymnazo in San Luis Obispo