by Bonnie Pfiester
When it comes to luxuries, a health club membership is one of few luxuries that often prove be a good investment. However, a gym membership is commonly one of the first things to go when money gets tight
Somehow we justify the need for television and other extras over the need to stay healthy. Don't get me wrong, if you tried to take my satellite TV away I would put up a pretty good fight too. Interestingly enough, some of the same people crunching numbers to make wise investments are unaware of the return on fitness.
First, healthy people have fewer hospital admissions, shorter hospital stays and lower medical expenses. One of our members recently bragged "I feel great and am taking half of the medication I needed before." Although most of our members are just excited to feel good again, it's also financially rewarding.
Second, healthy people have the opportunity to make more money. Fewer medical issues mean fewer sick days and more money in your pocket. Not only are you able to work more hours but you become a more valuable employee, increasing job security.
Another plus to being fit is healthy people tend to land more jobs than overweight, out of shape individuals. Employers are more likely to invest in healthy employees merely because they are more likely to be energetic, disciplined and productive.
Next to physical health is the positive affect fitness has to our mental health. Physical activity actually helps manage depression and anxiety. A Harvard study once found that strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more than counseling. This is particularly helpful for women since women are the least likely to lift weights and twice as likely to suffer from depression. Mental healthcare cost money, so the more stable we become mentally and emotionally the more money we can save.
Furthermore, exercise builds confidence and increases self esteem, which can have a major impact on someone's career. People who once lacked the confidence they needed to chase their dreams begin to have more drive than ever. One of our members recently said "I now have the confidence to believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to." This newfound confidence can take you places in your career you never thought possible.
Besides all the obvious savings, healthy people save in many other ways. Whether it's walking 9 holes instead of renting a golf cart or using a city sidewalk instead of taking a cab, healthy people have more options to save money.
So whether you decide to invest in a good pair of tennis shoes or decide to join a gym, investing in fitness is one investment worth making.