Fitness Centers: Stay Fit and Save Money!

fitness centers 1Thought about joining a fitness center or taking out a membership in a gym?   Did the cost in time and money end your thoughts as soon as they began? Yes, committing yourself to spending the money and devoting the time are many times the reasons most of us decide not to begin a regular fitness program but are you really saving money and is the time too valuable?


Benefits of a Fitness Program

We all heard about the benefits of engaging in a regular fitness program: feeling better, sleeping better, better mental focus and of course living longer. All of this boiling down to a better quality of life and being able to maintain the life you desire into your senior years without becoming dependent on others.

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition reported some staggering statistics on physical activity that included:

  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day and only 1 in 3 received the recommended activity each week.
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
  • Nationwide, 25.6% of persons with a disability reported being physically inactive during a usual week, compared to 12.8% of those without a disability.
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
  • Data from 2009-2010 indicates that over 78 million U.S. adults and about 12.5 million (16.9%) children and adolescents are obese.
  • States with an adult obesity prevalence rate of more than 25%:
    •   2007-08: 32
    •   Early 1970s: Zero
  • Obesity-related illness, including chronic disease, disability, and death, is estimated to carry an annual cost of $190.2 billion.

Why Avoid a Fitness Program?

fitness centers 2So if being physically fit is so important, why do so many avoid taking the time to work out? There are any number of reasons given for not starting a fitness program which include

  • Cannot avoid the cost
  • Don’t have the time in their busy schedule
  • Too out of shape to exercise
  • Fear of injury


Disadvantages of Not Having a Fitness Program

All of these answers fail to consider the downside of not starting and maintaining a fitness program. Let’s exam a couple of areas that can show how a fitness program can actually be financially beneficial in the long run.

The Mayo Clinic reports that having high blood pressure and not enough exercise are closely related. This is particularly important as your age increases. Studies have also shown that a regular exercise program helps to reduce blood pressure. It will also help in keeping your weight at a health level which is another factor in controlling high blood pressure. If you are an individual that is medication for high blood pressure this can amount to anywhere between $50 and $500 dollars a month just for medication, not to mention the regular visits to your doctor related to your high blood pressure. A simple 30 minutes of exercise daily could help to reduce or totally eliminate these costs.

The American Heart Association recommends that you receive at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly to help maintain a healthy heart. Heart disease is the number 1 killer in the nation and strokes are listed as the number 5 killer. Both of these are areas that the medical community has advised that a regular fitness program can help to avoid.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2010 of all Americans that died from cardiovascular disease, 150,000 were under the age of 65 and that the total estimated costs were estimated to be $444 billion and reflect about $1 for each $6 spent on health care.

It is easy to see that the overall costs of not staying in good physical condition far outweigh the cost of joining one of the many fitness centers available.

Fitting a Fitness Program into Your Lifestyle

Although it may be easy to articulate many reasons why you do not have a regular fitness program it is actually very easy to fit one into your schedule and budget. To begin with allowing 30 minutes for exercise can fit nicely into your trip home from work each day by joining one of the many fitness centers located in almost every city. Simply stop off at a fitness center and avoid the rush hour traffic while you work out. When you finish, get cleaned up and back on the road the traffic will have died down and chances are you won’t be sitting in a gridlock having your blood pressure rise. You can also consider getting up an hour earlier each morning and hit the gym on the way to work or possibly use your lunch break to get in a workout. No matter which choice you make, devoting that extra time will be worth it. You will find you have more energy, are more alert and just feel better. You will also see your weight begin to drop and reduce your chances of heart disease or other medical problems. The cost in dollars is also something that you will find is balanced by reducing your overall medical expenses and as you get older keep down the number of times you will need to visit your doctor or the medications you will require. Check out your local fitness centers and look into their membership programs, hours they are open and the type fitness programs they offer. There are a wide variety of fitness centers that cater to all ages and training methods such as weight training, Pilates workouts, endurance training and many provide trained instructors to help develop a program that will fit your needs.

Make sure that you take the time to research various fitness centers before putting your money down and find one that fits your needs and your wallet!

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