What price for long-term health?
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
A recent survey of 2000 Americans, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of AI fitness and Freeletics, found that one third would give up sex for a year while 25% would go to jail for a week in exchange for immediately achieving their fitness goals.
The study also found that
68% were so overwhelmed by the thought of maintaining a fitness regime, that they would rather not start at all,
60% did not understand heath and fitness enough to create a personal routine,
26% believed that they had left it too late to do anything to help themselves.
From what I see in practice, these findings are far from unique to our American cousins. Most of us struggle to find that optimal starting place for any new initiatives, particularly when they are personal to ourselves.
It's why so many diets start on Monday ...... next Monday! Its also why we become fixated on New Year's resolutions and other idealised start dates.
Often, the failure to start a new programme, or the inability to maintain one, is seen as personal weakness. Rarely do we consider that we weren't fully prepared for the change or that we may not have had the right support structure in place. The English poet, John Donne, wrote, "no man is an island, entire of itself." Not only do we gather motivation and support from people, but we are impacted by their actions and steered by their beliefs. They can play a significant role in our success.
No man is an island, Entire of itself
The poll also highlighted that the significant majority of those surveyed (75%) believed that a personal trainer would be able to help them with their health goals whilst 69% stated that a coach or trainer was the only person that could help them make the necessary changes.
Many of those polled recognised that they, personally, needed or desired to make a change from a health or fitness perspective. They also saw the positive impact that a professional could bring to their situation and, yet, they saw the price point as being an issue.
So, what price for your health?
Given the cost of healthcare in the US, this made me wonder, when we think about our long term health, what price points do we consider? When we look at the long-term impact of properly looking after our health (think of it as pre-emptive healthcare), reducing the risk of chronic disease, increasing our physical and cognitive functions, are we comparing the cost per training or coaching session with another healthcare expert (doctor, dentist, physio etc) or are we actually, and I suspect we are, comparing it to doing absolutely nothing? Even this is not accurate because, by doing nothing, sub-optimal nutrition and inadequate exercise will definitely cost us more in the long-term.
less than optimal nutrition and inadequate exercise will cost us more in the long-term
Make it more affordable
Ask at the outset what discounts are available. Most coaches and PTs have packaged prices - effectively discounting for multiple sessions. You can often save 10-15% by making a commitment. That's good for you too, right?
Check whether it's possible to have a group session. The cost per our may be grater, but splitting the cost between two or more people could make it much easier on your wallet.
Consider what you actually need a trainer or coach for. If you simply want to be pointed in the right direction, then you will likely only need one or two sessions to start you off. Discuss this with your coach and agree how the sessions can be structured to build your confidence.
Chat with your coach about having less frequent sessions with a supporting programme of (home)work that you follow in between. This is a great way of keeping some momentum and still getting regular motivation to keep you on track.