Dinner Out vs. a Gym Membership

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If you’re anything like I was, you’d happily pay $75 for dinner out, but you might hesitate spending that for a month’s gym membership.  You’d also pay $6 for a Beer quite easily, but you’d rarely splurge for a fresh Veggie Juice for the same price?  What about paying $15 for lunch versus a drop-in Yoga class?  Ask yourself these questions and consider the irony.

The fact is that we easily, often and without much thought spend substantially on things like dinners out, beer, wine, cappuccinos and more. Think of how much you spend at Starbucks on a monthly basis. Now, think of how much you spend per month at the bar or at the liquor store?  I personally spent a ton over the years doing these things.  And, if you do the math, the amount is totally disproportionate to the amount we spend on your health, especially given the returns.

A beer, glass of wine or mixed drink at a bar or restaurant is expensive (and unhealthy). But, for some reason, we are conditioned to pay for it without hesitation. The same goes for expensive coffee drinks, dinners out and more. It’s more familiar and seems like a normal expense.

Now, think of spending $100 per month for a gym (yoga, health club, whatever) membership. Oddly, that seems like a hefty bill and that ends up being a major deterrent for better health. While we spend more at just 2 or 3 dinners out, somehow health clubs have to be dirt cheap of we won’t join. And, while we think a health club membership is expensive, we liberally spend $5+ daily at Starbucks ($150 or more a month)!

The irony: Our health is the most important thing that we have and therefore it should be the thing in which we invest the most. Without our health, we cannot enjoy life (including visits to great restaurants). And, if you really analyze it, investing in our health and well-being is not really that expensive. Perhaps it just feels expensive when we look at its cost in isolation. But, when you compare its cost to things that we freely spend money on (dinner, drinks, etc.), it should feel a lot more comfortable.  Be sure to add the tangible and intangible benefits of being healthier to your calculations!

So, next time you’re near a Whole Foods (or similar), pop in and buy a fresh veggie juice. Rejoice since it’s cheaper than a liquor drink, and, importantly, because it will nourish and sooth your body, bring energy and vitality to your life and even combat some of the ill-effects of drinking alcohol or eating rich meals out. And, consider joining your local gym (yoga studio, crossfit, spin, kick boxing, whatever) and think of the cost of doing this as low, compared to many of our other living expenses, while the upside is priceless: better health.

It’s all how we look at expenses and benefits. After many years of living and recognizing the above concept, I gladly invest in all sorts of healthy things in my life because I’m willing to pay for things that create the most value / benefit in my life.  I guess I’m a bit Smarter now than I was 20 years ago!

Try it out and see how you feel.

 

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