Virgil once wrote ‘The greatest wealth is health’.Wise words but what does that actually mean to most people? What does that mean to you?

I grew up surrounded by exercise, I was lucky my parents introduced me to every sport they could. They didn’t have much money but they made sure me and my sister were active as much as possible. Come school holidays I was barely at home, either climbing trees or playing tag. Everyday was an adventure of activity. At the time I didn’t understand or appreciate what my parents were doing, I just enjoyed being active. In the mid eighties my dad banned me and my sister from eating crisps and drinking fizzy drinks! His reason for this was seeing children after swimming training head straight for the vending machines for junk was not good, I have to admit that even then at the age of eight I understood why he had banned them for our health and performance in our sports. I look back at it now with no regrets. 

So back to my question, what does health mean? It’s a question that has bugged me for years. For me it’s simply this, to look after my body to the best of my ability. After all it’s the only one I’m going to get! It’s only recently though that I realise others view health significantly differently especially when it comes to their commitment in time, effort or finances.

As I mentioned I’ve been involved in sport all my life, even represented my country. I joined the Royal Marines at 18 and after 7 years left to pursue my passion for fitness. Two years ago my wife and I bought our own gym and made it our mission to share our knowledge and passion for all things health, fitness and nutrition related. It’s here that I’ve started to question how people view their health.

Now what would you pay to join a gym, £30, £40? Some places charge even more. Most gyms/clubs are between £35-£50, at the lower end break that’s just £1.13 a day! Not everyone wants or needs a gym of course, and their are budget gyms which simply give access to kit without any human interaction, but for those that need to be motivated, need advice and support then a gym is a great option.

So to look after your health comes at a cost especially if you need that environment, support and encouragement. And you should make that commitment, it’s your body after all!

“Looking after your health is a non negotiable commitment”

Yet why is it someone will walk into a gym or health club and question the price of a membership to keep themselves healthy? We don’t question the price of a hair cut and colour, a facial cream that prevents wrinkles, or the latest diet craze. We are all to happy to spend money on our appearance but not on our internal appearance, this perception needs to change!

“Investing in the time and money in using the gym and eating well regularly will be repaid in your health for decades, where is the question in investment?”

I recently traveled to London and made the inevitable toilet stops on the Motorway with the wife and kids. At the services you are greeted with a Golden Arch or the Colonel’s famous chicken, or the overpriced shrivelled up jacket potatoes and sandwich’s. Yet stood in the queue were people who were willing to pay £6 or £7 for their bargain meal, that one meal would equal a weeks membership. Is there any argument or questioning to the price of that meal? No of course not. After all it makes you feel better right? It satisfies the hunger right? Hold on isn’t that what exercise does?

Most people will happily spend £20 to £50 on a meal in a restaurant and not question the bill, some will quite happily do this two or three times a month or more. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, hell even I go out it begs the question that if we are willing to spend on pleasure and enjoyment (even if the extra calories, fats and sugars damage our health) why do we still question the price on health!

I sat talking to a customer in my club recently, I asked the usual questions about why they’d looked at joining a gym, what their goals were etc. This person wanted to lose weight to be more active with their children. An amazing goal if there was one. Yet when I presented them with the membership options they started making excuses as to why they couldn’t join. I went back to their goal, to be more active for their kids but they decided that a £1.13 investment a day was just too much!

Now usually this wouldn’t bother me and I’d bid them a good day but there was something about this person who initially came in to join, she wanted it, she needed it, they couldn’t do it alone and had tried and failed many times before. She was keen to get started right up until the part where she had to invest and commit! 

So I asked why the hesitation, why spending money to keep you healthy was a problem? The answer was that she was not sure about committing themselves to a 12 month membership in case she didn’t do it! Seriously?! That should be your very motivation! Health is everyday, wellness is every choice you make, choosing not to accept the support and services available at an incredibly cheap rate that we offer because of the fear that you won’t do it is a choice leading directly to failure, it’s most likely the reason why she failed before and sadly will again. 

A few days later I saw that same person in a restaurant, they pretended they hadn’t seen me whilst they ate their desert! 

I continue with my beautiful wife to change peoples lives, we can’t change the world (although we are working on that so please retweet and share the FitER love). But for people who walk through our doors they get that opportunity to change. 

Life is a gift and sometimes we seem to forget that fact, we are only here for a short amount of time and time waits for no one.

Make choices for good health everyday

Is it ever to late? No not really. Put a value on your health and you’ll always question it. If I gave you a bottle of pills that would guarantee weight loss, improved fitness levels, vitality, all for £35 would you buy it? Of course you would, it’s guaranteed right? Exercising three times a week for 30minutes to one hour, eating sensibly and cutting out processed foods will get you the same results! To me it’s a no brainer.

CH 

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