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Investments in Your Health


By Heather Kiddoo

Whether through economics class or life experience, most of us understand the concept of compounding interest: that a penny invested today will grow at an exponential rate over time. It is for this reason that we are all encouraged to stash those dollars away while in our 20s, so that by the time we are 65, we should have a nice nest egg to ensure a comfortable retirement.

We’ve been taught to invest money to plan for our future, but less often have we been taught to invest in our health so that we can enjoy our future. The use and disuse of our bodies is a subject that is often left untouched. Building healthy habits early in life of eating well and exercising pay forward in measurable and immeasurable ways. Alternately, taking our health for granted and putting it off as something we can tend to tomorrow is a bit like playing Russian Roulette. We can rationalize that it’ll be ok (to make ourselves feel better), but plaque-laden arteries and diabetes don’t care about what we hope — only what is.

Here’s the good news:

  • What we do with our bodies is firmly in our hands.
  • Our bodies are incredibly adaptive and are standing ready to heal and get stronger. An article written for TIME cites that a few months of exercise can begin to reverse the effects of being sedentary.
  • Even small changes of improved eating and increased movement will have a positive impact on our health.

Here’s the bad news:

  • Doing nothing isn’t a great idea.
  • The average $3,736/month cost of an assisted living room is likely to increase to $5,021/month over the next 10 years.
  • The average $5,741/month cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is likely to increase to $7,715 in the next 10 years.
  • Not using your $30/month gym membership is like buying a bunch of vegetables but never eating them.
  • Physical inactivity is one important cause of many chronic diseases.

What to do?
Find something that works that is coach-led and show up three to six times a week. How about if you need more accountability? That’s why personal trainers exist. Find one that makes your life better and embrace them and the work they require of you.

Are you put off by the cost? Look at it this way: if you are someone who could use the guidance and the health mentorship of a personal trainer, wellness coach, or class to improve your strength and quality of life, $12 to $65 an hour is a bargain. Paying $100 to $400 a month today so that you don’t have to pay $7,000 per month in your 70s and 80s is a prudent investment of time and money.

Just as we can’t convert a penny into $0.02 nor have it compound to $0.16 with the snap of our fingers, we can’t expect our health to improve for the better whenever it suits us. Instead, we set aside a little time and effort each day so that by the time we retire, we have legs strong enough to take us touring the world over, a heart that allows us to walk up and down stairs with ease, and the balance to make it so that we don’t live in fear of falling. That is what your investment is when you eat well and exercise every day.

Now, go stash away a few health coins and eat your veggies. Then set aside some more by doing some squats. After only one year, you will see your health well on its way to where you want it to be in your active senior years. The best part? You’ll have earned it.

Learn to invest in your health by emailing me at heather@crossfitbond.com. Heather Kiddoo CrossFit Bond — wellness, nutrition, and fitness — is located at 983 40th Ave, Bettendorf, Iowa. Call 309-269-5845.

Sources available upon request.