You may be wondering what investments and health have in common. Well, choices we make on a regular basis either invest in our health or divest from our health. One investment choice is regular exercise. This investment involves time and sometimes money.
I sometimes hear people use money as an excuse not to exercise. Gym memberships and fitness equipment can be pricey. So let’s look at the main exercise options:
- the great outdoors
- exercise DVD’s
- fitness equipment
- gym membership
Obviously, the great outdoors has the lowest monetary cost, but with the low cost there can be some limitations. Where I live winters are cold with snow and ice, so I give up outdoor exercising in the winter. I need some other options to stay healthy during the bad weather.
Exercise DVD’s can supplement your outdoor exercise and are another low cost investment. Most individual exercise dvd’s cost $10-$15 on average. I have found a great website with a large variety at www.collagevideo.com. One of the limitations of this option is the boredom factor. After working out with one DVD for weeks, I get bored. I personally don’t think that $10 per month should be an issue. Many of us spend at least that much on Starbucks each month without thinking twice. If you do though, what about starting a shared DVD collection among friends, so that you can rotate various DVD’s around each month.
Fitness equipment can potentially have the highest initial investment. If you start off with just a few dumbbells, there isn’t that much cost. This probably is not enough equipment long term, so the next obvious choice by most people is a treadmill. This is one of the higher initial investment options. This option avoids the weather issue, but for some people gets boring and that upfront cost is prohibitive.
Gym memberships have the highest long term cost since you pay a monthly fee. Limitations for some people outside of cost might be the location and time to get there. The biggest advantage is the variety available thus often eliminating the boredom factor.
I have found that the in home options such as exercise DVD’s and equipment do not minimize distractions while working out. You may be thinking about that load of laundry upstairs and cut your time short. Or you may not work out as hard, since there is no accountability.
As far as which one is the best option for you, it is important to figure out your pros and cons. Don’t let money be an excuse not exercise. I personally use a combination of all four of these options prioritizing the cost of it in my budget. After all, it is an investment in my health.