The Economics of Fitness and the Big Payoff
Each time you exercise or stretch, you’re investing in your health, fitness, and hiking ability. Just like with any other investment, there are some basic economic principles that you should remember.
A fit lifestyle isn’t like playing Chutes and Ladders. – For some, fitness is a random, haphazard approach that is either all or nothing. You’re either climbing the ladder or riding the chute back to ‘starting over.’ However, a fit lifestyle is better portrayed using an investing principle called dollar cost averaging. It’s a both-and approach where you invest consistently, and although there are ups and downs in the market, they average out to be always trending upward. This tactic means that you don’t have to run a marathon every month. You can walk around the block five days a week and still feel good about your fitness journey over time.
You’re in it for the long game. – The dollar cost averaging approach only works for investors for whom time is not a problem. They are in it long-term, so they don’t get overly excited about the upward spikes or dive into drama when the market tanks. They know that as a long-term investor, there are benefits to both. When you decide that fitness is a lifestyle, not a ‘bikini body by summer’ endeavor, you can ditch the 30-day challenges and focus on what’s sustainable and doable for years to come.
Even a novice investor usually makes money over time. - While your results won’t be as good as someone who bought Apple stock in the 80s, putting money in a savings account will still earn some profit. Therefore, you can do it imperfectly and still have results. The same is true for fitness. If you need to ease into it, that’s perfectly okay! You can start small and do a little something every day at home, and you will see results without ever having to set foot in a gym.
Your results will compound. – The more money you invest, the more you have to foster growth. The same is true with your fitness. The more muscle you build, the more strength you have to climb at greater elevations, further increasing your strength. Regular exercise means each time you hike, you can push a little harder and go a little further!
Find an advisor you trust. – Financial advice is everywhere, and it’s essential to find someone you trust to guide you toward your long-term goals. A trusted advisor will listen to your goals and set aside their agenda to foster yours. They will understand where you’ve been, how hard you’ve worked up to this point, and assess your comfort with risk. A fitness coach will do the same by starting you at a challenging but doable level, which helps you feel successful instead of overwhelmed and inadequate. They build trust by developing a plan that gets you to your functional goals rather than max lifts. They show compassion when ‘life happens’ and adjust the plan so that you are still on an upward trend toward meeting your goals.
There's a big payoff! - Your primary goal in investing is to have a windfall someday. With fitness, your payoff starts almost immediately. You'll have more energy, better sleep, and be more capable of doing everyday things. Better hiking is the bonus! However, there's also a real economic impact. When you are more fit, you will spend fewer dollars on healthcare over your lifetime. So each workout is like putting money in the bank!
You are worth the investment. – Investing your time and money to maintain your greatest asset – YOURSELF – is never wasted. Your quality of life depends on it! Ditch the all-or-none thinking and embrace the journey toward your personal summit. When you slide back a bit, which you will, give yourself the grace to know change and growth takes time.
If you’re ready for some trusted guidance on your journey to be the healthiest and best hiker you can be, schedule a consultation and let’s develop a plan that is easy, doable, and gives you a big payoff that you can see on the trail!