For people over 50 who know they should exercise but don’t, it’s always one thing after another.
They say they don’t have the time. Or the money. Or they’re too old…or need to get into better shape first but never do.
But none of that will keep you independent as you age. It won’t keep you strong enough to enjoy life on your own terms. It won’t keep you out of nursing homes. And it won’t keep your weight down, regulate your blood pressure, or provide a key social outlet.
Facts are: You have the time, money and motivation. What kills time, eats money, withers motivation? The same thing that’s more dangerous than almost any exercise: Doing Nothing.
No. 1: ‘I Don’t Have Time’
As the famous saying goes, “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
Here’s an interesting illustration of how we generally spend our time on this earth.
- Let’s say people get an average of 25,915 days, or about 71 years, to live. Of that, they spend just 0.69 percent (or 180 days) exercising.
- That’s according to a survey of more than 9,000 people around the world, conducted by Reebok and global survey company Censuswide.
- The survey also reports that people stare at some kind of screen 41 percent of the time, or 10,625 days.
The World Health Organization and the US government suggest people get at least 2½ hours every week of moderate intensity exercise. A Harvard study says that just 15 minutes of physical activity a day can add three years to your life. And the Journal of the American Medical Association said last year that not exercising puts you at greater risk than smoking and diabetes.
Even if you’re still working for living. 8 hours working, 8 hours sleeping, What are you doing with the other 8 hours in a day? I suggest doing an audit to find some time in that last 8 hours. If you’re retired then there definitely is no excuse.
Still say you don’t have time?
No. 2: ‘It’s Too Expensive’
Last time we checked, walking around the neighborhood was free. So was working in the garden. So was tossing a frisbee with your grandkids. So were jogging and countless other forms of good exercise.
If you want to join a studio, gym or other fitness center, there are many options for every budget. Project body smart and Global Fitness & Racquet Centre have many options to personalize your fitness needs and interests.
Exercise reduces our health-care costs, including medications, and the time lost to illness and injury. Investing in yourself with fitness pays huge dividends in all kinds of ways, including financial.
Compare it to the typical costs of these items or services;
- Tall café latte at Starbucks: $2.95, plus tax. Multiplied by how many you have a month.
- Cable or Satellite TV. Subscribers paid an average of $107 per month in 2017, according to the Leichtman Research Group.
- Hair coloring and highlights: About $80-$150.
- Smoking and drinking: The average Boomer who still smokes spends about $150 a month on the habit, not counting health care costs, the Labor Department says. Boomers average another $45 a month on alcohol.
The expense of eating out, drinking alcohol or anything other than free water alone could more than pay for health and fitness memberships or activities.
Now, we’re not saying you should spend more or less on this or that item – even fitness. The quality of your exercise program is not directly related to the amount of money you can spend on it.
I am going to tell you that you have time for, and can afford fitness. You must however choose to. Minimum efforts will get you minimum results so invest some time, effort and money on your future happiness. Or you can take the wait and see approach but I don’t recommend that for obvious reasons.
That’s why we consider our pricing very seriously to offer you excellence and value every day, every month, every year. Think of it as an investment in time and money. The best investment you can make. Your future functional independence may depend on it.
Gordon Palmer; Registered Personal Trainer, Functional Aging Specialist and Precision Nutrition Coach. Founder of Project Body Smart.at Global Fitness & Racquet Centre, Kelowna BC Canada.