Every January, millions of people share the same resolution; to get fit. Gym enrollments spike, brand new exercise equipment is delivered and sales of healthy food balloon.  Everybody from elite athletes to ordinary folks resolve to improve health with a wholesome diet and regular exercise.

exercise clubOne of the surprising side effects of achieving a higher level of health and fitness is the money saved over the long term.  By losing even 10 or 15 pounds, the chance of developing type II diabetes is reduced.  By returning to a healthy height-weight proportion, many health problems can be sidestepped.

The benefit of avoiding health problems is that healthcare costs over the span of a person’s life will be reduced substantially.

Conditions linked to obesity avoided by achieving healthy weight are:

  • Type II Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Hip, Joint, and Back Problems
  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • Impotence
  • Digestive Issues
  • Muscular/Skeletal Degeneration

There are too many conditions to list!

While there may be upfront costs associated with getting healthy, the costs are more than paid back in the long term.  Some people are turned off by the cost of a gym membership, but the skyrocketing costs of healthcare will be mitigated by improved health. For those that carry their own health insurance policies, premiums will be less.

Organizations that provide health insurance to members or employees already see the cost reduction associated with healthy employees. Many offer alternative wellness programs and reward individuals who exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and quit smoking.

Costs are Paid Back

Over the long term, all costs associated with getting healthy will be paid back.  So go ahead and invest in exercise equipment or a gym membership.  Make sure that whatever you choose to do for exercise is an enjoyable activity.  Walking, swimming, group exercise classes or even activities like shooting a few hoops with friends are fun ways to get healthy.

The most fun part of getting healthy is when the weight starts dropping off.  A new wardrobe is inevitable.  How fun will it be to buy new, smaller clothes?  Let that be your motivation as you take this journey to better health.

Marilee Moss likes to write about the intersection of health and money.  A retired financial planner, she is also an avid cyclist and runner.  She has written on financial topics like  Money Mutual Montel Williams, investing for retirement, and the rising costs of health care.