Make Health A Priority On A Budget

health.png

As the years go by, I notice I should be making my health more of a priority. After following a good diet and workout regimen, it gets easier to walk up those stairs at work or take that leisurely walk. When my gym days fall to the side, I’m huffing and puffing trying to get through the day. Now that I see the benefits of consistently going to the gym, I’ve found ways to make it stick and fit into my budget.

Being healthy means different things to all people. For some, it can be meditation, eating well, being social or even being out and enjoying nature. For me, it’s lifting weights and being active. I come from a wrestling and soccer background, so getting better and stronger at lifting weights adds a competition aspect to health that I enjoy. I’ve been going to the gym for most of my adult life and as I’ve started following a budget, justifying the cost of a gym membership has come up many times.  

At the beginning of every year, many flock to the gym and find the motivation fade after a few months. Add in the average monthly memberships of around $40, a boring commute and having to spend more money on clothes and accessories can make the whole experience become unpleasant. With stats like these, it’s easy to understand why a gym membership can fall off the budget. I knew I couldn’t let these keep me from being healthy, so I came up with ways to make the gym membership make sense in my budget.

The first step was having a mindset change because in the past, my fitness goals were on a new years resolution schedule. As the cycle goes for most, I started out each year strong and full of determination, but slowed down after a few weeks. Then it becomes “I’ll start next monday” and as we all know, that Monday becomes Tuesday and so forth. Making health a priority means making the choice to follow through and not waiting for the stars to align. With a budget in mind, I had to find a gym that gave me the most value at a low cost. National chains like LA Fitness and Gold’s Gym topped the list as they allow powerlifting, olympic lifting and the regular cardio machines that help break up the routine. I like to spend $1 or less a day on any subscription program, so LA Fitness won, clocking in at a cost of $29/month and having a few more amenities. For about $1 a day, I’m able to prioritize my health.

As I can never just enjoy an activity without finding way to optimize and monetize it, I began finding ways to make my gym experience even more worthwhile. Through my work offered health insurance, I signed up to Healthway, a service that allows it’s members to go to any participating gyms. At the time of my joining and writing this, membership for that is $25/month so I saved $4 by signing up. Having access to more gyms with this program, I looked for other gyms near the office so I could go at lunchtime when I’m at work. Two a day sessions can be really beneficial if done the right way, so this was a way for me to optimize my time thought out the day. Instead of spending almost an hour and a half at the gym, I could break it into two 30-45 min sessions at less cost, once in the middle of the day and the other at the end of the day.

The monthly savings gave me more dollars to play with in my budget, but that wasn’t enough so I started to find how people other people have made their passion for health and fitness into money making opportunities. The fitness market is filled with brands and personalities that inspire and motivate their audience to lead better lives. Companies like 1st Phorm and personalities like Bradley Martyn make money by selling products to their audience. These products vary from supplements, fitness accessories and workout plans. It takes many years for these brands to become as successful as they are, but as I’m learning, time is the basis for most successful ventures.

To capitalize the health prioritizing, I came up with a plan to create a fitness brand that would grow as I worked to become healthier. With no physical product, creating a page with Shopify was the only choice that made sense. Through Shopify, I can source products straight from various manufacturers for a monthly fee of $29 at the time of writing this. An amount that falls in my membership cost threshold, so I created a webstore to sell accessories to people. There’s already many offerings like these so the value I chose to double down on is the educational aspect. Having an Instagram page to showcase progress is something I noticed an audience finds valuable so I created one and have been experimenting with building a solid following. As I build that Instagram account, I’ve gotten sponsorship requests from other brands. A supplement company contacted me to showcase their products to my followers. Affiliate marketing is big in this market where companies will reach out to personalities, offer them recognition or money to bring brand awareness to their products and services. This is another way to make money by living out a passion.

Getting to learn about building business and making my health a priority led me to create a company and learn other skills. Ideally, products sold through sponsorships or my own brand will make up for the gym membership and even turn a profit with the right value proposition. The most important lesson I’ve gotten is that health is now a priority of mine and I can make money living it out.  

How are you making your health a priority?