How important is it to you to lose those pounds of excess fat, decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and the many ailments that accompany overweight and obesity? How important is it to you to become fitter and healthier in 2012? If it’s not near the top of the list, perhaps you need to re-prioritize.
Many people subscribe to the idea that they just can’t afford to eat well and exercise. They don’t have the money to join a health club and follow a well-formulated nutrition program.
Approximately two percent of annual consumer expenditure goes towards fitness-and-health-related services.
The United States Department of Agriculture and The United States Department of Labor estimated that approximately 9-12 percent of our income, or about $6,500 per year, is spent on food. We used to spend twice this percentage.
(Note: See the Chart above entitled: Percent of Income Spent on Food: 1930-2004.)
Average Annual Consumer Expenditure:
Housing – shelter – $10,023
Pensions, Social Security – $5,027
Housing – utilities, fuels, public services – $3,477
Food – food at home – $3,465
Transportation – vehicle purchases – $3,244
Transportation – $3,130
Healthcare – $2,853
Entertainment – $2,698
Food – food away from home – $2,668
Transportation – gasoline, motor oil – $2,384
Apparel and Services – $1,881
Cash Contributions – $1,821
Housing – household furnishings – $1,797
Education – $945
Housing – household operations – $984
Miscellaneous – $808
Housing – housekeeping supplies – $639
Alcoholic Beverages – $457
Personal Care – $588
Life, other personal insurance – $309
Reading – $118
(Note: Be sure to check out the infographic at the top of the page for a breakdown of how the average US consumer spends his or her money.)
The fact of the matter is if we make some adjustments in our spending habits, we can find the resources to spend on a health and fitness program that will get results, and help us maintain the results we desperately want to obtain. Many things can be re-prioritized on your list of expenditures.
Brainstorm with your friends and loved ones. Some ideas to help make room for health in 2012 include :
- Use free wi-fi instead of paying a monthly wi-fi bill
- Get rid of your land-line phone
- Get rid of that premium cable package or drop cable altogether
- Make coffee and tea at home
- Quit smoking
- Quit drinking alcohol
- Sell some of your items each month on eBay
- Sell your car and buy or lease cheaper
- Start walking and biking instead of driving when possible
- Cancel your subscriptions to magazines
- Get more economical with your lights, heating, electricity, and air conditioning
- Use sites like Spotify or Pandora instead of purchasing music
While many of the items above may seem inconvenient, you might notice that you are shifting from a virtual world, and one where most of your time is spent indoors, to a real-world scenario: cutting the electronics, electricity, and material items will help push you outside more. It will increase time spent with others, including your family and friends, and will ultimately improve your quality of life, especially when you now have room to exercise, eat well, and realize that you, and your health, is the number one priority in 2012.
Remember: Spend your money wisely. For $10 a month, don’t expect much, and don’t expect anyone to care. Your time, money, and investment in health should be taken seriously, and your gym should take you seriously, too.
Bob Kaplan holds advance degrees in exercise physiology and business, an undergraduate degree in nutrition, is a nationally certified personal trainer, and owns four Get In Shape For Women locations in Bedford, Wellesley, Westford, and Winchester.
For more information about Kaplan's services at Get in Shape For Women in Wellesley, please call 781-237-7752 or visit at 259 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA, 02481, or online at www.getinshapeforwomen.com for a free week trial. Call or visit to schedule a Resolution Accountability Consultation where we will hold you accountable to your 2012 resolutions.