Putting a price on health.

It was my son’s 2nd birthday on Monday and we had my parents come down with us to stay for a couple of nights over the weekend while we celebrated. 

It’s probably pretty clear now to most of you reading and following on, that both mental and physical health as well as performance is a big priority of mine, because to be honest I just felt so rubbish for too long. Carrying chronic stress from way too much training, horrible food and bad lifestyle choices.

Nicole my gorgeous wife had planned a cake cutting and mini celebration for Hamish’s second birthday. This celebration started at 2:00pm at a local park about 20 minutes away. We had some time to kill from about 11:30am until 1:15pm when we had to be out the door. So with my Dad down for the weekend, I took full advantage and “coached”  him into a quick trip into our backyard, the Wollemi National Park for a quick bush bashing hike. If you have a spare 50 minutes before you need to dress up for an event, this is a normal thing to do right…?. Within 50 minutes we had moved the body, had a little sweat out and had a bloody good time doing so. 

I guess this got me thinking about how awesome it is to just move the body, getting outdoors walking, hiking, running and it’s all free. For a quick fun adventure scrambling through the bush and climbing rocks, it was only the unexpected cost of some skin off Dad’s knees haha. We were back home (8 minutes late lol), showered and were dressed back up for our family get together for Hamish’s birthday celebration.

Unfortunately so many people don’t even try and improve their mental and physical health because “it costs too much”.

“Healthy food is expensive”

“Gyms are too expensive and I can’t stand contracts”

“I don’t have time to join a gym anyway, so it would be a waste of money”

I remember when I first started within the fitness industry, I would laugh at my parents for never “training” or “exercising” in the gym. It’s not something they grew up doing and to be honest, I can never see them starting. Does that mean because they don’t spend the money on a new pair of running shoes, better gym equipment or entering into that next race, that they can’t be healthy and fit or improve these subjects?, Absolutely not. In fact the beauty of the body is that it can be moved in so many different ways. Mum and Dad both move and stay active with their hobby farm tasks like putting up fences, digging trenches and the daily gardening. 

It’s no doubt that Nicole and I live the simple life. I am not driven by objects, not driven by having the next “best thing”, spending money on the overly excessive things is not what provides us with happiness and contentment. It’s funny when Nicole and I are sitting down sometimes eating dinner after we had just put Hamish to sleep, I will often say, “are we supposed to be this content with life before our 30’s haha?”. Our desire to acquire more and more objects is basically not existent, our desire is to live in a way that allows us to spend time together, moving, conversing and being active as a family. If I had to say one thing that Nicole and I will without a doubt spend money on frequently, is a coffee while we go for a walk together as a family.

Better health and physical performance does not need to equal high costs.

To become ridiculously fit, healthy and to stay active does not need to be expensive. We coach many clients around Australia that are deeply involved in endurance events, it’s safe to say that these sports can quickly become expensive purchasing gear, clothes, bikes, GPS watches and more. Unfortunately it’s very easy to get carried away with needing to spend money on all these objects. You want to understand that the upgraded equipment does not make you fitter, healthier and/or happier, what it’s doing is allowing you to move faster and more efficient at the same rate of perceived effort. 

If you are reading this, you are probably not a pro and do these sports out of a pure interest, a healthy lifestyle addition alongside your busy life like having a family and work. Try not to be mistaken that getting more out of your body’s performance, is not about having or needing the newest equipment and gear.

I had a client ask me why I don’t race more (besides this with Covid:19), and the reason for me is that I could pay $400.00 and more towards an event, or I could head out there on the weekend and do it myself for free. Yes, I agree you don’t get the same hyped up feeling as what you get from a big race, but for me it’s all about the action, the lifestyle and the self growth that I get from being actively outdoors, and I can do this any day of the week. Now I will still sign up to some irregular races, but realistically this is a minor focus of mine considering I can still improve performance without a race, still get experiences without a race date, and to be honest I am not going to be a pro athlete so getting the latest and greatest gear would be a never ending rabbit hole.

This is not to discourage people from endurance events and races, as I will definitely continue to irregularly race, but I don’t want people thinking that because they can’t do an event or get the latest gear that they can’t be healthier or perform better. I can’t think of how many people do an event, train so effectively towards this date, “get all the gear but with no idea”, complete the event and then just burn out after because the focus wasn’t around a sustainable lifestyle towards these sports.

My gear is basic, it’s not about having the latest and greatest gear, it’s about seeing my fitness and health improve, seeing these improvements has nothing to do with purchasing the next best equipment. Again the equipment will help you go faster at the same perceived effort, but don’t think for a second that it will actually “improve” your current fitness.

So I guess you could say a price or cost on health is not really a subject to think about. There is no price attached to be healthier and fitter. If you think it costs to be healthy, I suggest you rethink this.

If you are reading this and feel a little bogged down with the idea of joining a gym, signing up to a program or thinking you need to get that nice new pair of running shoes, remember what you want out of it. My guess, it’s probably to feel fitter, live a more active life and be healthy for your family. So don’t stress yourself so much about spending more money on the next best equipment, and focus on what really drives health and performance. 

Eliminating junk food from your diet and lifting your weekly volume overtime.

You can put a price on health.

You can put a price on performance.

But to improve both health and performance, it is not a causation of spending money.

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