Thursday, November 20, 2014

It is SO Expensive to Get Fit and Healthy, Diet Pills and Shakes and Memberships, OH MY!!!

We live in an age of ultra-consumerism.  It is a well-documented fact that each day the average American is subjected to close to 5,000 advertisements.  A significant section of these ads tend to be directed towards those looking to make a healthy change in their life.  Ads for nutritional supplements, shake mixes, diet pills, fad diets and gym memberships represent just a few of the types of health and fitness based advertisements we are subjected to each day.  No wonder the commonly held perception that it is too expensive to live healthily persists.

The problem with many of the products and services that are sold to us through popular media is that many of them make claims that could never be substantiated by science.  Often times diet pill retailers over promise and under deliver on results.  Fad diets are usually debunked and shown to cause more health problems than they correct.  Gym memberships trap you for a contracted length of time, so whether you use the facility or not you are forking over your hard earned money for as long as two years.  As for shake mixes and nutritional supplements, some of them deliver on the nutritional promises they make while others fall flat.  Even for the products that deliver on their promises they are often too expensive to keep purchasing for a long term.    

Given the inundating nature of advertising in our society it can seem impossible to see a path to health and wellness when the horizon is clouded with misleading billboards and electronic marquees.  However, the path does exist and it does not require an expensive gym membership or hundreds of dollars per month in pills, shakes and supplements.  The way forward becomes clear through the acumen of information.  Many people ask me what my most valuable advice would be to someone just beginning a journey to wellness and consistently my responses include; learn to cook your own food in your own kitchen and become informed about nutrition and the social forces that drive us to keep living in the fast food lane.  

Recipes and home workouts are easy to come by online, all it takes is a quick search.  And for those who are concerned with the additional food cost in eating a healthful diet, this concern becomes much easier to manage once you realize that the good, whole foods you are eating (costly as they may be) are much less expensive than your blood pressure medication, insulin shots, Metformin, or allergy medicine. 

Running, cycling, tennis, cross-fit and simple walks are all great examples of activities that are free or nearly free that you can become engaged in that will propel your physical activity and the more you learn about cooking and nutrition the less you have to rely on “Shake-ology”, supplements, and claims of “eat all you want and still lose weight”.

Make the decision to begin and each day make the decision to continue.  Once the decision is made you will find a way via becoming knowledgeable to accomplish your goals. 

Happy Running!!

Rob and Jess