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The Economics of Your Health and Fitness

“Procrastination gives Way to Consequences” – Winston Churchill. These words apply to so many aspects of life, however, when you apply these words to your overall health and fitness, they have a lot of meaning and truth to them.

It’s very rare when you come across someone who doesn’t want to look better, or just feel better. How many people do you know are always sick and run down? What about you? When you think about your overall Health, Fitness and Wellness, are there any changes you like to make? Chances are you answered yes to these questions, but then ask yourself, how many people do you know are actually being proactive about it? When I say proactive, how many people do you know are exercising, eating healthy, well balanced meals on a daily basis, drinking more water than soft drinks and taking a good quality multi-vitamin?

Obesity in this country is at an all time high and the numbers keep growing not only amongst adults, but amongst children as well. Diabetes and high blood pressure are common diseases. Health care costs are out of control.

How many people do you know, or perhaps yourself suffer from headaches, lack of energy, dizziness, are depressed or are mildly depressed? Some of these symptoms stem from nutritional issues and from leading a sedentary lifestyle. The human body was meant to be in motion, not sitting on the sofa glued to the TV with a bag of chips or ingesting all kinds of chemicals that make up the processed foods you eat. You go to the doctor because you want to feel better. The doctor says you are just getting older and it’s a sign of aging so he prescribes you a pill? Does the doctor ask about your eating habits or your exercise habits? Probably not.

Complaints of physical ailments are really diet/nutritional issues as well as being sedentary, and being overweight is the obvious symptom. Being overweight or obese is not just too many calories, it is a nutritional imbalance. Symptoms associated with being obese or overweight are treated with over the counter remedies or prescription drugs.

Look, I’m not a doctor, but as a Fitness Consultant, one of the things I do with all my clients is ask for a food journal and it is obvious from all the food journals I have looked at over the years that people are eating too many processed foods, not enough fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. The average American knows that they don’t eat healthy, but don’t know how to change their habits. People want answers to diet and health.

There are two industries out there. You have the Sickness Industry and you have the Wellness Industry. As a fitness professional, I am in the Wellness Industry. People who are sick, are customers of the Sickness Industry. People who are customers of the Wellness Industry are avoiding being customers of the Sickness Industry.

Economic Causes of the Sickness Industry:

The Food Industry
Let’s take a look at the Food Industry because after all, most Americans are eating unhealthy, processed foods that are loaded with chemicals that the human body was not created to process. The food industry consists of fast food restaurants, Processed Foods (foods that are canned, frozen or in a wrapper), and Farmed Foods. The Processed Foods industry is 95% of our foods stemming from companies like the Golden Arches, Kraft, P&G. These companies will spare no expense on Research and Development to increase consumption of these foods. The more overweight you are, the more calories/product you consume.

They mix chemicals in the foods so that the consumer is never sated. The chemicals in every processed food has been altered, so that your taste buds don’t get bored with the food. Hence, you consume more product, you gain more weight. You gain more weight, your caloric intake goes up. How many people do you know who are overweight are happy being overweight?

Trillions of dollars of lost productivity is due to health. Diabetes is up and never mind the cost for the shot. It is the 2-3 days someone is out of work because they are sick. One third of American children are diagnosed as being pre-diabetic all due to diet.

The Medical Industry
The Medical Industry targets the doctors. They have pharmaceutical reps visit doctors and get them to sing up to write Rx’s for the latest drug to treat the SYMPTOMS of the newest ailment.

The Medical Industry treats SYMPTOMS, NOT DISEASES. Modern medicine is based on technology which is controlled by private companies looking to make money. Most of the drugs out there you end up taking the rest of your life because they don’t cure, but treat the symptoms.

The medical industry is now the sickness industry because you become a customer when you get sick. One Seventh of our dollars are spent on treating sickness. Sickness is one of the largest causes of bankruptcy in the US.

Medical expenditures are going to sky rocket but nothing is being done to help a person lose weight or educate them on how to make better nutritional choices. When you see a doctor, do they sit you down and really talk to you about nutrition or seeing a fitness professional?  I don’t think so.

There is a need for a Health Revolution before the health of America becomes more out of control than it already is. Overweight and obesity is more than just a health crisis in this country, but it has become an economic crisis not only to the individual, but to Corporate America which will affect employment opportunities.

The Wellness Industry
The Wellness Industry provides products and services to pro-active healthy people who want to feel healthier, slow down the effects of aging or prevent diseases from developing in the first place. The Wellness Industry are the people, products and services you shop to prevent you  from becoming a customer of the sickness industry.

There is a small percentage of Americans getting more fit and healthy as they age. They are early adopters for wellness. They are successful people looking to be fit and healthy and defy aging.

As I do my weekly trip to the grocery store, products that I used to purchase in a specialty market are now available in mainstream supermarkets. Publix Supermarkets, for example, now has their own product line Greenwise Organic Foods. WalMart is now carrying Organic products and Whole Foods Supermarkets are expanding nation wide.

It is a shame that we have become a society of instant gratification. Everyone is looking for that quick fix from looking for that magic weight loss pill, the latest diet, plastic surgery, liposuction, etc.,  rather than just doing what you need to do. Be consistent about your diet, exercise and supplementation. You will improve your overall health, but it is hard work and it does not happen overnight, however, the results are PRICELESS.

The next time you go to the doctor and pay the bill for the doctor’s visit, the lab bill for the blood work done on you and the prescription drugs, ask yourself if all of that could be avoided if you had a piece of fruit instead of the candy bar, if you went to the gym instead of sitting on the sofa and if you took a good quality multi vitamin.

For those of you who have turned down the services of a fitness professional because you didn’t want to spend the money on it, think of all the money you’ve wasted on fast foods, over the counter medications, doctor’s visits, etc. What would you rather do, end up spending money on a visit to the doctor and the prescription drugs, or a few sessions with a qualified fitness professional. Where would you rather spend the money? Procrastination gives Way to Consequences” – Winston Churchill

This post was inspired by a presentation made by Paul Zane Pilzner

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  1. 2 Comment(s)

  2. By Chris G | Reply

    Another excellent article Shari! Great job on keeping us informed! There is a change happening and only time will tell what are results will be. Best of health to you.

  3. By Pamela DeVrou Smith | Reply

    This is so true!! I learned over 15yrs ago about the R & D in large companies like Kraft (owned by Phillip Morris) to figure out how they can get us addicted to these foods and want more of them. they found out that if they can get us over 200lbs, they increase their sales tremendously! This same R&D is why we have “Biggie Sizes” We need to wise up and realize that we are being had by the food industry! Eating natural, clean foods is the key! Thanks for sharing this Shari!
    ~Pamela

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