The day after Christmas I start seeing those ads, you know the ones from the big brands selling you a plan to lose weight, join a gym, buy the hottest home fitness machine or the newest wearable. Seeing these commercials again and reading this article got me amped about the cost of “wellness.”
Worldwide revenue for 2018 was $94 billion according to the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association ( IHSRA) and is expected to increase as health clubs/gyms enter emerging markets. What is driving this?
In an article from Forbes, Crunch Fitness Franchise CEO provides six reasons as to why there’s been such explosive growth in the industry ranging from decreased costs to employers who incentivize healthy living, availability of biometrics at one’s fingertips through wearables and lower priced gym memberships. All this is fine and dandy for the wellness/fitness industry but circling back to my original beef, why in the world are we paying all this money to be healthy? Here’s my unscientific opinion.
Prolifieration of certain beauty standards in the media – This is as old the first ad for a beauty cream. Buy a thing, achieve a look, unlock the secret to the fabulous life.
We spend money on stuff, period – Looking at the time period immediately following the Great Recession, folks in the United States, still spend money on personal consumption items even in periods of increasing prices.
The brain – this is really number one. There are things that happen inside the brain that transmits to our bodies that causes actions whether they be physical or mental. We think, we act in simple terms. Scientists please weigh in, because I’m really saying is:
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been buying it, FOR YEARS. I’ve had gym memberships off and on since the 80s. “Donated” to Weight Watchers once because I couldn’t stick with the program, own 3 Fitbits, stream paid fitness classes and have so many freaking shoes, weights and things that you’d think I’d be buff like a mug, but I’m not. It should not be this way. It should not cost to be well, to be healthy. Yeah we certainly have choices. I made a choice to buy all the things, chasing that fit dream but now it’s not sustainable, it’s wasteful almost obscenely so. That said, I’m rethinking my personal wellness plan. I shouldn’t have nor want to give up a bunch of cash to healthy.
How about you? Is the cost of wellness on your last nerve? What low or no cost things you do for your health, Let me know in the comments. In the meantime I’ll be doing some free stuff utilizing what is already in my arsenal, eat well, exercise, sleep.
Photos: MsThorns; Video: Geto Boys via Bring Back the 90’s