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Coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s great to see people coming back to the gym. Attendance is picking back up and our classes are full once again. The energy in our gym is just incredible and inspiring. I love it!

What surprises me is the reasons most people give for coming back to the gym. 

“Quarantine 15” is one of the more popular responses. In case you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to the 15 pounds of unwanted weight the person gained over the past year. See “Freshman 15” for more background. 

STRESS, is a another BIG reason many are ready to get back into a fitness routine. They are needing that stress reliever of working out in their day. 

What I’m not hearing much of, which I thought I would, is the realization of how important your fitness is to ensuring you have breath in your lungs and life in your body. Maybe that’s an obvious reason and it does not need to be said, or maybe people think it doesn’t really matter all that much…

I mean…can burpees really save your life?

I think so. And I think it’s time to give some credit to the gym for saving your life, and not just your appearance. 

superficial fitness

I recently started a new book, “Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine” by Robert H. Lustig and he talks about why we need to rethink modern medicine. He notes that a shifting of priorities needs to happen in our healthcare system, because we spend 97.5% of our healthcare budget treating a sick individual, and 2.5% on actual prevention. 

I don’t know what exactly qualifies or doesn’t qualify in his definition of prevention, but from dedicating my life to helping people work on the prevention side of health, before they need a doctor, I know there is a lot more that can be done. 

Would modern medicine consider a gym membership prevention? Would they consider eating a certain amount of vegetables and real food a means of prevention? How about water intake? Sleep tracking? Daily movement or activity? Getting outside in the sun? 

The companies charging you for health insurance certainly don’t see any of those things as important factors to your health. So why should you? 

Every time we REjoin the gym to lose our latest belly bulge, or go on some type of cleanse to wash away our sins of our latest vacation, we further perpetuate this superficial stigma that the gym is just a NICE to have, not a NEED to have. 

The gym, real food, vegetables, water, sleep, sunlight, and movement are all NEED to haves. 

They are what keep you alive and well, and keep you from becoming just another statistic. 

Prevention of disease and perpetuation of a healthy and fulfilled life should be more than enough reason to prioritize ourselves and our health. 

There’s not a lot of money to be made in these areas so let’s not be shocked when over our lifetime they don’t get much more notoriety than they already have now. The lobbying and marketing budgets for vegetables will never come close to that of Viagra. 

What we can do now is be better investors for our health future. We can spend more on prevention and know it’ll pay us dividends in the future. 

Prioritize, or RE-prioritize, the real “need to haves” in your life, and start treating your health and fitness like the serious matter it is. 

It truly is a matter of life and death. 

-Coach Tony