Does Investing in Your Health Pay Off?

If I told you I knew of an investment with a potential 1,000% return, what would you say?  In simple terms, that means for every $1 dollar you invest, you would have the potential of making close to $1,000.  Do I have your attention yet??

Yes, there’s a catch.  I’m speaking in terms of “time”, not currency, but in today’s world isn’t that even more valuable??  Ask anyone out there, and they’ll tell you “time” is the new currency/luxury.  We all seem to be running short on it.  It’s much more common to hear “I don’t have enough time” than “I don’t have enough money”.  We’ve become “time” bankrupt despite (or maybe partially because of) a flourishing economy.

The demands on our time are at an all-time high.  We have full-time jobs, families to take care of, mortgages to pay, aging parents, sick family members, pets, etc.  The list goes on.  Trust me, I get it!  As a CPA coming from the public accounting world, it wasn’t uncommon to work 80 hours a week in tax season (not including my 2 hour commute).  I would scroll through Instagram, as I laid in bed, exhausted after my 13-hour workday, and see quotes from motivational pages talking about making health a priority and “living your best life now”, etc.  I would cringe as I swallowed the bitterness building in the back of my throat.  “Must be nice to have the luxury to go to the gym… to spend time food prepping and eating healthier…  Some people don’t have that luxury.”

So when I left the CPA world and became one of those annoying “inspirational” pages, asking people to join a gym, invest in their health, commit to an eating program, I couldn’t help but to feel some residual bitterness from the life I came from.  How can I ask people to invest their time and money, knowing how tough it is out there?

A recent study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 13, 2020.  A team from Harvard examined about 111,000 people at age 50 and followed them for as long as up to 34 years.  They studied the effects of adopting a healthy lifestyle for people in their 50’s.  What they found is astonishing.  Adopting a healthful lifestyle, as late as midlife added an additional 7.6 – 10.7 DISEASE-FREE years, on average, to people’s lives.  I wonder what the studies would show if someone adopted a healthy lifestyle in their 30’s!  How many years could we add to our lives then?

Ok, now I have something to work with!  How can I ask people to invest what little time they have in their day??  Let’s do the math (sorry, you’ll never be able to take the CPA out of me!)  If you invest 1 hour, 5 days per week at the gym, that’s about 260 hours per year invested in your health.  Over 35 years, that’s about 9,100 hours total.  So let’s call that our total investment.

There are 8,760 hours in a year.  If you add 10 disease-free years to your life, that’s 87,600 hours of happy moments, memories, travel… TIME that you added to your life!  So that’s the total “return”.

If I invest 9,100 hours there’s a potential return on that investment of 87,600 hours! That’s 962%, just a little shy of a 1,000% total return!  Um, yes please!  Sign me up!!

What’s even better is that this doesn’t account for all the ripple effects from investing in your health.  You’ll spend less time at the doctor’s office, you’ll be happier because you’ll feel better, you’ll spend less time being sick and stuck in the house missing out on life.  You’ll be able to do things you never thought possible, like swim with the dolphins (or sharks!), go zip-lining, hike a mountain and feel the cold wind blowing at the top, as you look down on the world below you and you’re breathless for a moment as you take it all in. 

THIS is why I can ask people to dedicate their precious resources to their health and to our gym.  Because I believe, with every ounce of my being, that this stuff works!  I believe in it so much, that I switched careers so I could invest all of the time, money, and financial freedom I would’ve had available to me as a CPA and pour that into creating a business that helps other people escape from their own prisons and experience the freedom LIFE has to offer…by increasing the quality AND quantity of their years.  I ask people to dedicate their time and money to their health, because that’s exactly what I did (albeit to a much more extreme level 😊).  It may not always be easy, but isn’t it worth it?  Aren’t YOU worth it?


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