The invisible costs of the fitness industry

If you’ve been following the news recently, the Millennials have been proclaimed the fattest generation ever. For anybody born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s – which is the Millennials demographic definition –, it can seem like an insulting and infuriating statement. After all, can you blame the Millennials for the diversity of junk food offers available in shops and restaurant chains? According to the figures, more than 70% of the Millennials will be too fat by the time they reach middle age. In fact, the main issue about the young generation’s eating habits is the lack of a balanced diet. While many Millennials visit the gym regularly, their inability to follow a diet of fruits, vegetables and fibres while cutting down junk food is the Number One reason for the worrying health stats. You don’t need a medical degree to understand the invisible costs of getting overweight and the pressures it puts on your body. But unfortunately, getting fit is not as easily said as it is done. Truth be told, what most researchers forget is that getting fit in the UK costs a lot more than getting fat.The fitness industry doesn’t come for free and here are the various costs to pay if you want to reverse the 70% risks of obesity of the young generation.

The gym is more expensive than you think

Let’s start with the most obvious budgeting element when you’re looking to get fit: the gym. A decent gym membership cost between £20 and £35 a month. Anything underneath is likely to offer a rundown treadmill and some misshapen weights, without mentioning impossible opening hours of 8 hours a day, dead on while you’re at work. So, don’t you just try a cheap membership option,  you’ll get nothing out of it. More expensive gym studios have a lot of offer, and plenty of personal follow-up appointments and motivational coaching, but ultimately the more you pay, the more you get. It’s a matter of how much you are happy to pay. If your budget is limited, as it is often the case, you will need to look for cost-friendly options such as a fitness DVD or even the NHS app couch to 5k. However, for a lot of people, motivation comes from visiting the gym where to can train alongside other members. It’s often easier to maintain and more satisfying than taking up jogging by yourself.

Looking for a quick fix at a high cost

Not everybody has the patience to get back in shape slowly. Sometimes, you need a little boost to turn a desperate situation into a fitness opportunity. That’s precisely where you can consider a surgical approach to help you lose weight. An adjustable gastric band or a gastric bypass are typical weight loss surgeries that can be suggested for tackle obesity. If you’ve got just a few pounds to drop, it’s likely that you’ll have to do the hard work by yourself as surgery is reserved for only the highest BMIs. However, the operation in itself isn’t easy. If you can’t afford it but fits the criteria, you will end up on the NHS waiting list. If you can afford it, you have the option to pay for it privately. Additionally, your body will need to recover as it’s an invasive transformation that puts you in a liquid only diet for several weeks. For a lot of people, the first few weeks are heavy. But the health cost could be even heavier is something went wrong during the surgery. While you’ve got the option to be claiming for medical negligence it doesn’t change the price that your body has to pay to recover. In short, the quick fix is a last chance alternative.

There is a fitness market for wearables

If you decide to stick with the slow fitness path, you will probably need to find ways of measuring your performance. Indeed, it is difficult to know whether you’re keeping active enough with receiving feedback, especially as it will take weeks if not months for your body to show positive transformations. That’s precisely why the fitness wearable market is so important. Trackers follow and monitor your movement and encourage you to push further. On the one hand, they offer a motivational approach. Unfortunately, it seems impossible to stay fit without a tracking device, which means that you’ll be spending a lot of money to keep track of your heartbeat, activity, location, and calories.  

I want to eat the right food

Even though several studies have proven that healthy food is indeed cheaper than junk food they fail to consider the impact of healthy recipes. When you’re trying to get used to healthy eating habits and transform your lifestyle, you naturally look for nutritious and delicious recipes. If you thought that starting your day with a smoothie was a good idea, you might change your mind when you find out that most recipe contains coconut oil, almond butter, protein powder, avocado, fresh berries, and expensive dairy alternatives. Sure, it might be cheaper to eat a banana for breakfast instead of buying a pack of sugary cereals, but the exciting taste you expect your healthy food comes at a price.

Do I have the right clothes for sports?

The fitness industry requires specific apparel. You can forget everything about hitting the treadmill in your cheapest jogger. Nowadays people spend over £5bn for fitness clothing per year in the UK only. Why do we buy so much? Because the fitness apparel collection is getting fashionable, which can be motivational if you’re looking for an excuse to wear your workout leggings. Besides quality also comes at a price.

The compromise

Finally, the answer is to create a personalised fitness routine, with the food you like and the fitness gear you need without following the trends. In short, it means shifting your view from something you can’t have to asking yourself what the gains for your body and mind are. For instance, this thinking process can take the edge of junk food cravings and help you stick to affordable fitness plans.

Ultimately fitness doesn’t come for free. It has a monetary and health costs that need to weight in every decision.

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