Sunday, January 27, 2008


Below is a great companion piece to my Friday post. It's an article written in November by Rachel Cosgrove and posted on her blog. Rachel lives in California so some of the costs she quotes are higher than here in PA but her point is still valid. (Of course, we pay more than $50 for cable. Thanks, Comcast.)

Cable TV or Fitness?
by Rachel Cosgrove

Why is it that cable TV, luxury car payments and Starbucks have become necessities in the households of most Americans but a gym membership and especially a personal trainer has not made it into that list of necessities yet? A personal trainer is still considered by most a "luxury" item.

Basic cable is currently $50.00/month, average car payment is $500/month and a daily Starbucks runs someone at $120.00/month ($4 a day) and most households manage to fit these in their budget as if they were a necessity.

Let’s face it if we were talking necessity we would all be driving a compact economical car which would get us from point A to point B for under $200 a month. Instead when you drive around my town you see every luxury vehicle there is and most with a monthly payment of well over $500 a month. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with driving a nice car with a steep price tag at all. A nice car makes you feel good and I am all about feeling good but don’t say this $500 plus payment is a necessity and then tell me you can’t afford a personal trainer.

The average personal trainer charges $50.00 an hour. Meet them once a month and you’ll have someone designing a fitness program for you, providing accountability, and helping you to completely change your life. What price do you put on that? It amazes me that people will prioritize their cable TV or their luxury vehicle over their health and fitness.

I have seen people drive up to our gym in their Mercedes (again nothing against driving a Mercedes) and come in to get information and tell me it is too expensive at $219.00/ month which includes 4 fitness coaching sessions, an individualized program and a gym membership. I have to hold back from asking them how much that nice car in the parking lot costs them per month…

The idea for this article came from a client, who has lost 60 pounds and feels great, who said, "I have been a member now for 5 years working out consistently, you guys are in my monthly budget like my car payment or my electric bill. Paying you is just as much a necessity. I’ll get rid of our cable TV before I would give this up."

This got me thinking that more people need to have that attitude. The national weight loss registry just came out with the statistic that 62% of people successful at weight loss watch less than 10 hours of TV a week and 90% exercise regularly.

Hmmm...Is it any mystery that most of America is obese watching over 10 hours a week of TV and can't find time or money to hire a personal trainer for 3 hours a week? When will fitness be in everyone's monthly budget as a necessity?

Rachel Cosgove is a triathlete and personal fitness coach. She and her husband Alwyn own Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California.


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