Compounding Health [Tax Countdown Edition]

Whether through economics class or life experience, most of us understand the concept of compounding interest: that a penny invested today will grow at an exponential rate over time. It is for this reason that we are all encouraged to stash those dollars away while in our 20s, so that by the time we retire, we should have a nice nest egg to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Photo credit from Huff Post article

Photo credit from Huff Post article

The same holds true for the use and disuse of our health. Building healthy habits early in life of eating well and exercising pay forward in measurable and immeasurable ways. Alternately, pretending that our health (or that of our children) is something we can tend to tomorrow, is a bit like playing Russian Roulette. We can rationalize that it'll be ok (to make ourselves feel better), but plaque-ladened arteries and diabetes don't care about what we hope . . . only what is.

Here's the good news:

  • although global economics are outside our control, what we do with our bodies is firmly in our hands.
  • our bodies are incredibly adaptive, and are standing ready to heal and get stronger
  • even small changes of improved eating and increased movement will have a positive impact on our health

Here's the bad news:

  • doing nothing isn't a great idea
  • the average $235/day cost of a nursing home room is likely to increase to $388/day over the next 20 years
  • not using your $30/year gym membership is like buying a bunch of vegetables but never eating them.

What to do? Find something that works and show up . . . 3-6x/week.

How about if you need more accountability?
That's why personal trainers exist.
Find one that makes your life better and embrace them and the work they require of you.

Are you put off by the cost? Look at it this way: If you are someone who could use the guidance and the health mentorship of a personal trainer to improve your strength and quality of life, an hourly rate of $60-75 is a bargain. Working out 5x/week with a personal trainer for a cost of $325/week, could keep you from paying the inflationary nursing home cost of $2830/week some day in the future. Paying $65 today so that you don't have to pay $388 in your 70s and 80s is a prudent investment of time and money.

Just as we can't convert a penny into $0.02 nor have it compound to $0.16 with the snap of our fingers, we can't expect our health to improve for the better whenever it suits us. Instead, we set aside a little time and effort each day so that by the time we retire, we have legs strong enough to take us touring world-over, a heart that allows us to walk up and down stairs with ease, and the balance to make it so that we don't live in fear of falling. That is what you're investing in when you eat well and exercise every day.

Now, go stash away a few health coins and eat your veggies. Then set aside some more by doing some squats. After only one year, you will see the mountain of your health well on its way to where you want it to be in your active senior years.

And the best part? You'll have earned it.

- Coach Rebecca

Rebecca Boskovic