Homes. Stocks. Retirement. Savings.
These are all things you invest in with the expectation of getting something (usually a financial profit) in return. The idea is that with more money or material possessions, you’ll be secure and able to enjoy life.
But what about things that improve your health?
Gym memberships. Healthy food. Annual check-ups.
These are often seen as expenses, not investments.
Yet your health is one of the most important investments you can make. It gives you a significant return on your quality of life. And that is priceless. After all, what good is your hard-earned money if you aren’t well enough to enjoy it?
Money allows you to afford a vacation, but good health gives you the stamina to explore another country. Money will buy you a big home, but health gives you the freedom to run up and down the stairs with ease. Money lets you provide for your kids, but health makes sure you can keep up with them.
But despite the benefits of working out and getting in shape, people are often reluctant to sign up for a gym membership. One of the biggest objections we hear is that they don’t want to spend the money.
Of course you don’t have to make a financial investment to start getting healthy or fit. Going for a run or doing a bodyweight workout in your home won’t cost you anything aside from time and energy.
But if you find it hard to get motivated on your own, there are advantages to joining a gym. Such as:
- Meeting new friends/socializing
- Plenty of equipment
- Access to coaching
- A weather-safe environment
Sometimes levelling up means taking a chance and spending some money. If you wanted to fix up your house, you’d have to pay a contractor. If you wanted to get a new degree, you might have to take out a student loan. And if you wanted to get in great shape, purchasing a gym membership could be the first step.
You might be thinking that a renovation or new degree would at least potentially get you more money in return–something a gym membership won’t do. But think of the money you would be saving on healthcare and possible medical bills.
Ultimately, it comes down to your priorities and what’s most important for you. When weighing the pros and cons of joining a gym or maybe hiring a coach, ask yourself what you would need from that experience to make it worth the price.
Would losing the extra 20 lbs be worth it? Would feeling stronger and more confident be worth it? Would making new friends and feeling like you fit in be worth it?
Without a doubt, you are worth the investment. In fact, an investment in your health—whether it’s buying organic food or getting a gym membership or purchasing dumbbells for your home—is an investment in yourself.
With so many stressors in everyday life, self-care is critical. On a smaller scale, you practice self-care when you get your hair done or get a massage. These things makes you feel good. They rejuvenate you, and thus you are able to give more to the world around you.
Because you can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
Just as monetary investments contribute to economic abundance, investing in yourself creates personal abundance. You are taking a chance on opportunities for yourself, like renewed health and happiness, personal growth, and new experiences. You are making your world bigger.
When you don’t invest in yourself, your world stays the same, at best. You continue to play small. Stay safe. Maintain the status quo. And for some people, that’s fine. But if you’ve found yourself reading this post, maybe you want something more.
The investment in self is not only limited to a gym membership. If you are looking to level up your life, you can also look into:
- Personal development
- Learning a new skill
- Educational books
- Workshops and seminars
- Joining a club
- Learning new ways to be creative
We get that finances might be tight. But if there’s a personal investment you’ve been wanting to make, there are ways to make it work. Can you find a way to cut down on expenses? For example, cancel your all-access cable subscription for a couple of months or cut down on the number of meals you eat at restaurants. If you have a specialized skill, consider bartering services. Get creative!
Investing in yourself sends a message to the world that your sense of self-worth is such that you are willing to put time, effort, and, yes, money into reaching your goals. The pay-off is not only improving yourself, but bringing that positive energy to the world around you.
If you’ve decided that you’re ready to take the leap and invest in yourself, Crossfit Soul’s bootcamp program is a good starting point. It can be modified for all fitness levels, making it one of our most accessible programs. Workouts include skill work and high intensity workouts that incorporate compound strength movements and cardio. And clients can always expect a friendly, laid back atmosphere. If you’d like to get started, click here to reserve a free trial class today.
How many of us as adults wish we would’ve started exercising when we were younger? The extra pounds that inevitably come with age could have potentially been kept off and we would’ve gotten a head start on developing our fitness. It’s also much easier to keep up with a habit when you grew up with it.
But should kids workout? And if so, when is a good age to start?
You can find a sport to put your kid in pretty much as soon as they start walking, but it’s not always a good idea. Specializing in one specific sport at an early age can lead to overuse injuries by the time the child is a teenager, and young children can get stressed by competition. Instead, toddlers and preschoolers should focus on free-play and having fun [Link].
It’s been rumored that lifting weights can stunt children’s growth, but according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), there’s no evidence of that [Link]. This is provided that children are lifting weights appropriate for their age and under careful supervision. Kids shouldn’t be working with maximal loads or high intensity exercise, but light weights in the range of 12 to 15 reps done with proper form are safe and beneficial.
The age kids should start resistance training is often a question of maturity more so than physiology. Can the child listen to and follow directions? Can they behave in an orderly manner and follow safety protocols? Usually around the age of seven or eight kids are mentally prepared to start lifting weights [Link]. However, it is important to note that children younger than that might not have the coordination or balance to properly execute certain movements [Link].
Americans have increasingly struggled with sedentary lifestyles, and it’s not just the adults who are stuck behind a screen. Almost 42% of high school students spend three hours or more on a computer or playing video games [Link]. And nearly 25% of teens report watching three or more hours of TV a day [Link]. Spending hours a day sitting isn’t good for anyone, and incorporating daily exercise benefits kids as much as it does adults. Working out can help adolescents fight obesity, build strength, improve cognitive function, and grow stronger bones.
Soul knows the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle early on. That’s why we have a Youth Crossfit class that incorporates play, bodyweight movements, and light weights. Kids ages six and up can workout and have fun under close supervision.
Whether it’s sports, bootcamp, dance, or gymnastics, kids should enjoy whatever physical activity they partake in. And if parents set the example of exercising regularly, their children are more likely to absorb that mentality.
Depending on your stance, maybe you believe that kids should just be kids and not engage in formal exercise. But working out and lifting weights is a safe option for children, and regardless of what form it takes, no one will argue that kids and teenagers benefit from being active. We encourage children to find a physical activity they enjoy so they grow up strong and healthy and grateful they started early.
When people think about what’s important for a successful gym, the first things that usually come to mind are the equipment, state of the facility, and classes. These features are like the bones of a gym–an important part of the structure. But they’re not what gives the gym life. For that, you need to find the heart of a gym.
What exactly does that mean? Well, the heart of a gym is what gives it a pulse. It’s what sets the vibe and makes it feel like home. The heart of a gym is in its culture.
Gym culture thrives on building relationships and fostering community. And it’s that connection that turns new clients into long-term members.
At commercial gyms there tends to be a less personal culture due to the size of the business, high employee turnover rate, and high client load. Both employees and new clients can feel the pressure of the sales-driven atmosphere. But many people are willing to overlook this for the convenience of cheap memberships, multiple locations, longer business hours, and lots of machines. Like the Starbucks of the fitness world, big chain gyms appeal to the general public. They are fine for someone who has general fitness goals and wants to be in and out of the gym.
Private gyms are smaller and more intimate. The culture will vary from place to place, but there is a generally a more personal touch. Private gyms are usually more expensive, but in exchange you get specialized programs, a higher level of attention, and a less crowded gym. Due to the smaller size, the culture of an independent facility can really shine.
If you want to workout in a place that you really love, pay attention to the culture with these pointers.
- Customer service: How long do they take to respond to you? How do they treat you? How attentive are coaches and management? Clients are the backbone of a business and should be placed as top priority. The way a gym’s staff interacts with prospects and clients says a lot about how much they value them. Take note.
- Ambiance/vibe: This is the feeling you get when you first step in. It’s the atmosphere influenced by the decor and layout, the different personalities in the gym, and the way they receive people. A good gym should have an environment that makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Coaching style also plays a role in setting the vibe. For example, are coaches hardcore in the way they push their clients or are they gently encouraging? Neither is right or wrong; it just depends what you’re looking for.
- Values: These are the set of principles that are important to the gym. Values act as a framework for the way staff interacts with clients and how they work together as a team. You might see a set of values printed on a poster on the wall, but if it’s not obvious, just ask. Their values should align with yours. For example, one of Soul’s values is to be the best part of our clients’ day. It’s a tenet that influences all aspects of the way we do business.
- Community: There are people who like working out alone, and there are people who thrive on group workouts and the connection they feel from seeing the same faces everyday. Gyms build community by bringing members together through things like group outings, barbecues, partner workouts, and in-house competitions.
At Soul we value positivity and individuality. We always strive to give great customer service. Our coaches are always pushing for client progress, whether they’re an elite athlete or recreational lifter. It’s not just all work though. We host holiday events, in-house competitions, and active group outings.
Remember that it’s easy to get distracted by nice equipment or a fancy juice bar, but it’s the intangible things that make or break a gym. If a facility’s friendliness and good vibes impress you right away, then you’ve found a place that has a great culture.