Make Fitness an Easy Choice: 3 Tips to Help Clients Save Money and Get Fit

  • Alexander Van Houten
  • |
  • July 18, 2017

“Isn’t eating healthy expensive?”

If I had a nickel for every time a client asked me some variation of this question I could offset my own personal healthy eating costs.

Yes, healthy eating is often more expensive than unhealthy eating. Just to cite a few examples:

  • An organic bell pepper costs more than ten servings of Doritos.
  • A pound of grass-fed, hormone-free beef costs at least twice as much as red-dyed, estrogen-heavy beef purchased from the grocery store “sale” section.
  • You can buy 4,000 calories worth of fruit flavored gummies for the cost of a pound of actual strawberries.

It’s true. In our world, where junk food is so abundant and inexpensive, healthy eating is a revolutionary act of discipline in mind, body, and money.

But it doesn’t always have to be so expensive. What if I told you, that you could help your clients get several of the benefits of healthy eating without the hefty price tag?

Imagine the results clients would get if their daily nutrition efforts were working with your training, not against it…

and it didn’t cost them a dime more than they currently spend.

Would they be up for more muscle, less fat, less disease, and more energy at the same cost as their current level of fitness?

What’s the catch?

No catch, just three simple and inexpensive changes that will help them make the most of their money and their health. 

Click to view full infographic or here to download PDF and print for your clients.

3 Healthy Lifestyle Choices Will Change Your Clients's Lives

1. Replace the Daily Latte with Home-Brewed Coffee

Our clients and most Americans are spending a ridiculous amount of money to get more “energy.”

According to a recent article, the average American spends over $1,100 per year on drive through coffee, and energy drink sales are set to top $21 billion this year.1,2

If you exclude children under the age of 18, each adult in America spends nearly $500 per year on Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar, in addition to coffee. And we haven’t even accounted for 5 Hour Energy, herbal energy supplements, or tea, all consumed in the name of keeping our adrenals pumping out cortisol.

A simple and inexpensive alternative to all these high-sugar, high-octane drinks that promise more energy is your home-brewed favorite, but with a little twist. I have blended a tablespoon of grass fed butter or unprocessed coconut oil into eight ounces of freshly brewed coffee.

If you follow the recipe, what you get is a moderately-caffeinated, decadently frothy latte-like beverage without the price tag of a boutique coffee shop or the extreme levels of caffeine, sugar, preservatives and other additives in an energy drink.

Compare the two ingredients to something like a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino —with 75 grams of sugar—or Red Bull with its heart-stopping levels of caffeine. And, it costs less than $1 per serving.

But be advised: more is not better. You should take into account your daily caloric intake and make sure that this beverage fits into a healthy eating plan. If you already have high cholesterol, then opt for black coffee and see item number three below.

2. Quit the Cable Addiction

According to a study by Nielsen—a multi-national consumer study group—featured in the New York Times,3 the average American adult watches four hours of live television per day.4

That’s nearly double the amount of time it takes to get to the gym, change, crush a weight lifting workout, do some cardio, drink a protein shake, and get back home and on to the next thing.

Imagine how much better-off your clients’ households would be in if they spent even half of their TV time going outside, cooking and cleaning up after a healthy dinner, or doing something active together —check out this article if you need some inspiration.

Oh, and imagine the money they’d save. Basic cable costs somewhere around $60 per month and the fancy DVR services get as high as $150 per month.

It’s widely known that long spans of sedentary time are really bad for us.5 So, you could say that when your clients purchase monthly cable plans, they are literally paying for a lower standard of health and fitness for themselves and their families.

I’m not suggesting that all TV watching is bad, but we have so many on-demand services (Netflix, HULU, Amazon Video) that allow us to catch a show every once in a while and for less than $10 per month.

Instead of sitting down for four hours mindlessly flipping channels, you can pick or choose what you want to watch and be more selective.

Have an honest conversation with your client and ask, “What could you and your family be using this time for?” If they ditch the cable habit and get more active instead, they could expect to see:

  • Improved body composition,
  • Greater insulin sensitivity,
  • Higher cognitive functioning,
  • Overall improved health,
  • And, of course, a lot of extra pocket money.  

3. Commit to a Real Sleep Schedule

Gallup reports that nearly 40% of Americans do not get enough sleep each night.6 “Big deal,” I can hear you saying. “What does this have to do with healthy cost-savings for my clients?”

Well, you may be fascinated to know that inadequate sleep is a major risk factor for obesity. Modern sleep researchers like those at the University of Bristol in the UK are finding that poor sleep negatively affects fat metabolism and over time can be a leading cause of obesity.7

The title of their recent article literally reads, “We should recommend more sleep to prevent obesity.” With $190.2 billion in medical costs attributed to obesity-related issues,8 (heart disease, pre-diabetes, orthopedic surgery, and others) sleeping more is a huge, cost-saving health boost.

Additionally, good sleep helps your clients recover more fully from their intense workouts.9 It will improve their energy levels and their ability to make good decisions about food and activity. It may even reduce their cravings for sugar and junk.10

There are many things we can do to sleep better, but Dr. Natalie Dautovich a behavioral therapist and sleep researcher at the University of South Florida believes that the simplest, most important thing is to commit to a normal schedule.11,12 Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every single night.

Ten o’clock at night until six in the morning seems to be the magic sleep time period, but everyone is different. Whatever the time, encourage your clients to set normal sleep and wake times and they will be healthier. And it won’t cost them any money.

Live Healthy, Save Money

Everyone wants the benefits of a healthy lifestyle but no one wants to pay the costs.

Though it’s true that gym memberships and trainers aren’t free and you’ll spend more at the grocery store for healthy food than junk food, a better, healthier life doesn’t have to break your clients’ banks.

By coaching them to set a sleep schedule, change their go-to energy drink, and get rid of cable from their daily routine, you can be the trainer who changes their lives for the better and helps them save money in the long run.

  1. Bruce Horvitz. Starbucks Aims Beyond Lattes to Extend Brand. May 19, 2008. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2006-05-18-starbucks-usat_x.htm
  2. Energy Drink Sales will Skyrocket in 2017. Feb 4, 2013. <https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/news/2013/02/energy-drink-sales-will-skyrocket-to-21-billion-b.aspx>
  3. John Koblin. How Much Do We Love T.V? Let Us Count The Ways. June 30th, 2016. <https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/media/nielsen-survey-media-viewing.html?_r=0>
  4. Total Audience Report. June 27, 2016. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2016/the-total-audience-report-q1-2016.html
  5. Travis J. Saunders, Larouche R., Colley R., and Tremblay M., “Acute Sedentary Behaviour and Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies,” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012, Article ID 712435, 12 pages.
  6. http://www.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx
  7. S Taheri. The link between short sleep duration and obesity: we should recommend more sleep to prevent obesity. Arch Dis Child 2006;91:11 881-884 doi:10.1136/adc.2005.093013
  8. Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. Journal of Health Economics. 31(1):219-230. 2012. <http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/learn-the-facts/economic-costs-of-obesity/>
  9. Broughton, Roger, Robert Olgivie(1992). Sleep, arousal and Performance. Birkhauser.
  10. Stephanie M. Greer, Andrea N. Goldstein, Matthew P. Walker. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3259
  11. Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D. Day In Day Out – The Important of Routine in our Daily Lives. https://sleep.org/articles/day-in-day-out-the-importance-of-routine-in-our-daily-lives/
  12. Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D. 4 Tips to Maximize Your Circadian Sleep-Wake Rhythm. https://sleep.org/articles/4-tips-maximize-circadian-rhythm/

About Alexander Van Houten

Alex Van Houten is ISSA certified personal trainer. He inherited a rare disorder called Connective Tissue Disorder in which his body constantly struggles to maintain alignment without injury. Since Alex love sports and being active AND his tendons and ligaments are so pliable, he has spent much of his life learning how to condition his body to prevent and overcome injuries so he can continue doing what he loves. Along the way, Alex has accumulated a wealth of knowledge that he has been fortunate to use to help others, inspiring them to accomplish more than they thought possible through training mind, body, and spirit. Currently he works with clients as a master level trainer at Life Time Fitness to create meaningful training and material that empowers other fitness professionals in the industry of changing lives positively every day.

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