On Tuesday I worked out at the gym, spending a little over an hour to stretch, complete an abdominal circuit, lift weights, and then do 30 minutes of hard cardio. Working out has been my twice-a-week routine for 13 years now.
But this time was different. It was free!
See, my health insurance plan recently began offering $20 a month reimbursement for a fitness club membership, as long as I work out eight times a month (my routine!). And since my gym charges $20 a month, it basically amounts to free workouts.
So for the first time since 2000, I have no gym expense!
If the cost of a health-club membership has kept you from a fitness program, you may be in luck. The new federal health care law, “Obamacare,” requires insurers to offer more prevention services and wellness programs, such as gym membership subsidies. So check your policy! Your insurer may now (or soon) help with that gym fee.
The law’s intent may be to lower our nation’s health-care costs, but there are a lot of personal reasons why people would want to take advantage of fitness club membership subsidies. The Mayo Clinic cites seven benefits of regular physical activity::
- Exercise controls weight.
- Exercise combats health conditions and disease.
- Exercise improves mood.
- Exercise boosts energy.
- Exercise promotes better sleep.
- Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life (the Mayo Clinic really says this!).
- Exercise can be fun.
Here’s where your personal stewardship comes in. How are you managing your health? Want to enjoy all these benefits? What’s stopping you from exercising?
With the changes in health insurance, it may no longer be the cost of a gym membership.
(Photo © Warren Goldswain – Fotolia)