Is a Gym Membership a Good Investment in Your Marriage?

Money and Career

Fitness and Marriage

Post written by money and career columnist Dustin Riechmann of Engaged Marriage.

It’s that time of the year again.
Back when I used to frequent a gym, the first six weeks or so after the New Year always meant the addition of a lot “resolutionists” as we liked to call them.  The place would be packed, but by Valentine’s Day most of these folks would quit and the regulars would have the gym to ourselves again.
Of course, there have also been years where I was a resolutionist myself.
However, since my college days, I have always had an active gym membership (until last year as I’ll explain later).
This includes the years that we were struggling financially and getting into debt.  And it includes the three and a half years we spent intensely working to pay off $54,500 in debt.
I always believed that keeping a gym membership was a wise investment in my own well-being and something that was important for our marriage.  Never mind the fact that I didn’t always use it.

Fitness and Marriage

Does leading a healthy, fit lifestyle improve your marriage and family life?
I think the answer to this question is a resounding YES, and I know Corey agrees since he told me so in the very first episode of The Fit Marriage Show podcast.  I can say from first-hand experience that I am a better husband and father when I exercise regularly and eat well.  And I have heard the same from many, many busy married couples since starting Fit Marriage.
There are many reasons for this link between being active and being a better spouse.  There are the physical benefits of exercise, which include reduced stress, less injuries and improved energy levels.  These changes simply make us happier and more pleasant to be around.
While most of us associate fitness with physical benefits and looking good, the biggest impact on your marriage likely comes from between your ears.  It’s the improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem that can really fuel renewed passion in your relationship with your spouse.
Simply put: when you feel good, you’re a better husband or wife.
And this carries over into every aspect of your married life.  When you are fit and feeling fantastic, you can expect a better sex life, more patience with your spouse and children, a clearer head to deal with financial issues, improved productivity to get your work done more efficiently and free up more time for recreation, and the list literally goes on and on.
If you haven’t experienced what it feels like to be fit, healthy and active in a while, you may think there’s some exaggeration represented by these claims.  While I don’t believe this is the case, I think everyone can agree that being fit is a good thing, and it can only enhance your marriage.
But at what cost?

Gyms Are Expensive

In the United States, the average gym membership costs almost $43 per month, plus sign-up fees.
No matter how you look at it, over $500 per year is a lot of money.  And if both spouses are members, you might be looking at a cool grand in fees just for access to the facility.  If you need some help with a training plan, you can expect to pay significantly more for the services of a personal trainer.
So, is this a wise investment?
As evidenced by my own story, I think it’s clear that I believe it is if you don’t have other options (and you are actually using the place).
It’s a cliche for a reason: you are nothing without your good health.  And I believe that enhancing your level of fitness directly improves your quality of life and the quality of your marriage.
So if you were faced with a choice between paying $1,000 per year to exercise or keeping the money and remaining sedentary, I would advocate paying the money every time.

You Don’t Need a Gym to Get Fit

Here’s the great news, though…you can save your money and achieve your fitness goals!
There are many exercise options available to you that don’t require an expensive monthly fee.  If you live in a temperate environment, this could be as simple as walking, jogging or cycling outside regularly.
For those of us that live in cold places, choose to work out when it’s dark, or need to be at home with our kids, it might be best to consider an at-home fitness program.  This is exactly the situation I found myself in last year, and it was the start of quite a journey for me.
I would encourage you to go read my own fitness story since I bet many of you can relate.  I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made since I quit going to the gym.
While you are there, you will learn all the details of the Thrive90 Fitness program.  This at-home, video-based fitness system was literally designed by and for busy married couples with the goal of providing a program that gets awesome results while saving you both money and time.
Whether you choose a gym, Thrive90 Fitness or another approach, I hope that you’ll take action to improve your fitness level today.  I promise you that you won’t regret it, and I’m confident that your investment will pay many wonderful dividends in your marriage for years to come.

How will you invest in your marriage through fitness?

(photo source)