Cash in on your fitness

GO FIT: Let’s analyse returns from your ‘fitness’ investment terms of both tangible and intangible income

Exercise is a super-pill! Yet perhaps you are bored hearing exercise makes you happy and healthy, improves your sleep and your sex life. But how about fitness earning you cold hard cash?

Let’s look at exercise from the point of view of one of my favourite maxims: “Money saved is money earned”. But then what about the cost of a gym membership? The personal trainer charges and so on?

To answer these questions, let’s analyse returns from your “fitness” investment terms of both tangible and intangible income.

Tangible income


Your exercise programme can be free. Or you can splurge more than a lakh a month. The idea is to carefully weigh what you want. There is no shame in bringing value to your table. If you are totally sedentary, then going for a walk thrice a week will create value. If you join a gym and enlist professional expertise, then it will cost more, but will have substantially higher benefits. If you want a celebrity trainer or a novel exercise programme, then the sky is the limit. Sometimes, going cheap will mean compromising on quality, but splurging also won’t necessarily mean superior health benefits.

The trick is to weigh your returns. Remember “money saved is money earned”.

Medical expense

This section is relevant for people with common ailments such as being borderline hypertensive, mildly arthritic, diabetic or those who are on the threshold of high cholesterol. Exercising at this stage can arrest the trend, bring these levels to normal and avoid costly medical expenses. Such expenses alone can balance out paying for fitness.


A recent directive issued by the IRDA says insurers may offer reward points to policyholders who meet with certain criteria of fitness.

Reduced external stimulants and addictives

Exercising reduces and even eliminates dependency on external stimulants and addictives. A moderate smoker spends about Rs 4,500 on cigarettes per month. Participation in a fitness programme will control his smoking. With motivation, support and will-power, he may even eliminate it. Spending less on addictives means having greater purchasing power for nicer things!

Fitness as a profession

Now this is for the real fitness buffs! If you like it and you are good at it, you can start earning from it. Even if you hold a day job, there is nothing wrong with a side hustle.

If nothing else, it will mean spending more time doing something that you really like. Let me tell you, being in the fitness industry can be a very rewarding career option, even today!

Intangible income

Immunity, health and delaying the onset of chronic ailments

Although not immediately tangible, these are the super savers. Imagine the cost of a knee replacement surgery? The emotional turmoil (leave alone expenses) associated with cardiac disorders? Consider the ill effects of obesity, both on mental health and immunity? And now balance this against your monthly fitness expense. Health today is wealth tomorrow, truly.

Always consult a professional before starting on a workout.

The writer is the founder of Mike’s Martial Arts, a Calcutta-based martial arts and advanced functional fitness studio. Contact: [email protected]

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