Cost of Exercise: What’s Your Health Worth to You?

Couple Running for Exercise

I hear it all the time.

“That’s too expensive” or “I can’t afford that” when it comes to working out with a trainer. Prices for an hour-long session can range from $30 to $120. There are also lower-priced group rates. Of course, you can always buy your own equipment or spend nothing on regular walks, runs and other types of low-impact workouts.

Everyone’s situation is different, and you never know what someone has going on, but I want you to know how costly it can be if you don’t exercise.

This is especially true if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other type of cancer that restricts your breathing and causes fatigue. Any type of exercise can significantly benefit your health.

But always remember to check with your oncologist before starting any exercise routine.

The Benefits of Exercise

Let’s be honest: The more you exercise, the better defined and sculpted your body will be.

Some might say looking good is the most motivational aspect of working out, but I consider it a minor benefit. Society places too much importance on the superficial benefit, but not enough on the more profound value of improving overall health.

The healthier we are, the happier we are.

Exercise directly impacts mood and stress levels. Physical activity releases “happy chemicals” called endorphins in the brain, which leave you feeling good. If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, chances are you don’t feel so great after treatment. But if you’re up to it, a quick walk or some low-impact circuit training might improve your mood.

In fact, brisk walking can improve some immune system functions, increasing the body’s ability to fight infection. It gives you an energy boost, even if you don’t notice it.

Working out also improves your body’s ability to efficiently take in oxygen — another plus if you are experiencing trouble breathing or fatigue stemming from your cancer. Improving your cardiovascular system means you’ll be less tired during daily activities.

Cost of Disease

It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cost of a disease because it depends on many factors, including the type of disease, how far advanced it is, the specific treatment plan and treatment center, among others.

So let’s focus on the average cost of lung cancer.

The National Cancer Institute shows the first year after a lung cancer diagnosis will cost the patient an average of $60,000. While that amount can vary depending on the severity of the case and the treatment route, it’s still a shocking price.

Now, let’s look at the potential cost of exercise. Remember: Prices vary from trainer to trainer.

If a personal trainer charges you $50 for one-on-one sessions twice a week, you’re looking at spending $4,800 a year on improving your health. There are also lower-priced group rates that could drop the price down to $2,300 a year.

You can also join a gym for less than $500 a year. If that’s still too much, there’s also walking — and it’s free.

What is your health worth to you?

How Can Exercise Help Cancer Patients?

My stepfather, Jeff Wahl, died in October 2011 after mesothelioma took his life.

Physically, mesothelioma and the treatment routes he underwent were completely debilitating. But exercise can be done on multiple levels. His method of exercise: Working on his camper during the summer in Florida.

He was out there swinging a hammer. That was his version of exercise while battling this disease. Exercise can affect everyone differently. I think with him it was more of a mental thing. He didn’t want to just sit around and be sick all the time. Working in that heat and sweating while doing hard labor gave Jeff a sense of normalcy.

As a family member, I think it gave us a sense of hope. Without hope you have nothing.

Once again, cancer has hit close to home. My aunt Stacy has been battling breast cancer for the last 10 months or so. She’s doing great. Her personality and spirit is contagious. She’s a fighter, and I have no doubt she’s going to beat this thing.

However, exercise has played a key role in her life.

A couple of weeks ago she ran her first 5K. Actually, I think she walked the majority of it, but it doesn’t matter. She finished. Exercise doesn’t need to be hard or vigorous. It just needs to be effective.

I’ve never known her to be the type to exercise, but now she’s moving. She’s on the road to recovery whether she’s walking, jogging, crawling or sprinting. She’s improving her chances of beating cancer and decreasing the chances of it coming back.

As I said earlier, it’s never too late to start, and always too early to give up. Keep fighting, and Never Give Up.


Adam Lee is a personal trainer and blogger who writes for The Mesothelioma Center and his personal fitness blog. After losing his stepfather to mesothelioma, he offers his training services to raise money for cancer research.

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