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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” (Jim Rohn)

I’d like to thank my health insurance company for making me a personal trainer.

When I was an office prisoner administrator with a desk job, I had a health insurance policy that included a $250 reimbursement for a gym membership. Since my health club isn’t cheap (but I am) this was quite an incentive. 250 bucks is 250 bucks after all.

The caveat was that I had to prove I went to the gym 3 times a week for 11 out of 13 weeks. This, I learned, is surprisingly difficult to do. However, if you manage to do it, it pretty much guarantees you will have a gym habit at the end of those 13 weeks. insurers

What I had to do was really schedule my workouts. There were a few classes I liked and those went right onto my calendar. I always had a gym bag packed and since I’d already picked my gym because it was on my way home I had no excuses not to go. When something else came up that interfered with my scheduled workout I forced myself to find another time – even if I had to go in on the weekend. (I didn’t, and still don’t, like doing that for some reason.)

I’ll admit that there were a few false starts where I botched it and had to start over. But I did start over. I don’t know if I would have been so diligent and consistent in my workouts if I hadn’t had the financial incentive and internal competition to keep me going.

I know the health insurance companies offer this as an incentive because I save them much more than $250 a year by being in shape and healthy. If they need to bribe me (or you) into getting fit so be it. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It certainly worked out in my favor.

I now have clients who have the same health insurance I used to have. I was sad to discover that the requirements have been lessened to going to the gym only twice a week for 10 out of 15 weeks. It’s definitely more doable but I don’t know if it’s as effective in forming a habit. It certainly can’t hurt though.

If you’re looking for one more incentive to get fit and healthy, double check your health insurance and see if they offer some sort of fitness related kickback or bonus. Who knows where it might take you?

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