Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Make Sure Exercise Is a Priority

The Seattle Post Intelligence has an interesting article entitled, "In Hard Times, Good Nutrition and Physical Fitness Are Often Among the First Casualties", in which the author talks about how we all have different priorities during times of economic strife such as these. The author refers to the "hierarchy of needs" from the book, "A Theory of Human Motivation," by psychologist Abraham Maslow.

According to this hierarchy, which is like a pyramid, we have different needs that help us get through various periods of life. In the bottom of the pyramid are the basic psychological survival needs, like food, water, shelter, etc. Once those are satisfied, one can move up in the hierarchy to things like safety and security, including employment, one's family, property and so on. Above that is love and belonging, which includes friendship, intimacy and so on. Above that is esteem, which includes confidence, achievement, respect and so on. The top section is self-actualization, including creativity, morality and so on.

When one loses their job, and finds their financial future in suspect, it makes sense that people, no matter which portion of the hierarchy they're in that they would put themselves at the bottom section to make sure their basic survival needs are meant. For most people, this means getting rid of "luxuries" such as gym memberships and healthier food in order to save money, not realizing that investing in themselves at a critical time such as this can be just as important, if not moreso, than saving money.

The author talks about a friend of hers at her local gym who, even though he has been unemployed for several months, still persisted in going to the gym regularly and eating healthily. This shows that, even though the man's priorities had indeed changed, he still kept his hierarchy of needs focused. The moral of the story here is to make sure that your basic needs are met so that you can meet your higher needs such as exercise and proper eating. This means planning for the future in case you lose your job. Exercise shouldn't be a casualty along with your job.