It’s pretty well known that the most successful (and highest-paid) athletes in the world spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year investing in their bodies.
Four-time NBA champion LeBron James spends $1.5 million a year on his body. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson revealed on Bill Simmons’ podcast recently that he spends more than $1 million annually taking care of himself.
It goes without saying that such high-level athletes need access to the best fitness and recovery equipment. But much of their investment goes to actual humans such as personal trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, and the like.
Big box gyms like New York Sports Club, LA Fitness, and Equinox have proven for years that the highest-end exercise equipment is useless if you don’t have someone to show you how to use it properly, create a program that will help you reach your goals, and hold you accountable to the work that needs to be done to get there.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should spend $1 million a year on your body even if you had that much disposable income.
But I am saying this: Of all the things we could be spending our money on, our body and health are among the very best investments with a very high return.
I’m guilty as charged here: If I added up all the cups of Starbucks and lunches from Panera that I bought in a year, I could have a team of fitness professionals and health practitioners taking care of me and I’d probably be a lot happier and healthier. Whenever someone tells me that they “can’t afford” to hire a trainer, coach, or another healthcare practitioner, I’m dubious. Oftentimes, it isn’t a matter of not having the money. It’s how we’ve chosen to spend it.
And too often, we spend it on everything but ourselves.
This was never more apparent than during the pandemic when the data were clear: Those who were overweight or suffering from lifestyle diseases like type II diabetes or cardiovascular disease were at a much greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
One of my sincere hopes is that this experience has reinforced how important it is to take care of ourselves first. But it’s even simpler than that. Financial advisors and coaches have been teaching for decades the importance of saving and making regular deposits into our retirement accounts so we can live comfortably as we get older.
And there’s no doubt that’s important. But I also hope that someday we’ll get to the point where investing in our bodies and health is prioritized just as much.
Think about it. If you have a huge nest egg of money, but don’t have the physical means to enjoy it, your health is suffering, or you can’t experience life with your significant other and grandkids, then what is the real worth of the money?
So back to the question in the subject line: “How much is your body worth?”
It doesn’t take a million dollars a year to be strong and healthy, avoid disease, and enhance our longevity unless you’re LeBron James. But it probably costs more than we’re currently spending. And it’s definitely worth more than Starbucks or Panera in the long run.