A health inducing habit

Image courtesy of PhillipC

A few months ago, after complaining about how I never have the energy to do anything, friend of mine who had been going through a similar predicament told me that she had just joined a gym and was paying only $5 a month. Whaaa? $5 a month in the city? How can that be? Apparently her health insurance offered a gym reimbursement plan.

For every 6 month period, they'd reimburse her $200 if she attended a gym with cardiovascular equipment 50 times. (That comes out to slightly more than 2 times a week). "I can do that!" I thought, and off I went to determine if I too was entitled to such a reimbursement. Indeed I was, and after another 2 weeks of procrastination, I got off my lazy bum, waddled to the nearest gym and signed up on the spot.

<a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI' class='author' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><b>flash video</b></a>

Inspirational video courtesy of OK Go

For a while, the only motivation I had to keep going was the desire to burn off the pounds earned from 9 hours in front of a computer screen with only a 15 minute interruption in the middle of the day for a pizza break. That and the fact that if I wanted that $200 reimbursement, I'd have to earn it. After 2 weeks of this I noticed that the effort required to get off my couch and work out had lessened. In fact, if I missed a day, I'd start to feel antsy. For the first time in a long time, I had too much energy. That's when I realized that I had somehow formed a health "inducing" habit. Wierd.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with tech, or even productivity in general. Well, in short, nothing. Not directly anyway. Indirectly, it's done a heck of a lot. The simple act of injecting something new and productive into my daily schedule has a positive impact on my daily routine.

I now tend to look at new things in a more positive light. I overcame one adversity (laziness), and other life challenges seem more manageable because of it. When I go to the gym in the morning I find myself with a lot more energy earlier in the day. Instead of stumbling into work in the morning and staring blankly at my monitor for 20 minutes waiting for my brain to boot up, I spring into the office ready for action.

I know it's a common theme because people have been offering me similar advice all my life. I've only just set out on my path to an ordered existence, but clearly it's important enough to reiterate some of the tricks I've used to help keep me on track. More to come.

Editor's Note:Here are some helpful links for you to save money on gym memberships, depending on your insurance provider. Check with your specific provider for exact details on what you're entitled to:

  • Oxford Health Plans Up to $200 off, every 6 months for attending a gym with cardiovascular 50 times. Spouses can receive $100 off.
  • BlueCross BlueShield $20 off your bill, per month. This varies from state to state (this particular link was for Minnesota). You'll need to call the number on the back of your insurance card to find your local policy on reimbursements.
  • Aetna (see page 23) They offer 30%-60% off discounts on some gym memberships.
  • United Healthcare (see page 6) Save 10-60% on gym memberships.
  • Tufts Save 20-60% on gym memberships.
  • Cigna Up to 62% discounts on gym memberships.
  • On a somewhat related note, if you are 55 or older, you may be eligible for a separate reimbursement program called Silver Sneakers. Check your state for eligible health plans.