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Applying Business Concepts to Health & Wellbeing

Some business concepts can be applied to exercising, health and fitness. Such concepts include cost-benefit analysis and short versus long-term gains. defines Cost-benefit analysis as the “process by which business decisions are analyzed. The benefits of a given situation or business-related action are summed, and the costs associated with taking that action are subtracted”. Applying this to exercising, health and fitness, one may ask, “How are our choices beneficial or detrimental to our health?”

An example of how one can utilize the concepts of cost-benefit analysis and short versus long-term gains may be deciding whether to have a second serving of dessert or pizza. The short-term gain attained from doing so is enjoying the immediate pleasure from eating it! The longer-term effect however is that it adds unneeded calories, especially if losing weight is a goal. Desserts and greasy food such as pizza also contain large amounts of salt, sugar and fat, which in excess, are detrimental to our health.

Running is a personal example of how I’ve applied these business concepts to my own life. I typically try to run twice a week. The first of my runs is a shorter but faster paced one. The second run is slower but longer in distance. I like to run. It gives me a chance to be out in nature and practice my breathing. Running allows me to explore an area. It’s an inexpensive form of exercise requiring no special equipment beyond a good pair of shoes and running clothes. I’m able to get a good workout in a short amount of time. However, I have sustained a number of foot injuries over time, including stress fractures, metatarsalgia and plantar fasciitis. I do my best to have a good warm-up and cool down routine, wear supportive inserts and appropriate shoes, and get myself treated regularly. There are times however that my feet are more than a little sore.

Viewed from a “cost-benefit analysis”, the cost of pushing myself now may not outweigh the long-term benefit of resting my body adequately & allowing it to heal so I can run for years to come. I ask myself the question, “If I want to be running 20 years from now, does pushing it this one day help me?” Pushing myself may be running faster to achieve a personal best time or trying to run the same extra distance or further during long runs when my feet hurt. Both scenarios constitute “short-term gains”; however, doing so may cause further trauma and inflammation to my feet, which would lead to other compensations and strains in my body. Aggravation to my foot would also prevent me from doing other things I enjoy such as dancing and kickboxing. Waking up in the morning, limping and holding onto furniture, is also no fun!

One should be able to participate in activity which brings joy and fulfillment in life. Applying the business concepts of cost-benefit analysis and short versus long-term gains is the smart way to attain those goals, especially if you are rehabilitating from injury. If you need some guidance in this area, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We can be your health and exercise coach!

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