In a commencement address at Smith College in 2013, Arianna Huffington equated our insatiable drive to attain money and power as two legs on a three-legged stool. While you may balance on two legs for a while, a fall is inevitable. The third leg of success, Huffington argues, is our well-being. As the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for The American Council on Exercise, I can attest the importance of investing in the wellbeing of you, through eating well, exercising and taking steps to prevent illness, rather than retroactively respond to it.
A renewed focus on promoting optimal health and full wellbeing is especially important for the baby boomer generation, and doing so is becoming a whole lot easier. According to IBISworld, a market research provider:
As baby boomers age beyond their 50s, health care costs will rise, creating incentives for insurers to promote preventive practices like fitness participation. As such, the next five years will mark a shift from disease treatment to disease prevention and health promotion by encouraging people to monitor their health.
Our system is not a health care system. It’s a disease care system. Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, said that our system, “rewards providers for taking care of people who get sick. Incentives aren’t properly aligned because health professionals make their revenue by treating people who have disease.” We spend three-quarters of our health expenditures on treatment of largely preventable chronic diseases, Dr. Carmona noted.
Someone who recognized this market trend and is responding to this fundamental shift in how Americans take care of themselves is Michael Piermont, CEO ofamSTATZ, a web-based platform for certified fitness professionals and their clients to connect between training sessions. I had the chance to interview Michael recently. The following is an excerpt from our conversation.
Mantell: So you see the health coach as a new entrant into the circle of advisors that Americans would want to maintain as they move through the various stages of life?
Piermont: Absolutely, that’s spot on. We all could do our own taxes, and plan our retirements, or make our own stock trades. But the reality is, we’re all busy, so we outsource those tasks to certified experts. We see someone’s wellbeing and physical fitness management as a new entrant into this category. You want to be healthy, and having a health coach monitor your trends and plan, at a much lower cost than you’d get from a doctor, is a great idea.