Don’t be a Cheap A$$, 4 & 1/2 things worth paying extra for.

Posted by in Lifestyle

Of the 168 hours in a given week, most of us spend the majority doing one of three things: sleeping, sitting, or walking/leisure activity.

So, any time a client comes to me with an orthopedic issue (sore neck, shoulder, hip, knee, etc) I first inquire about one of these possible culprits…their workout routine being a fourth possible culprit of course;)

More often than not, if we slightly modify their sleep position, adjust/improve the ergonomics of their desk set-up or educate about a smoother gait pattern while walking, the orthopedic issue subsides.

This leads us to the list of 4 & 1/2 things that I recommend even the most frugal of consumers spend the extra money for…your body will thank you for the investment!

#1: SHOES

Listen to Lieutenant Dan from the movie Forrest Gump “Two standing orders in this platoon: One take good care of your feet; two, try not to do anything stupid, like getting yourself killed.”

Lesson about feet from Lt Dan

You’re on your own on the latter, I’ll address the former…


Go to a specialty fitness shoe store, have your gait pattern assessed and your width and arch measured for proper shoe recommendation. Unfortunately some of the best shoes are the ugliest on the market, but damn does it feel good when you find the brand and model that fits you well.

I always loved Nike’s because of the style & trendy-ness, but I ran into problems with mild plantar fasciitis (see past Fit Tip: http://tinyurl.com/omeg5pz) and shin splints (see past Fit Tip: http://tinyurl.com/kdms7mc). After the proper assessment I was fitted for Asics Nimbus, the perfect shoe for wider feet and higher arches.

Stores: Running Room, Run ‘N’ Fun, Gear, Marathon Sports.

Investment: $75-160 per pair

Savings: Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Shin Splints, Knee Pain, Ibuprofen

#2: MATTRESS

Anyone who has problems sleeping would do anything for a good night’s slumber. Exercise and stress reduction works to an extent, but having an insanely comfortable mattress (like I do) helps immensely!

My first mattress purchase was a mid-range Sealy mattress that resulted in back issues and restless nights after just a couple years.

High Quality Mattress Benefits

Once I could afford it, I sprung for a king-size Sleep Number and it has been worth every cent.

Top Brands: Select Comfort Sleep Number, Tempur-Pedic, Simmons.

Investment: $1,000-$6,000

Savings: Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Back Pain, Sanity

#3 DESK CHAIR

“Sitting is the new smoking”

Alright you workaholic-desk jockeys, you probably spend more time in your desk chair than in your bed so make sure it’s a treat!

There’s a ridiculous number of orthopedic issues that arise from prolonged sitting:

  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Head Aches/Migraines
  • Hip Tightness/Sciatica
  • Rotator Cuff Issues/Poor Posture
  • Decreased Productivity/Bad Mood

There are actually trained Ergonomic Specialists who’s job is to make your desk set-up a less painful experience. They will adjust your desk and computer monitor height, keyboard/mouse distance, leg placement and yes, desk chair set-up.

Top Brands: Herman Miller, Steelcase Leap, Raynor Ergohuman, IKEA Markus

Investment: $200-$1,500+

Savings: Chiropractor, Massage Therapy, Aleve, Tylenol, Aggravation, Employment☺

#4 TREADMILLS

Working in affiliation with a retail exercise equipment company for several years, I’ve seen the good, the bad & the ugly of treadmill purchases.

The saying “you get what you pay for” applies heavily to cardio exercise equipment.

Purchase a non-fold up treadmill with the basic programs, and a sturdy yet flexible deck. A treadmill with these features will have the least amount of maintenance issues and be easier on your knees, hips and back.

Top Brands: Life Fitness, PaceMaster, True

Investment: $1,800-$7,000

Savings: Spending $500 for a cheap treadmill that turns into a really expensive clothes rack.

#4 & 1/2 TOILET PAPER

Anyone that needs further explanation about TP isn’t going to be reading this anyway, because they live in a log cabin, deep in the forest without internet access.

SUMMARY

Coupons, Groupons, and 401-k’s are beautiful savings tools, but there are a few things in life even a minimalist can justify paying full freight for. Do a little research and invest in a few items that can really improve your quality of life.

Cheers friends!

“Those must be comfortable shoes, I bet you could walk all day in shoes like those and not feel a thing. I wish I had shoes like that.” Forrest Gump