How Fitness Can Improve Your Finances
As the new year approaches and many of us make our resolutions, I would like to feature this guest post by Emily Borst of Intuit Mint. Need some motivation to get your waist and wallet in line for 2020? Keep reading!
Getting Physically and Financially Fit
Everyone knows that getting fit takes quite a bit of effort, discipline, and drive. No matter if you workout everyday to train for a marathon, or take a jog through the park every month or so, staying committed to living a healthier, fit lifestyle isn’t easy. That makes it that much more rewarding, not to mention commendable, when you reach the long-awaited fitness goals you laid out or yourself.
Just like getting fit and sticking to a fitness regimen, getting your finances in shape takes the same tenacity, drive to be better, and discipline to follow through on a goal. It turns out that not only does fitness drastically improve your physical health, but it has been proven to have a positive effect on the health of your wallet. It might seem strange that fitness can benefit your finances, but when you think about it, it all adds up.
Clear Goals, Full Wallet, Can't Lose
Moving your body more means you’re getting physically fit—that much is clear. But when you choose to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, you’re also choosing to steer clear of unhealthy habits that could ultimately derail your progress. Having a glass of wine to unwind after a long day is innocent enough (and red wine has been linked to health benefits of its own!), but after spending hours improving your fitness in the gym you begin to realize there are better places to spend your time, and money, than out at bars night after night.
The same can be said for other habits like smoking and eating unhealthy foods, which happen both after drinking and in unhealthier lifestyles. A burger and some fries won’t kill you every once in a while, but once you choose to be healthier you’re also choosing to nourish yourself with better foods. In a study of people who paid off their debt, 69% of respondents said they are healthier eaters when they have full financial freedom. Use that as motivation for both your physical and financial goals—better fitness means more money, which can mean more to spend on fruits, veggies, and healthy proteins instead of binging on greasy fast food.
Doctor, Doctor, Gimme Some News
Did you know that the average American spends over $5,000 annually on health-related costs? From primary-care physician visits, to medication, to emergency care, that adds up quite quickly. Going to the doctor for yearly checkups and ensuring you’re taking good care of yourself is incredibly important for living a well-rounded, healthy life in all aspects.
However, choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle and regularly working out can often lead to improved health overall, from physical to mental. By working out more, you could save yourself some serious money when it comes to healthcare. Regular exercise helps you stay healthy and strong, and it has been proven in studies that adults who exercise regularly can lower their risk of over 25 health issues that can require expensive medication to regulate. These included conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Certain conditions are, of course, hereditary and impossible to avoid, but by exercising regularly you’re doing what you can to get, and stay as healthy as you can.
More exercise and activity level has also been linked to improved sleep performance and habits. If you’re up tossing and turning each night and need medication to get you to doze off, regular exercise could help you save money on those sleep aids. Not to mention, you could save big on time by not needing to purchase headache medications or caffeine for the inevitable exhaustion that comes with poor sleep habits and schedules.
Another area of your life that you could improve the health of both yourself and your finances is productivity. After a fitness regimen has been fully implemented to your routine, you’ll feel more energized and ready to conquer anything, which can benefit many areas of your life outside of the gym. For instance, adults who exercise regularly can earn up to 10% more than their sedentary coworkers, and are on average much more productive while at work. This means more opportunities for promotions and raises, better opportunities, and increased work performance; all because of the decision to get fit!
Fitness has also been linked to improved self-esteem, which can also result from tackling big challenges like debt and other financial issues. In fact, 81% of respondents from a debt survey say they find other goals, like fitness, easier to achieve when they have their finances in order. Once you’ve conquered debt or other financial hurdles, your drive to take on other challenges will be at an all-time high, and will make taking those challenges on feel easier than ever. Try using this as an incentive the next time you need motivation to pay off your student loans or plan a budget.
Do Better, Be Better
It’s important to be gentle with yourself when you’re tackling big issues like fitness or your finances. While you should aim to hold yourself accountable and stick to your goals, it’s okay to be flexible and not be perfect while you reach your goal. Everyone slips up, so remember to be kind to yourself while you undergo your fitness or financial journey.
While sticking to the goals you set for yourself might be tricky and hard at first, keep the end result in mind—just like with any goal. Whether you want to participate in an Iron Man, pay off your student debt in two years, do ten pull-ups, or improve your credit score by twenty points, visualize how good it will feel to reach your goal. It will take hard work and more than a little bit of effort, but the healthier, better you that is waiting for you at the finish line will make realizing that goal all the more sweet.
To help you get started with reaching your goals, the team at Intuit Mint has put together a visual of eight data-backed ways that fitness can improve your finances, and vice versa. Learn more about how you can get rich will you get ripped at the same time—but don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t seeing immediate results. All good things take time, and fitness and finances are no different. The first step is the hardest one to take, and after that all you have to do is keep your end result in mind!
Standard Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post by Intuit Mint, views are the author's own. This does not constitute individualized financial or medical advice. Always talk to your doctor prior to beginning a new exercise regimen. Some photos from unsplash.com.