Whether you regularly participate in Iron Man competitions, hit the gym a few times a week, or take a jog through the park every couple months, it’s definitely no secret that being committed to a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. Getting and staying healthy and fit takes drive, determination, and commitment to better yourself and your lifestyle. Though it isn’t easy, it makes it that much more rewarding when you reach the goals you’ve laid out for yourself. Just like getting fit, getting your finances in order and making smart financial decisions takes that same determination, commitment, and drive to improve yourself and follow through on a goal. This isn’t where the similarities between getting physically and financially fit end—there is data-backed evidence that getting physically fit can actually improve the health of your wallet. It might sound strange that fitness can benefit your finances, but when you think about it, it adds up.
When you make that commitment to yourself to get physically fit, you’re also making the promise to yourself that you’ll make better, healthier choices in the long run. This includes better food choices, opting for the stairs over the elevator, and making wiser choices on ways to spend both your money and time. Unwinding after a long day with a glass of wine is one thing—and red wine has been linked to some health benefits of its own—but spending every weekend night bar-hopping starts to lose its appeal when you realize how expensive, and unhealthy, that hobby is.
A healthier lifestyle leads to improved mental and physical health, that’s no secret. But did you know the astronomical amount of money the average American spends on healthcare costs per year—from medication to hospital stays? On average, it’s approximately $5,000 per person in the U.S. Regular exercise leads to improved health, which could save you some serious money in the long run. In fact, adults who exercise regularly lower their risk of over 25 chronic health issues that require expensive medication to regulate. From type 2 diabetes to heart disease, you’re seriously improving the health of yourself and your wallet by choosing to be healthy.
Another way that a healthier lifestyle can help your finances over time is in a surprising area of productivity. Once a fitness regimen is fully established in your routine, you’ll feel invigorated, alert, and energized after the gym (instead of needing a nap like you do when you first start out). This newfound energy source helps out in many areas of your life, including at your job. Workers that exercise regularly are up to 3 times more productive than their coworkers that don’t and can earn up to 10% more money. Just by adding fitness to your regular schedule, you’re opening yourself up to more opportunities at work: including promotions, raises, and increased work performance. Use this as a motivator the next time you’re trying to push off going to the gym!
It’s important to be kind and realistic to yourself when tackling big-ticket challenges like fitness and finances. While you should aim to be your best self, it’s okay to start small and work your way up to bigger challenges. The first step is the hardest part, and everyone had to start somewhere—so don’t feel guilty or like you should be aiming higher if your goal is to save $200 or do ten pull-ups in a row. Progress is progress!
While sticking to the goals you lay out for yourself might not be easy at first, just like with any goal you should keep the end result in mind. No matter how small or big your goal, visualize just how good it will feel to reach your goal. All of your hard work will pay off, and the healthier, financially fit self that is waiting for you at the finish line will make reaching that goal all the better.
To help get you started with reaching both your physical and financial goals, the team at Intuit Mint put together a visual of eight data-backed ways that fitness can help with your finances. Learn more about how to reach those goals of yours, and how to improve on both your physical health and the health of your wallet at the same time!