Finance Friday: 7 Reasons Why Exercising Can Help Your Finances

Jogging on a bright November morning
Jogging on a bright November morning (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)

Being both financially savvy and physically fit takes discipline. The two: exercise and finance go hand-in-hand. Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data reports that the wealthiest American exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 or more days per week (source). Personally, I have been neglecting the latter and not exercising as often as I should. What happens when I don’t exercise? I lose focus and develop habits that reverse the hard-work I have been doing for years.

Exercise is essential to being healthy. One of the reasons why I choose to keep my finances in order is it helps me reduce stress. Stress kills and weakens your body. In fact, in a previous post I mentioned that being healthy will help you keep money in your pocket by lowering your healthcare costs, but more importantly it will help you develop a more balanced behavior system. Thus, I am sharing 7 reasons why exercising can help your finances.

1. Set goals. Regular exercise will help you establish a good solid routine. In order to save regularly you also need to routinely remind yourself to focus on your goals. Both require that you come up with a working plan in order to see results. “Write It Down and Make it Happen” literally, it works, once you see your goals in ink your mind will naturally start working to accomplish them, if you take time to establish a feasible plan and budget.

2. Start early. Just as the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” The sooner you start saving the more you will have accumulated later. Likewise, the quicker you start exercising the closer you will be to your physical goal.

3. Know what you’re working with.  Physically in order to see strides with changes you want to make with your body you need to do a tangible assessment of which areas you need to work on. If you desire weight loss or gain, write down the numbers you want to achieve. Start small so that the smaller goals will help you want to achieve greater ones and won’t discourage you. Financially, you need to start tracking your spending and saving. Consider recording and reviewing everywhere you spend and send money. Be accountable to yourself. After you have tracked your spending decide which areas need more restraint and work hard to cut back on those items. Set a reasonable savings goal and start working on it.

4. Motivate yourself. Allow your achievements to motivate you to achieve fulfillment and persistence. Know what you want for yourself and your life. No one else can gauge what your life or purse should contain for contentment or happiness. Mark your milestones so that you can see how far you’ve come both physically and financially.

5. Ask for help. If exercising and finance are not your strengths seek outside help. There are physical trainers and financial advisors who are experts in these areas. They would like to help you get started on a track that is personalized for your lifestyle. Read books that can also grant you insight in these areas, as well as teach you something new that may be able to help you on your new journey. Take investing seminars and classes if you have a strong desire to learn more.

6. Find strength in numbers. Everyone desires support and validation. For many of us, we need to build a cheerleading corner where we have support from a squad cheering us on. Every once in a while you need to hear someone say “Way to go, great job, your awesome, keep up the good work, I like how you do that!” Your cheering circle doesn’t need to be large, in fact having only one are two people to add positive reinforcement into your life is ideal.

7. Maintain consistency. Don’t lose sight of where you desire to be. Don’t give up! You can do it!

The New York Times  published an article “Rich People Exercise More”  The findings report concluded that “Young adults, people living in Western states and men were also more likely to work out than the average American.” Read their article to view the Demographic Comparison between exercise and earnings.

Reader Response:

Have you made a physical and financial plan recently? If so, did you maintain it?

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