There is no doubt that health and wealth are connected. It stands to reason that those who are willing to invest in their health are also those who are likely to think ahead and plan sensibly for their future. The characteristics of those individuals who are willing to work hard and make sacrifices now, in order to reap the rewards of a successful marathon or healthy lifestyle later, are the same characteristics that will help them build their future wealth.
A 2017 survey by Charles Schwab found that 65% percent of the 1,000 participants surveyed equated wealth with having good physical health vs. having lots of money (35%). However, by harnessing the habits of those aforementioned motivated individuals, maybe you don’t have to choose between them; maybe you can find a way to have both.
Increased exercise leads to increased cognition
Many studies suggest that the areas of the brain that control thinking are bigger in those who exercise than those who don’t. Regular exercise also triggers endorphins, which lead to increased energy and positivity.
Both these things together can contribute to improving your decision-making. With improved cognition and a clearer head you are more likely to make positive choices both for your health and your finances. Furthermore, the positive boost in energy you receive from exercise can lead to more confidence in your financial life.
By helping your health, you are helping your wealth.
Eight hours of sleep leads to reduced stress
The body needs a full eight hours sleep in order to rest and repair itself physically, as well as mentally. Those who take care of their health by ensuring they have a solid eight hours sleep a night are taking care of more than just their body.
Just like an athlete needs their sleep, so do you if you are going to make rational decisions. Research shows that sleep deprivation can take a serious toll on our ability to make sound decisions. It follows that any financial choices you choose to make on inadequate sleep are most likely going to be less balanced than those you make on a full eight hours.
Furthermore, sleep and mood are very closely linked. The less sleep you have the more stressed and easily irritated you become. In turn, stress leads people to spend money in order to regain a sense of order and control. It’s a vicious cycle that you can avoid by taking care of your self physically. By staying healthy you will also make strides to maintaining control over your personal finances.
Physical discipline leads to financial discipline
Those individuals who can make themselves train for a marathon come rain wind or shine, or those who wake up before 5am to get to the gym before work, are also those whose physical discipline will enable them to find the financial discipline to stick to a budget, or a savings plan, or a long term financial goal whatever it may be, no matter the difficulty or sacrifices involved.
Indeed, by linking your physical and your financial goals with the fitness step you are combining the benefits of both financial and physical discipline. By saving when you exercise you are associating the mood-boosting endorphin rush that comes with exercise to saving money. This will encourage further good financial decisions in the future.
Living healthier means living longer
The healthier you are, the longer you live (more or less). Staying healthy is a continuous commitment to a certain lifestyle and set of behaviours, where the work you put in now will pay dividends in the future. In fact, a recent study found that if you smoke, drink, don’t get enough exercise, and don’t eat enough fruit and veg, you can find yourself six-feet-under up to 12 years earlier than expected.
By focusing on improving your quality of life and living longer you are in effect lengthening the amount of time you have to work and earn money. It also means your savings and investments have longer to grow, and you are giving yourself longer to enjoy the fruits of your life’s labours.