There is a strong correlation between a healthy lifestyle and your finances. A National Bureau of Economic Research Study found that the people who were among the healthiest 20% in their fifties, retired with three times the assets of the least healthy. They also spent down their assets more slowly due to lower health costs. Health impacts your finances in a variety of ways including direct costs associated with buying cigarettes, fast food or alcohol, the prevention of long-term disease, the cost of medical treatment, missed work and lower productivity, general outlook on life and higher insurance premiums.

Healthy people are generally happier and take a more active role in their finances.  Individuals who strive to maintain their health have similar traits to those who work to improve their finances. They tend to balance immediate satisfaction with planning for the future. They are willing and able to make short term sacrifices to meet long-term goals. They may avoid excessive high fat food to avoid heart disease and buy a less expensive car to save more for retirement. If you are getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, getting regular check-ups, avoiding cigarettes and excessive alcohol your body has a better chance of operating at full capability. You will have improved cognitive ability, greater productivity, a more positive attitude and the ability to make better decisions.

 

According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the 4th leading factor for death. A lack of exercise is a major contributor to obesity which can be a significant detriment your finances.  A George Washington University study found the average annual cost for being obese was $4,878 for women and $2,646 for men. It can also impact your energy, enthusiasm and self-esteem which have a direct impact on your earning ability.

Furthermore, research has found that exercise improves cognitive function, memory and the ability to solve complex problems.  If you are thinking more clearly you will be more effective.

Eating a nutritional diet is also crucial to maintaining your weight and staying healthy. Eating well can boost your immune system making you less likely to become sick and help prevent serious disease. A research study including 19,800 employees, conducted by Brigham Young University, found that eating well every day may decrease the risk of lost productivity by 66% and regular exercise lowered the risk of lost productivity by 50%.

Getting adequate sleep is also essential to a healthy lifestyle. A lack of adequate sleep impacts your ability to make good decisions, decreases focus and causes impulsive behavior. It may also reduce your patience, attention to detail, energy and effectiveness all of which are essential for success in your career and in your relationships.

A healthy lifestyle leads to greater contentment, confidence, enthusiasm and productivity. It can also help minimize medical expenses and maximize your earning capability. Staying healthy can provide you with the drive, capability and persistence to reach your financial goals. Here are more strategies for fitness, diet, and longevity. 

About the author: Jane Young is a Certified Financial Planner and President of More than Your Money, Inc. She provides integrated financial planning including investment management, retirement planning and tax planning and preparation. Jane is also a personal finance columnist with the Colorado Springs Gazette. Learn more at www.MoreThanYourMoney.com.

Note this article originally appeared at the author’s website: www.MorethanYourMoney.com. Republished with permission of the author.

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