Physical fitness has its well known benefits. For starters, you look good. You can comfortably fit into the clothes that you like. An active social life is also an important goal for many. Being physically fit helps with this too. More importantly, being healthier may increase your life expectancy as well. But physical fitness is not all about aesthetics, longevity, and having fun. Whether you are a man or a woman, a more fit and healthier you can go a long way in helping to fulfill your financial goals.
More Energy To Do Your Job
Being in good physical shape can help you to maintain a higher energy level throughout the day. This can be a plus regardless of your profession. You can be a construction worker or a computer programmer. Not only will you be able to complete your work related tasks relatively more easily and efficiently, but the quality of your work may also improve. Not to mention that you may even have some extra energy after work to enjoy life doing other non-work related activities. This can include spending time with friends and family or exercising.
Higher Confidence Level In Performing Your Job And Interacting With Others
Improving your fitness level can also help boost your self confidence. You will have a more positive self image. This may allow you to interact with others in a more assertive manner. This assertiveness and confidence may be noticed by co-workers, subordinates, and superiors. You can gain more respect, and potentially improve your chances at a good promotion.
Less Likely To Miss Work
Being physically fit will make it less likely that you will miss work due to health or medical reasons.
It is tough to meet your financial goals when you cannot work. If you are unfit and otherwise unhealthy, you are more prone to injury or illness. Such health issues can result in more short term absences. This can cause you to use up your sick days quickly, and ultimately may force you to miss additional days as well.
An inability to work can cause your co-workers and your boss to lose confidence in you. This can cost you salary raises and promotions. Not to mention the short term salary you may have to forego if you exceed your sick days. A relatively small reduction in income can mean the difference between a personal budget surplus or deficit in any particular month or year.
A longer term illness or disability can result in more severe financial repercussions. Sure, disability insurance may help if you have it, but there will likely be a significant drop in income nonetheless if you can’t work.
So stay fit and improve your chances of avoiding such problems.
Save On Life Insurance and Disability Insurance
Being healthy can make it easier for you to obtain different types of insurance. For example, life insurance and disability insurance typically require medical exams. So being healthier and more physically fit can make it easier for you to obtain these types of insurance. Especially if you are not part of an employer group plan. Not to mention that you will likely also qualify for lower premiums than you otherwise would.
Save On Medical Costs
Healthier individuals typically go to the doctor less frequently. They also tend to take fewer medications. Among other medical benefits, being physically fit can help keep your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure in check This can save you a bunch in copays, deductibles, and coinsurance payments.
Good health can also allow you to opt for a high deductible health plan (HDHP), which will likely lower your health insurance premiums. A HDHP can also allow you to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA account allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars which can then be used to pay qualifying out of pocket medical expenses.
Enjoy Retirement Once You Get There
You also want to be able to enjoy your retirement when you ultimately get there. Being fit and pain free may allow you to do more of the activities you’ve been putting off during your working years.
This can include spending more time with grandchildren (which can require some energy), and family in general. It can also include traveling, playing tennis or other sports, etc. Either way, this is all done more easily and with more enjoyment if you have the requisite energy and comfort level.
Alternatively, if you are in poor health, with pain and discomfort, you will not be able to enjoy as fully the retirement you’ve been waiting for.
Am I Physically Fit?
What is physical fitness? Well, for starters, you don’t need to be at the level of a triathlete or an Olympian. And you don’t have to look like you belong on a magazine cover to be fit. Although this is the case for some.
Granted some people are more genetically gifted than others. Fitness just seems to be effortless for these select few. But for most of us, staying fit and healthy requires some hard work, dedication, and discipline. This is especially true as we get older.
Regardless of your genetic makeup, putting in some hard work through exercise can make you feel alive and confident. Combine this with some disciplined eating habits, and after a few weeks or months you may begin to feel like a new man (or woman). Put in the effort and you will know when you see the results.
What Can I Do To Be More Physically Fit?
There are many different exercise and diet programs you can follow to become and stay physically fit. But generally it comes down to just that. Pick an appropriate exercise program and a diet which agree with you. Just make sure you are able to follow them consistently over time. Also make sure to consult your doctor beforehand. Especially if you have any preexisting conditions.
Eating right plays a vital part in being fit. Cutting down on carbohydrate and sugar consumption is very popular these days among fitness buffs. So maybe try to eliminate things like sodas, fruit juices, white bread, candy, pastries, and other sweets. This will help you lose weight and give you more energy. Your teeth will thank you too, although your dentist may not be too happy.
Limiting sodium consumption by avoiding processed and salty foods to the extent reasonably possible is also beneficial for many. Among other benefits, it will reduce bloating and keep your blood pressure in check.
Protein found in lean meats, dairy, eggs, nuts, and other such products can also help with muscle development and tone. It can also help keep you satisfied longer which can reduce overeating.
You should also increase your fiber intake. More fiber can help keep you “regular.” Fiber also helps fill you up so that you don’t overeat. Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber.
Healthy fats such as those found in nuts, olive oil, salmon, avocados and other such foods can help with neurological and brain functions. Proper hydration is also important. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins reduce the chances of cramps and muscle strains. Like protein and fiber, health fats and water consumption also help to reduce hunger cravings.
Diet is important, but so is exercise. Maybe even more so. Not only can you burn calories and increase muscle mass and tone, but you can improve your mental state as well. Exercising causes the brain to release endorphins, which are brain chemicals that naturally put you in a better and more positive mood. So exercising can also be a good choice whenever you are feeling down.
An extremely important goal when exercising is to avoid injury. If you get hurt, you may likely not be able to exercise at all. At the very least, you will be limited in what you can do. So always hydrate and warm up properly prior to any exercise. You can jog in place or do some jumping jacks. Also don’t forget to stretch. Then avoid any awkward or extremely difficult exercises. You can start with easier moves at first and work your way gradually to more rigorous workouts.
You will also want to do some cardio as well as strength training. The specific exercises will depend on your ability, determination, available equipment, etc. Cardio exercises include activities such as walking, running, jogging, swimming, and biking. Strength training can include weightlifting, but also body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats.
Avoid Bad Habits
The benefits of a good diet and consistent exercise may be undone if you have unhealthy habits. For example, you must eliminate any smoking and/or excessive alcoholic drinking. Any illegal drug use must also be avoided. Besides money, these bad habits can cost you your good health, and even your life. Not to mention that such habits can even land you in legal trouble, and ultimately in prison.
It is mind-boggling how many people, especially younger individuals, engage in such unhealthy behavior. Knowing the negative effects such bad habits can have on your life is apparently not enough for many.
Physical fitness and overall health will not guarantee you raises and financial success. It may not even guarantee you respect and confidence. But being fit and healthy often does result in such benefits and many more when compared to the alternative.
So don’t wait. It can be a New Year’s resolution or a commitment during any other time of the year. Make a plan and take action!