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A Healthy Life Can Lead to Greater Wealth

By Jane Young, CFP, EA

The most common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, and eating healthier. However, by March, motivation to achieve our ambitious resolutions starts to wane. Focusing on the financial benefits of living a healthy lifestyle can boost your resolve to achieve your goals.

There is a clear link between health and financial wellness. A healthy lifestyle results in reduced healthcare costs, lower insurance premiums, enhanced productivity, increased earnings, and career longevity. According to the Cleveland Clinic “about 80% of chronic diseases are driven by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise”.

Many studies have found that regular exercise improves income and long-term wealth. Exercise results in more energy, improved mood, more focus, and greater motivation. According to a study published in the Journal of Labor Research, employees who exercise regularly earn approximately 9% more than those who do not.  Exercise can improve your finances as a result of better sleep, more vitality, enhanced processing capability, and improved concentration.   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%.  

Eating healthy can also reduce stress, improve focus, and improve brain function. This results in improved performance and productivity. You can also save money by preparing healthy meals at home. Dining out is more expensive and we are tempted by less healthy options. It is also harder to control portion sizes and avoid unhealthy ingredients. Additionally, consuming unhealthy food increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease which can result in substantial health care expenses and diminished productivity.

Getting adequate sleep is also essential to your health. 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.

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.

A healthy lifestyle leads to greater contentment, confidence, enthusiasm, and productivity. This will build stronger and more effective relationships which helps to maximize your earning capability. Staying healthy provides you with drive, ambition, capability, and persistence to reach your financial goals.