Health and Finances - How do they relate?Written by Carly Simon-Gersuk
People tend to have a good sense of what it takes to improve their physical health, but do they know how their physical health correlates to their financial health? In fact, personal health and financial health are more connected than people may think.
To thrive healthy and financially, people develop good habits. Physically these habits can include the drive to compete, investing in gym memberships and commitment to weekly exercising. Similarly, by being driven to be financially secure people invest in the future and commit to budgets to form healthy financial habits.
It makes sense that those who save and take care of their health are more conscious of other aspects in their life. By being proactive about a healthy lifestyle, people tend to be happier and more economically proactive. Here are three ways health relates to finances.
When the time is taken to focus on personal health through sleep, exercise and nutrition, people are more likely to have better mental clarity and decision making skills. This connection leads to less stress and better planning. It is well known that stress can lead to anxiety and unhealthy habits - overeating, lack of exercise, overspending, underspending and so on. It is also seen that the more anxious someone is about money, the less likely they are to deal with it and the unhealthy habits continue to override their decisions. For example, stress about money can also affect food preferences by leading to the increase of fatty and sugary foods. The increase in these unhealthy foods can lead to weight gain, cardiovascular issues and other health problems. Think of it this way, would rather spend $100 on fast food in a month or $40 on a monthly gym membership? (1, 2) It is a cycle, so do not get stuck in it! A healthy body and lifestyle will make you more capable to make healthy choices.
Work can also be a connection between health and finances. Many employers are finding that the implementation of health and wellness programs lead to more productive hours at work. Along with health insurance, various companies have benefits such as monthly stipends toward gym memberships, exercise classes on their campuses, standing desks and nutritious options in the cafeteria, to name a few. These benefits can lead to increased productivity through an increase in energy, lower stress, better knowledge of healthy choices and lower susceptibility to bugs/viruses. Other benefits that employers offer like retirement funds and paid time off, also create a healthier workplace for employees as they can stress less about affording their lifestyles and retiring comfortably.
Health-conscious diets lead to both financial and health rewards. Overspending and overeating puts holes in people’s wallets as their dining expenses add up weekly. Eating out too many meals can also lead to higher levels of body fat and obesity. By planning meals, people can set themselves up for healthy nutritious meals and spend less money by buying food in bulk. Meal preparation will also keep people from eating out as they will already have fresh ingredients at home that need to be eaten. And as we know, good nutrition will boost energy and lead to people working hard, playing hard and saving in the long run.
Discipline and self-control are key to balancing personal and financial health. So take the time to acknowledge when things do not add up, utilize tools, and prevent risk that will affect a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Written by Carly Simon-Gersuk