When people think of personal finance, rarely, if ever, does health come up as a related topic. However, the two are more closely related than you might think. Your health is one of the biggest assets you have in life. Why? Well, quite naturally, if you’re not in good health, then you won’t be in good shape to put a good level of focus on any other aspect of your life, let alone personal finance. Also, not being in good health means that you’ll most likely spend more time at the hospital or taking medications. This, of course, means spending more of your hard-earned money that could’ve been spent on other things, like investing, for instance, If your finances are in bad shape, then you’ll be more likely to make bad health decisions.
Stress can lead to smoking and impulse purchases, and junk food (think: the McDonalds dollar menu) tends to be much cheaper than healthy groceries. If you continue to be in bad financial shape for too long, your health will likely suffer. As you can see, health and personal finance are very closely related after all. If one suffers, the other one does as well. In short, staying healthy will save you money. To help you get started, here are seven health and fitness tips that will benefit your wallet as well.
1: Drink more water.
This seems like more of a health tip than a financial tip, which it is. However, drinking more water works wonders for your health, which could save you from spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on sickness medications in the long run. Water helps to keep your protective barriers (such as your skin) healthy and operation at their best, which will prevent you from getting sick as often. Plus, water is the elixir of life that is required for all vital functions of the body, so there’s that as well.
2: Eat more plants (and less processed foods).
When it comes to maintaining your weight and overall physical health, eating plant trumps all over fad diets. The truth is, most people simply do not eat as much fruit and vegetables as they should, which is such a shame. Fruit and vegetables are commonly referred to as nature’s multivitamin, considering that they provide your body with loads of fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are great for the body. As you could probably guess, eating more plants will keep your body in optimal shape, resulting in fewer visits to the doctor and increased longevity. From now on, eat at least a handful of fruit and/or vegetables at every meal. Also, eat less or completely avoid processed foods. They’re simply bad for your health.
3: Move more and often.
They say that sitting is the new smoking, which is true and speaks volumes about the negative effects of staying sedentary for too long. In today’s technology-focused culture, most people spend the majority of their waking hours sitting, whether at work, in the car, or in front of the television at home. Living a sedentary lifestyle results in a slower metabolism, weaker bones and muscles, increased risk of obesity, a weakened immune system, and more, which all lead to spending more money on health care.
As a general rule, make it a point to stand up and walk or stretch for at least five minutes per hour of sitting. Also, move for at least 45 minutes every single day. This could be in the form of lifting weights, swimming, running, walking, playing fetch with your dog, or whatever else you find to be enjoyable.
4: Practice good hygiene.
While a bit of exposure to the elements (such as dirt or other unsanitary conditions) can actually help strengthen your immune system, frequent exposure to viruses and harmful bacteria is not a good thing. To avoid catching a cold, the flu, or some other illness, make sure that you wash your hands and practice good hygiene often. Wash your hands especially after being in contact with sick people or high-traffic points of contact, such as doorknobs. This simple tip will prevent you from getting sick as often and save you money in the process.
5: Stress less.
Aside from a bad diet and sedentary living, stress is one of the leading causes of some of the most dangerous health problems around, including depression, high blood pressure, cancer, lung disease, and obesity. Obviously, all of these health problems lead to more hospital time and more money spent. While it is nearly impossible to avoid all stress, focus on eliminating big sources of stress. If your job causes you to be stressed nearly every day, for example, it might be time to find a new job. Some other great options for managing stress are to try meditation and supplement with B- vitamins.
6: Get enough quality sleep.
You might be a victim of the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mindset, which has taken over today’s society like the plague. The truth is, if you don’t improve your amount and quality of sleep, you increase your risk of death, or at least major health complications such as obesity, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, and more. Get out of the mindset that less sleep is good, and focus on getting anywhere between 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, energetic, and healthier, which means you’ll be more productive. You’ll spend less money on tending to health problems, too.
7: Get around on foot or bike.
If you’re lucky enough to work or hang out close enough to home, opt for walking or riding your bike instead of taking the car. You’ll find that you save money on gas and car maintenance, while further improving your overall health (which also saves you money). The healthiest people in the world tend to get around on foot or bike, so invest in good walking shoes or a nice bicycle and change the way you travel locally.