The benefits of exercise are well-documented. But there’s one perk in particular that you might not be aware of—the many money lessons you can learn while you work out. Here are a few financial lessons you can learn from exercising.
Put in the Work
One of the best lessons exercise can teach is discipline. It’s not easy to get up early to go to the gym or out for a run. There are about a million things you’d probably rather be doing with your time, all of which are more immediately gratifying (and much easier) than working up a sweat. But you do it because you can see the end goal in mind. The physical benefits of exercise make the pain and inconvenience worth the effort.
Just like exercise, saving money takes discipline. There are about a million other things you’d rather do with your dollars. But you save because you can see the end goal in mind. If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to save money, write down some financial goals and save with purpose. It can make all the difference in the world with your discipline.
If you decide to start exercising more frequently, it’s usually pretty difficult to stay focused if you don’t have an end goal in sight. This can be as simple as wanting to exercise 3 days every week, or as specific as losing 2 pounds every week until you reach a certain weight. When you start with specific goals that have an end result in mind, it’ll help you stay motivated on a more consistent basis.
Your finances will also benefit from creating goals. If you just decide to start saving money, but you don’t really have any specific goals, it’s going to be difficult to stay focused. It may be easy to slip up and spend more than you budgeted for. Think about where you’d like to be financially in 1, 5 or 10 years. Make your goals realistic and time-oriented. Stay specific on what you want to achieve. So, instead of deciding that you want to save money, think about an amount of money you’d like to save. If you’d like to lower your debt or improve your credit score, consider making a goal that will keep your eyes on the prize of financial healthiness.
Have you ever subscribed to the occasional, half-hearted, you’ll-get-around-to-it-eventually exercise plan? How well did it work? Probably not great, right? If you want to see results from your exercise, you have to be consistent. After all, it’s called an exercise routine for a reason. You have to put forth routine effort if you want to reap real rewards. Even small efforts consistently performed over time can produce big results.
As it relates to your money, the occasional, half-hearted, you’ll-get-around-to-it-eventually savings plan is just as effective as its exercise counterpart. As you work on your workout schedule, remember that saving money requires regular effort. To reap real savings rewards, you have to keep at it.
For many people, the barrier to regular exercise is unfamiliarity. They don’t know where to start or they find exercise intimidating because it’s been a while since they’ve tried. It’s human nature to shy away from the unsure. It’s natural to fear failure. But everyone has to start somewhere. There are countless examples of people who find improved health and a renewed love for exercise later in life or after they had given up on the concept of exercise altogether. The same lesson applies to finances.
One of the biggest barriers to saving money or improving your financial situation is doubt and unfamiliarity. It can be hard to break bad spending habits, especially if it’s been a while since you tried to save. It’s natural to want to give up on putting money away for retirement or toward future financial goals. But if you’ve been procrastinating your savings goals or feel financially unfit, remember it’s never too late to save. Just like exercise, everyone has to start somewhere. It takes effort, dedication, and consistency, but you can achieve your savings goals, regardless of how far ahead or behind you feel you are.
A Convenient Correlation
It’s no secret that exercise can lead to better health. And with a little extra thought and a few money metaphors, it can benefit your bank account too. But did you know that exercise has a much more direct effect on your finances? According to the World Health Organization, physically active people save about $500 on health care expenses every year. So the next time you exercise, give yourself a pat on the back for saving money just by staying active.