Articles, Life

Discover The Connection Between Physical Fitness and Financial Success

Written By: Eric Williams
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated February 20, 2024
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Roughly 2000 years ago, the Roman poet Virgil wrote “The greatest wealth is health”. In 1860, Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher, wrote something similar: “The first wealth is health”.  More commonly known is the adage “Health is wealth”. 

All these statements and similar proverbs highlight the importance of health, but if you notice, there is always a connection to wealth. Health is said to be better than or equal to wealth. It’s often compared to wealth. 

Health has a complex two-way relationship with wealth/finance.

In this article, we’ll explore this connection in depth. Typically, if you are in good health, you are in a good position to generate wealth. On the other hand, if you have wealth/financial resources, you have the means to take care of your health. ‘Let’s explore this connection in depth. Typically, if you are in good health, you are in a good position to generate wealth. On the other hand, if you have wealth/financial resources, you have the means to take care of your health. 

According to AskTheScientists, financial wellness is one of the pillars of holistic health. This means it’s an essential component of holistic health. If you think about it, health and wealth are quite intertwined. Generally speaking, health affects wealth, and vice versa. 

Ways in Which Health Impacts Wealth

Vitality and prosperity share an inextricable link. Health is one of the most influential factors affecting the trajectory of an individual’s journey to financial wellness. 

Education and Skill Acquisition

Obtaining education or acquiring skills is easier when you are in good health. Optimal health will lead to better cognitive functioning, improved concentration, and enhanced memory. All of these will also impact the ability to master concepts and learn new skills. For good health, memory consolidation, and better academic performance, it’s vital to have a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits such as abiding by a balanced diet, regular physical exercise, and adequate sleep will positively affect brain development and function. Studies have shown that exercise increases the oxygen supply to the brain, and this results in improved cognitive abilities.

On the other hand, health issues such as chronic physical illnesses and existing mental health conditions can become significant challenges on the path of academic success and skill acquisition. Such issues might lead to difficulties in concentration, increased absenteeism, reduced interest, pessimism, and lowered ability to engage as desired in the learning process. Health and education/skill development have an intricate relationship.  Education and skills can help a person attain financial independence. They play an instrumental role in shaping the long-term financial situation. 

Productivity

Health directly influences the productivity levels of people. Poor health will not allow an individual to make the most of his/her potential. Chronic pain may make an individual slow down. Deficiencies impair concentration and cause fatigue.

Exercise and good nutrition can help improve performance. A quick session in the home gym and a nutritious breakfast before work will increase energy levels and enhance focus. A good start like this will set the stage for higher productivity. 

Since the mind works better on the go, a workout session might be the right time to brainstorm ideas. For creative solutions, consider conducting walking meetings. 

Earning Potential

One of the key factors that influence hiring decisions is the vitality of the candidate. Companies prefer robust employees, and some jobs require candidates to go through medical fitness tests. If any issues regarding health and fitness are detected, the individual won’t be selected for the job. Most jobs require employees to meet certain health and safety standards, and therefore, finding work can be difficult for someone with health challenges.

Companies seek reliability and robustness in employees. During workdays, if ailments necessitate frequent time or days off, the company may eventually view the employee in a not-so-positive light. Health issues and absenteeism will affect the professional image of the employee. Even if the afflicted individual works extremely hard, malaise may catch up with the person and impede work. The company might compare the employee to other healthier colleagues, and arrive at unfavorable conclusions and decisions. It may not be fair but the employee may likely get passed over for raises and promotions. In the worst-case scenario, the employee may get fired.  To stay in the workforce longer and boost your earning potential, adopt healthier habits and do the best you can to maintain and enhance your fitness. 

Lost Income

Excessive absenteeism due to poor health can result in pay getting docked. Apart from actual sick days, a person with chronic illness may also need to take time off for medical appointments. 

Moreover, if the pay depends on productivity even partly, poor health might lead to lower pay. Pain or fatigue during working hours will impact efficiency and output, and eventually the remuneration. Even for the self-employed, sick days or hours can lead to a significant loss of income. Good health facilitates a more reliable and steady income stream.

Investment Opportunities

As we discussed, health challenges affect earning potential as well as the actual income earned. Health issues also increase medical expenses. The struggle with health will reduce the funds available for investment and affect risk tolerance. Moreover, health challenges might negatively affect decision-making abilities and investment choices.

On the flip side, good health will help create a solid financial foundation, and help grab valuable investment opportunities. It will allow the flexibility that is required to make strategic investment decisions. In a nutshell, good health can enhance financial resilience, increase the ability to take risks, and in general, contribute positively to investment capabilities. 

Financial Literacy and Decisions

Physical health forms the bedrock of mental sharpness. When a person is in good health, they’re more likely to engage in activities that whet mental acuity, such as diving deep into financial concepts and strategies. Financial literacy can help a person become financially empowered.

Discipline and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. A person who can commit to making healthier life choices is more likely to be disciplined about financial decisions as well. An individual who is reckless with lifestyle choices is also more likely to be unbothered about financial literacy and make careless financial decisions. 

Insurance and Healthcare Costs

People in good health do not pose that much of a risk, from the perspective of insurance providers. If you’re healthy, you’re more likely to pay lower health insurance premiums, as compared to someone who suffers from a chronic condition. That’s because insurance providers consider the present state of health and the likelihood of claims before deciding on the amount of premium. The healthcare costs tend to be higher in the case of individuals with chronic illnesses, as they tend to utilize healthcare services more frequently, may have complex health needs, and may require more medical attention. In some cases, people with serious pre-existing medical conditions are also denied coverage. Poor health and fitness may lead to higher out-of-pocket expenses. Our advice is to prioritize preventive care. This strategy can protect against the development of chronic conditions and lead to cost savings in the long run. 

Retirement Savings

Your health will influence the age at which you will retire. If you’re in good health, you’ll be able to work for longer and save more for your retirement. Conversely, health issues can necessitate an early retirement, limit earning capacity, and reduce the amount of time for saving for retirement. 

Priorities are also different for healthy and sick people. Healthy individuals prioritize saving for retirement, as they won’t have many pressing current medical expenses. They are in a better position to achieve financial security. Those with health concerns need to allocate more financial resources to meet medical needs in the present, and may not be able to save much for the long term. 

Retirement saving strategies require the consideration of factors such as life expectancy, the need for long-term care, and plans for retired life. All of these factors are also linked to health in one way or the other. 

How Does Finance Affect Health?

Our financial resources dictate our lifestyles, and by extension, our health in various ways. Money affects our ability to afford healthcare and health-related behaviors. A strong financial foundation can help improve health outcomes. 

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the ways in which finance affects health:

Access to Health Care

Your financial stability will impact your access to healthcare. Generally, people with greater financial resources can afford to go for regular health checkups and get the benefit of timely interventions. They can invest in preventative care and boost their health prospects. 

On the other end of the spectrum are people who can’t even afford to make it to medical appointments because that would mean losing the day’s wages. Even when they need medical care, they won’t go to clinics or hospitals because they can’t afford healthcare costs. They might also have to forego medications. No medication and clinical worsens existing conditions and may lead to life-threatening situations and urgent need for medical care. Out-of-pocket medical expenses put a strain on household budgets and increase the pressure on breadwinners. 

Financial Stress

People with severe financial difficulties undergo acute stress. Their bodies are always in survival/fight-or-flight mode. Constantly being under pressure and stress not only affects mental health but also has far-reaching consequences on physical health. 

Financial strain and stress open the doors to chronic diseases. It becomes a vicious cycle; financial stress leads to health issues, and then the health conditions increase the financial pressure. Excessive stress can lead to depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, weight gain, memory impairment, digestive issues, migraines, and muscle aches. 

Due to financial stress and pressure, people even consider the time to exercise a luxury or privilege. They are generally struggling so much to make ends meet, that they find it difficult to take out time for themselves. 

Fitness Classes or Gym Membership

Acquiring a gym membership or attending a fitness class is not just a question of dedication or passion. Finance is an important consideration. For people with limited resources, gym membership fees and the cost of specialized fitness classes can also seem like unnecessary expenses. Additionally, there will be transportation expenses if there are no gyms or fitness classes in their local areas.  Apart from the cost, there’s also the time factor. It is a challenge for them to attend classes or go to the gym regularly. People with financial constraints will also find it difficult to purchase fitness equipment to exercise at home or proper workout gear to prevent injuries. 

Health Insurance

The economic conditions of the country, and the financial status of an individual, both affect the ability to afford health insurance. Insurance market dynamics and contributions of employers may also have an impact.

If you have a stable income and sufficient financial resources, you’ll be able to purchase comprehensive coverage and pay insurance premiums easily. You might also have additional flexibility for choosing healthcare facilities. For emergency preparedness, you could save and take supplementary insurance.  If and when there’s an emergency, all your unexpected medical expenses will be covered. But all of this is dependent on financial resources. Those with constraints are at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing and managing health insurance. 

Nutrition

Wealth affects our dietary choices and eating habits significantly. Opting for a balanced diet, and carefully choosing the food items to consume based on their nutritional values are privileges only the financially stable can afford. Tailoring diets for special needs, addressing health concerns through nutrition, installation of health-enhancing modern appliances in kitchens, being able to afford dietary supplements, dining out at restaurants with healthier options, hiring nutritionists and chefs, having the means and time to access nutritional education, and purchasing highly nutritious food despite high prices are some other privileges on this list. People with fewer financial resources struggle to make ends meet and may focus on making cost-effective purchases and choices. When the focus is on surviving, it’s difficult to think about optimizing health and thriving. 

Work-Life Balance

Wealthier people can negotiate better terms to achieve a good work-life balance. Since they don’t have to focus solely on financial compensation, they have the flexibility to make choices that are more favorable for them. From the various available job options, they can choose the ones that allow a better work-life balance.  They can invest in time-saving services. Less financial stress is associated with a higher ability to prioritize work-life balance. A good work-life balance will obviously contribute to better mental and physical health. 

Education and Awareness

With greater financial resources comes the privilege of being able to attain high-quality education. During school and college education, students gain much knowledge and awareness about best practices for health and prevention of diseases. This knowledge will eventually affect the choices they make in life. Additionally, educated people are in a better position to seek out and understand medical information and make better decisions for themselves. 

Living Conditions

People with adequate or abundant financial resources can afford better living conditions. They can choose to reside in a safe and hygienic neighborhood. They can purchase or rent good quality housing with amenities such as heating, ventilation, and sanitation facilities. Generally, they won’t be exposed much to harmful pollutants and safety hazards. 

Financial constraints don’t allow people to be choosy about housing options. Disparities affect opportunities. Financial resources also impact access to reliable public services and recreational facilities. Additionally, wealth will also determine the available social capital. Financially well-off individuals have the time and resources to expand their social support systems. 

Conclusion

Physical fitness and financial success generally seem to share a positive correlation. Fit and healthy people typically have more opportunities to grow financially, and financially successful people have the time and resources to pour into physical fitness. However, other factors at play may change the results. Financially successful people can make bad lifestyle choices leading to health issues, and physically fit may indulge in reckless financial behavior. To maintain and enhance the overall quality of life, you need to focus on physical health AND be financially savvy. 

FAQs

What is the connection between financial and physical health?

Financial resources and physical health share a complex, two-way connection. Health affects the ability to build and accumulate financial resources, while finance impacts the access to healthcare resources and the ability to afford healthy lifestyle choices. Typically, finance and physical health share a positive correlation. However, individual circumstances and choices can change that dynamic. 

How does physical fitness improve your financial health?

Physical fitness makes it easier to acquire education and skills and thereby opens the door to opportunities for earning money. At work, physical fitness boosts productivity and increases the chances of career success. If you’re physically fit, your healthcare costs will be lower. You might have more funds at your disposal for investment in lucrative opportunities or for savings to bolster your future. 

How does wealth affect health?

Financial resources dictate lifestyle choices, and by extension, the state of physical health. Money affects the ability to afford healthcare and health-related behaviors. A strong financial foundation can help improve health outcomes. Financially stable people have the time and resources to explore and adopt physical fitness strategies.

What is financial fitness? 

Financial fitness is the ability to manage finances well, to be able to meet current and future needs, whether expected or unexpected. Financial fitness improves the quality of your life and minimizes financial stress. It basically allows you to live life the way you want. You can achieve financial fitness through learning and wise information-based decisions. 

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