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In the winter of 2007, my wife and I were going skiing while my folks watched Eli, our 3 year old, until I realized I had forgotten my ski pants at home. My father offered me his. “Thanks Dad, but you are a bit bigger than I am, so… there is no way they will fit.” Right? Wrong.
They fit perfectly! This was my wake up call. On the one hand, I had a three-year-old (and another baby on the way). On the other hand, I was already WAY out of shape. I tipped the scale at 280 and now, my dad’s ski pants fit me. I had to lose some weight if I was ever going to be able to keep up with Eli and my daughter when they were older. My height had helped me hide the truth for too long, but this brought it all home.
It should be no surprise to hear that diet and exercise are the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. But did you know a consistent exercise program does as much for you mind and your wallet as it does for your body? I was never able to control my eating habits, until I changed my exercise habits. I was raised (unintentionally) in sort of a competition for who could eat the most. And, when you are 25 – that’s just fine. But I was out of control. When I started exercising with intensity every day, it changed everything. I had the right motivation, Kate (to whom I owe so much) promised to help me with my food issues, and I started to see results. Seeing the results was an incredible motivator for me and it helped transition the discipline into habit.
Now, with a secure habit of exercise, I can look back on it and see that the list of positive benefits doesn’t stop with physical fitness. Regular exercise can also provide psychological benefits such as:
- Improved mood
- Higher self-esteem
- Enhanced brain function
- Reduced mental fatigue
- Diminished anxiety
These are all very good reasons to stop reading this article and head to the gym right now, but hang with me a second. If they are not motivation enough, then consider this: regular exercise has been linked to higher salaries. According to a study published in the Journal of Labor Research, employees who exercise regularly (at least three hours each week) earn nine percent more, on average, than employees who don’t.
Previous studies tried to confirm the relationship between exercise and income, but proved merely that regular exercise was correlated to a higher salary. Vasilios Kosteas of Cleveland State University used ‘propensity-score matching’ to compare employees with similar work ethics and backgrounds (health history, education, experience, etc.). When exercise was the only independent variable, Kosteas found that people who exercise regularly earned nine percent more, on average, than those who didn’t exercise. The study also found that employees who didn’t have a history of healthy behavior saw an increase in productivity after starting a regular exercise routine, and they often got a raise.
That is the study, and it is important. And, I can tell you first hand: it has also been true in my own life. The combination of better health, more energy, less fatigue, more excitement about life, a greater belief in myself, and an all around better outlook has helped me raise my own game, increased my productivity, and has paid wonderful dividends in my own business as well.
Of course, you will get out what you put in and the transition from sedentary to active is NOT an easy one. Stick with it. As with many things, those who persist will gain the benefits. Regardless, one thing is for certain. Exercise has been linked to many positive effects on the human body, mind and wallet, so do yourself a favor and start working out regularly. If it doesn’t show in your paycheck, you will still have all the benefits above and it may provide benefits in the form of lower healthcare bills now and in the future.
So get out there and exercise!
Jonathan K. DeYoe, AIF and CPWA, is the Founder and CEO of DeYoe Wealth Management in Berkeley, Calif. Want more information? Follow DeYoe Wealth Management on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DeYoeWealth or Twitter at @DeYoeWealth.
Jonathan DeYoe, California Insurance License #0C21749, is a registered principal with and securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor – Member FINRA/SIPC.
The opinions voiced in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial and are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations to any individual. For your individual investing needs, please see your investment professional regarding retirement planning.