"5 surprising ways being well saves you money"
Improving your fitness, nutrition and well-being will help you live a longer, healthier life. But did you know that it could save you money, too?
Improve your fitness to improve your finances
Being is shape can benefit your health in many ways-reduced risk of disease, more energy and a longer life, just to name a few. But enjoying a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit could also lead to a healthier bank account.
While you may think that the road to fitness is an expensive one-personal trainers and gym memberships don’t come cheap, after all-working out at home and incorporating more activity into your daily routine will get the job done for a fraction of the cost. And the long-term savings add up, too. Here are five ways being fit can help save you money.
You’ll save money on clothes
If you find yourself going up and down a clothing size every six months, you know that the cost of new clothing can really start to add up. Whether you’re a size two or a 12, keeping your weight-and clothing size-consistent means that you’ll be able to wear your favourite pieces longer, and can avoid the financial strain of frequently restocking your wardrobe.
If you’ve recently lost weight and are holding on to your bigger clothes, consider donating them to a local charity. Then focus on maintaining your weight loss and updating your current wardrobe as necessary.
You’ll spend less money on transportation
Why drop thousands of dollars a year on public transportation or parking, gas and car maintenance when there are less expensive ways to get from point A to point B? When you increase your fitness level and endurance, suddenly cycling to work or rollerblading to a friend’s house seem like reasonable-and dare we say, fun-ways to get around town.
In addition to spending less time with your mechanic, choosing these active methods of transportation will give you a boost in energy and contribute to your overall health. You won’t get that riding the bus!
You’ll spend less money on unhealthy vices
Being fit and leading a healthy lifestyle is practically impossible if you’re also smoking on a regular basis. Not only are you increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke with every puff, but if you smoke a pack of cigarettes per day, you’re also throwing away approximately $3,600 a year.
Kicking a smoking habit isn’t easy and won’t happen overnight, but if you’re committed to quitting, you can succeed. And you’ll find that the longer you stay smoke-free, the easier it will be to increase your fitness level. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, your lung function will improve within two weeks to three months of quitting (great news if you want to take up walking or running) and you’ll reduce your risk of a smoking-related heart attack after one year. You’ll also have more cash in the bank-and who could argue with that?
You’ll spend less money on medication
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, adults aged 18-64 who participate in regular physical activity will decrease their risk of more than 25 chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Keeping illnesses at bay means fewer trips to the pharmacy and in turn, less money being spent on medication for chronic health conditions each year.
Boosting your activity level is also linked to better sleep habits, which may save you money on sleep aids and headache medication.
You’ll save money on your grocery bill
Being fit isn’t just about how far you can run or how much weight you can lift. To enjoy a truly healthy lifestyle, you need to keep your diet in shape, too. When healthy living becomes a priority, suddenly spending money on take-out and unhealthy restaurant grub seems like less of a good idea. The notion that fast food is less expensive than making a fresh meal is a common misconception. With a little advance planning, you can eat healthy homemade meals all week for less than you would spend to take your family to McDonald’s.
That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy the occasional night out, of course-just be sure to make smarter choices when you’re looking for a quick food fix or sitting down to dinner at a restaurant with friends.
Save Money By Being Healthy
Source: iStock - By Sienna Beard
All your life you’ve probably heard over and over again how important it is to stay healthy — you should eat well, exercise, go to your checkups, avoid smoking and excessive drinking, turn the television off and get outside, and so on. You probably already know that following this advice is good for your body, but the truth is, it can also be good for your wallet. If you take care of yourself, you can save money in many different ways.
Eating well can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy, which will potentially save you money on doctors’ appointments and health emergencies. Even just going to the doctor for your annual checkup can save you money in the long run, and so can avoiding stressful situations, and trying to live a relaxed lifestyle. Here are some surprising ways that you can avoid potential money suckers and save money by taking care of yourself.
It would be difficult to find an American who doesn’t know or understand the importance of exercise. While some people exercise vigorously, and others don’t exercise at all, we all know how important it is to our health. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise controls weight, combats disease, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and can even improve your sex drive. If these awesome effects are not enough for you, think about investing in your health as investing in your financial future. If you take care of yourself now, you can reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes; all of these diseases can lead to expensive health costs.
2. Eat well
It can be really difficult to eat healthy when you work hard and maintain an active social life. Fitting in a healthy meal can become challenging, and if you are eating poorly but still young and you still are maintaining your physical looks, you may not care too much about eating well. However, like exercise, eating well is important for staying healthy. Maybe you are already trying to eat well, or you would like to, but you are turned off by the expensive price of healthy food. Health food doesn’t need to mean organic, although organic food certainly has it’s pluses. Although fast food and snacks are often cheaper than produce and lean meats, your body will suffer over time from eating poorly.
According to Men’s Journal, junk and high-sugar foods can potentially harm your memory and your body. Naturally, if you eat poorly for too long and your body or your memory are affected, this could cause your health (and therefore, your wallet) to suffer, and potentially, your career too, which could cost your goals as well as your wallet.
3. Go to the doctor
While it seems contradictory to pay for a doctor’s appointment to save money, you actually may do just that. If you have insurance, your checkups might be covered, and if they are not, you should still consider regular annual appointments (and of course, going in when you think something is wrong, too) as an investment in your future as well. According to the CDC, regular health exams can actually help you find out about problems before they start, or help get you the treatment you need before a bigger problem develops. Like eating well and exercising, going to the doctor can be a preventative way to avoid larger issues, and bigger bills.
4. Avoid stress
No one can avoid stress completely, but attempting to live a low-stress life will certainly benefit you in many ways. Stress can affect your mental state, your emotional state, and even your body. When it comes to your work life, stress can really cost you: those who report high levels of stress experience health care expenditures of nearly fifty percent higher.
Most of us can’t just quit our jobs because they are stressful, but we can try to reduce the stress. According to Inc., if you want to de-stress at work, you will only need 15 minutes: you can start by waking up earlier so that you don’t need to rush; post a quote that you can read at work; and post photos of your family. Of course, some days will naturally be more stressful than others, but if you can reduce your overall stress at work, you will be on the right path.
5. Get fresh air and sleep
You need sleep to function, but sleep also keeps you healthy. According to Health, sleep can benefit your heart, weight, and mind. If you don’t have a healthy heart or mind, or you gain too much weight, you may face expensive doctors’ visits, or loss of productivity at work.
It’s also important to get outside sometimes. As fun as texting on your phone or playing a game on your tablet can be, you probably spend enough time online at work. When you are home, make sure you spend some time outside, and if possible, take short walking breaks at work. Fresh air can boost your immune system, lower stress and make you feel happier, and even energize you. It’s also important to get a lot of vitamin D (but remember sunscreen).
All of the items on this list lead back to your health. If you take care of your health, you will potentially avoid diseases, live longer, feel better, and yes, even save money. You have probably also heard that it’s a good idea to avoid smoking, and to avoid excessive drinking. If you want to save money, buying expensive alcohol less often and quitting smoking would certainly help as well.
6 Surprising Reasons Eating Right Pays Off
Saying no to the fries is a smart money choice.
Mike Kemp—Getty Images
Eating healthy can make you look and feel better, but it can also be great for your wallet. Whether by reducing medical costs or helping you earn more, a healthy diet has benefits beyond a slimmer waistline. Consider these ways your diet can improve your finances:
1. You’ll Lower the Likelihood of Needing to Take a Sick Day
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that help boost your immune system so it can better fight off viruses and bacterial infections. Staying healthy during flu season means you can go to work and get that paycheck (or promotion), and you won’t have to spend money on meds and extra doctor’s visits.
Not only does consuming a lot of produce increase your immunity in the short term, but it also helps prevent disease in the long run. Notably, eating more vegetablesreduces the risk of heart disease, which afflicts about a third of all adults and costs about $444 billion a year to treat in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. You Can Stay More Productive
Not much is better for your finances than making more money, and one way to do that is to work harder. According to 2012 research conducted at Brigham Young University, eating healthy can help you do that. The researchers evaluated 19,800 employees at three large companies and found that eating well every day may lower your risk of productivity loss by 66%. They also found that exercise lowered the risk of lost productivity by 50%, and getting five fruit and vegetable servings lowered the risk by 39%. (Other research has found that frequent exercise is connected to higher pay.)
3. You Can Take Fewer Pills
Disease costs a lot of money in terms of doctor’s visits, procedures, surgeries, and medical devices, but a large chunk of medical spending goes toward prescriptions that could be discontinued. In fact, three of the top five most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. are for preventable heart conditions, adding up to more than 160 million scripts per year. Keeping your heart healthy and your weight downthrough diet will help reduce the need for these medications and the monthly expense that goes along with them.
4. You’ll Steer Clear of Complications
When you’re unhealthy or obese, you’re more likely to have complications with an existing condition. For example, obesity decreases lung performance and is thought to exacerbate asthma symptoms. But foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can increase lung performance. In addition, high blood pressure and diabetes can complicate your pregnancy, according to the CDC, and those costs can add up. Eating a healthy diet and keeping a normal body weight can help you avoid these problems.
5. You’ll Age Better
When most people think of retirement planning, they think of 401(k)s and IRAs. That’s a great start, but if there’s anything that can deplete your retirement funds, it’s unplanned medical costs. Studies conducted over the past 20 years show that plant-based and Mediterranean diets increase longevity and health, helping you work longer (if you want), save more toward retirement, and hopefully spend less on health care later.
More recently, researchers in Rome and the Washington University School of Medicine jointly published a paper that concluded that calorie restriction may be the best way to prevent disease and lengthen lifespan—even for people at a normal weight. The paper, published in 2011, took into account studies on rodents and humans. More human studies are needed, but the paper provided a basis for in-depth trials to come.
6. Your Insurer May Reward You
Employers and insurers are doing what they can to get you to eat right and work out(and need less high-cost medical care). That can mean discounts on the food you should be eating. The health-care network Harvard Pilgrim rewards workers for buying healthy food (up to $20 a month) and recently announced that it would roll out the program to other employers. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Jenny Craig discounts, and Humana gives members a 10% discount on healthy groceries purchased at Wal-Mart.
Read more from NerdWallet Health, a website that empowers consumers to find high quality, affordable health care, and insurance.
How Being Healthy Saves You Money (and Why Bad Health Habits Cost You)
Keeping your body and mind healthy is one of the surest ways to enjoy life to the fullest. It may or may not surprise you that taking better care of yourself can also mean more dollars in your pocket. Thankfully, we know some frugal tricks to help get on the right path, like choosing inexpensive organics at the grocery store and getting gym-quality workouts at home for free. (See also: 25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today)
Here are five ways investing in your health saves you real money.
1. Less Junk, More Jingle
If you save your pennies to spend in the office vending machine or elsewhere on junky foods, you might want to plunk your loose change into a piggy bank instead. Whether candy, chips, or even cigarettes are your vice, you can cut the habit today and find yourself with a fatter wallet, a slimmer waistline, and healthier insides within very little time. In fact, it can be overwhelming to see how much you were once spending on habits that were ultimately sabotaging your wellness. Even a single bag of candy every workday, say $4, could add up to over $200 a year.
2. Stable Weight, Stable Wardrobe
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had to buy an entirely new wardrobe to accommodate my growing belly. After I gave birth, I found my old clothes didn't fit the same way and — again — had to sink cash into new clothes. Sometimes our bodies change, like with pregnancy, and we do need to invest. However, if significant shifts in weight can be avoided (like with the vicious yo-yo dieting cycle), there are hundreds to be saved on dressing alone. If you've recently lost weight the slow and steady way: Congratulations! Why not try selling some of your old clothes at a local thrift shop or consignment store and put the earnings toward some new items you deserve?
3. Better Foods, Fewer Meds
There's a misconception that eating whole foods needs to cost a fortune, especially when paralleled with the benefits. Researchers studied a group of people in their late 60s tasked with buying groceries proven to lower risk of chronic diseases (like fruits, vegetables, beans, etc.). The result? By swapping beans in for meat, for example, individuals could see up to a "25% reduced risk in cardiovascular disease [thereby saving] up to $830 per year" on medicines that deliver similar results. You can also easily save a good amount on your food bills by cooking healthy foods in versus going out to eat.
4. Increased Steps, Less Gas
If you live in an area where commuting by foot or bike is possible, take full advantage. You can get in your 10,000 recommended steps for the day — all while watching the gas and other transportation costs pile up in your bank account. To start, try walking or biking to work (or to run other errands) just one or two days a week. You'll need to plan ahead to ensure you get where you're going on time, but you'll also save time, which often comes at a premium, because you're getting in your exercise as well. (See also: 50 Ways to Walk More)
5. More Movement, Lower Hospital Bills
Exercise is important for far more than just losing weight for the sake of vanity. Another advantage of adding a 30-minute walk to your day? You could significantly lower your risk of "heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers." If you suffer from three or more of these conditions, this might mean a savings of up to $1,865 annually on medical bills and associated costs. I don't know about you, but a $50 pair of sneakers and a little time each day seems like a better bet than all that cash spent on medicines and doctor visits.
Have you realized any investment gains with your money you have saved living healthier? Please share in comments!