Fitness & Finances: Apply the same behaviors!

Some people are great with money but don’t feel as confident about their fitness knowledge while others are the exact opposite. And some don’t feel great at either… Whichever side you’re on, rest easy! Fitness and finances share a lot of similarities. Work on one and apply the same principles to the other for a successful year ahead. Here’s what I mean by that:

Calories In/Out is Similar to Spending/Earning

Nutrition a lot more complicated than this, but this is one place to start. A sedentary lifestyle combined with eating way more than your body needs is going to get you the same results as spending more money than you earn: trouble.

If you spend more than you make, you’re going to go into debt. If you eat more than you need and don’t move your body, you’re going to gain weight. If you do nothing about either, it’s going to get worse.

What to do: You can’t do anything about it if you don’t know where you are currently, so take stock!

For fitness, I don’t recommend calorie counting 24/7, but tracking your food/drink intake with a nutrition app (I like Lose It) for 1 – 2 weeks is a great way to see exactly how much you’re taking in each day, including drinks and snacks. Even taking away one soda or alcoholic drink per day can make a big difference. Then check out this post.

For your finances, make more money than you need and spend less money than you make. Check out this post about how I got out of debt and started saving like a maniac… and then get over to Mint.com to take stock of your own situation. Yeah, it might be embarrassing looking at it all, but you don’t have to share it with anybody but yourself.

 

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Workouts are Like Savings Accounts (A) – Consistency Pays Off

Not everybody comes out of the gate with optimal genes and trust funds. Most of us have to start from scratch and build up our bodies… and our wealth. Creating the habits of moving and saving on a regular basis changes everything!

What to do: When contributing to a savings/investment account, pick an amount that you can contribute from every single paycheck, as if it were a bill you had to pay. The good news is that you can automate stuff like this so you don’t have to remember to do it! Ask your banker to help you out if you don’t know how. I have money automatically directed from my checking account to my Roth IRA every month on the same day.

For physical activity, pick something you can do at the same time of day (like lunch time) every day so it becomes just as much a part of your daily routine as leaving to get lunch. You could do a 10 minute walk one day,  a quick body weight workout the next, then a short stretch, alternating through the week.

 

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Workouts are like Savings Accounts (B) – You Get OUT What You Put IN… & Then Some

While something is certainly better than nothing, you’re not going to hit your goal any time soon if you’re contributing the tiniest amount or only doing “3 Minute Abs.” Start small with whatever you can do, but once you are able to do more, then go DO MORE so you hit your goal before the end of the century.

What To Do: Contribute anything you can to a savings account regularly. As soon as you can add more, up the contribution. I started putting $100 per month into my savings account and eventually got up to $1200 per month. That amount ebbs and flows depending on my workload each month (I’m self-employed), but I always put something in. Eventually, seeing your savings account grow gets way more exciting than spending money on a night out.

With your workouts, see if you can start with a 15 minute strength circuit or walk/run. Repeat or alternate 3 to 4 times per week. Every two weeks, add 2 minutes to your workout time, or 10 extra seconds to each set of an exercise, or 2 extra lbs to what you’re lifting. Looking and feeling better will get you motivated to spend more time on your fitness than vegging out.

 

That’s a good place to stop for now. Part 2 of this post coming soon!

What are your go-to fitness or financial tips? I’d love to know!

 

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