Fitness & Finances: Part 2

Fitness & finances are a lot alike. You have to pay attention to both. You have to work at both. And while you may have inherited great wealth or health from your parents, you still have to put effort in each to maintain good standing. Here’s part 2 of my Fitness & Finances post: 

Investing Is A Good Idea

Whether you’re putting money into savings, retirement accounts or real estate, you’re doing it because you’re going to be better off later. It’s the same with fitness. You have to spend money on real food (food that’s always been on Earth) instead of wasting it on junk. You have to invest your time into moving your body and you have to invest some of your money for fitness memberships, classes, or equipment.

What to Do: Talk to a professional. If you need free advice, check out financial and fitness blogs (like this one) for the best bang for your buck.  It’s up to you to determine the best investment for your financial or availability situation: a piece of equipment that’s really versatile, a gym membership that comes with child care, or a program that you can purchase and do at home.

Personal Tip: Cut out cable TV. Cutting off cable not only saves you money (that you could put in savings) but it also stops you from laying on the couch for hours on end. When there’s no t.v. you end up being really productive.

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Diversification is Also A Good Idea

Having all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea, in case something happens to that basket. No financial planner would tell you to put all your money into one account – You’ll want to get rid of as much debt as possible so you’re not throwing away money to other people, you’ll want to save in IRA and CDs, and you’ll want to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc. In case any one area goes belly up, you’ll have your money spread out so you won’t lose it all.  Pay off debt, save, invest. There are 3 things most financially savvy people do.

If you’re really great at running but you eat crap food all the time, what’s going to happen if you suddenly get injured and you can’t run for a few months?

What to Do: It’s not JUST a good diet. It’s not just cardio or just a strength workout or just getting good sleep. There’s no one thing that you can do It’s a little bit of each one that will get your body to a healthy place. You don’t have to do all of them at the same time.

Exercise recommendations are 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. You could do 30 minutes of cardio one day, 30 minutes of strength training the next. You could spend 30 minutes stretching the next day. Get to sleep 30 minutes early the next. You have options, but looking for just ONE right answer won’t get you the body you want. Eat good food, move your body, turn off the screens and get to sleep.

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Take Advantage of Compound Interest

The earlier you start investing your money, the longer you have for the interest to compound exponentially. Even if you’re 20 years old and only putting back $100 per month, over time, that will grow to thousands of dollars.

The same goes with your fitness – as soon as you start (and keep) working out and eating well, the more muscle you will have and the less fat you will gain. When your body is working smoothly, your resting metabolic rate goes up a tiny bit. (see more about changing your metabolic rate here.) While the gains are small, over time, they mean you keep moving well, which means you can move more often, which means you’ll have a lower chance of gaining fat in the future.

What To Do: Get started. And keep going. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but every little bit helps and if you stay at it, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. To see if you gain a habit. Go for a 15 minute walk at least once a day, for at least 4 or 5 days per week.

Set up your checking account to deposit into your savings every month or every paycheck cycle so you’re saving automatically. You can always change the amounts by calling your bank or talking to the teller.

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Adapt. Adapt. Adapt. 

Just because you sprained your ankle and can’t run any more doesn’t mean you can’t do upper body/core workouts. Just because you lost your great paying job doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new trade while cleaning houses or mowing lawns. Will it be perfect? Nope. Will it be the same? Uh-uh. But if you lay down and quit, your situation will get exponentially worse.

What to Do: If one thing goes wrong and stops you from what you were previously doing, that sucks, but replace it with something else you can do. When I get hurt in one area of my body, I work out all the other areas I can. When I can’t keep contributing to my savings as much as I’d like, I lower the contribution to what I can handle (notice I didn’t say, “I stop altogether”) and then look for ways to make a little extra work by helping out friends with their businesses. If you use one incident to justify inaction, you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself. Life happens. We all have to adapt.

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Health & Finances: You Can’t Ignore Either

If you do nothing, it will get worse.

If you ignore your credit card debt, it’ll get higher. If you’re already in poor health and continue to lay on the couch for hours every single day, your health will decline and you’ll gain weight.

What to Do: Get started. Get help from a professional if you need it. And keep going.

You may not be able to afford working with a financial planner or personal trainer on a regular basis, but most will schedule a one-time consultation to at least get you started on the right path. Here’s a post I wrote a while back on what to do (exercise wise) if you’re a BEGINNER Beginner.

 

Anybody can improve their fitness and financial standing. Employ the same habits in both realms and you’ll see your stock take off.

Questions? email fitwithflash@gmail.com

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See Part I here.

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