Keeping our priorities straight is a challenge, but it’s essential to prioritize your health. Without a healthy body, everything you’re working for doesn’t mean much.
Finances and health are nearly impossible to separate. After all, health care costs money, and making money is a lot simpler when you’re healthy. You may be thinking you just don’t have time to focus on healthy habits like a balanced diet, exercise, or sleep. But you might change your mind if you consider the many financial reasons to prioritize your health.
When we adopt healthy habits in one area of our lives, those habits tend to have a ripple effect on other areas. For example, I know when I’m exercising regularly, I’m also more likely to eat healthy foods.
It works the same way with finances and health. When your finances are in order, it’s much easier to live a healthy life. And when you’re a fairly healthy person, following tried-and-true financial wisdom can be a lot easier to do.
Employers Give You Financial Reasons to Prioritize Your HealthMore and more employers are beginning to recognize that healthy employees are better for business. After all, healthy employees take fewer sick days and cost the company less in health insurance costs.
Useful Health Incentives
- Reimbursement for gym memberships and health-related subscriptions
- Offering an on-site fitness center or exercise classes
- Free or discounted health coaching
- Bonuses for being tobacco-free or quitting smoking
- Insurance premium discounts for meeting health standards (and surcharges for those who don’t)
- Discounts or bonuses for meeting healthy standards for BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol
- Discounts for submitting to yearly checkups on basic health markers like BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol
Take Fewer Sick Days and Improve Your CareerIt’s a pretty logical connection: people who are generally healthy don’t take as many sick days as people who get sick. So you should prioritize your health to improve your work performance and career prospects.
Now, I’m not suggesting you should never take a sick day when you’re ill. Working while sick should not be the norm for any of us. When you prioritize your health, sometimes that means staying home, getting rest, and staying away from others while contagious.
Adopting Healthy Habits May Lead You to Getting Sick Less FrequentlyTaking fewer sick days also benefits you because you can often bank your unused sick leave. I mean, I hardly missed a day in my first decade of teaching. When it came time for maternity leave, I had banked a full three months’ worth of days off.
That meant—guess what? I still got paid while on leave. Not everyone in this country has access to paid maternity leave, so I knew that was a huge blessing.
You can also look at a better work attendance record as showing your boss or supervisor that you’re dedicated. Faithfully showing up to work day after day helps you stand out as a hard worker, and you may see more financial bonuses or promotions as a result.
Healthy Habits That Directly Improve Your FinancesNow, let’s talk about some of the basic habits that people can adopt to help improve both their health and their finances.
Prioritize Your Health by Getting Enough SleepMost adults need between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. But far too many of us in the busy modern world get much less than that, and it’s hurting us in a lot of ways.
- It’s easier to maintain focus throughout your day, leading to better productivity and fewer mistakes.
- Your mood improves.
- The risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity decreases.
- Your body fights off germs more effectively, preventing illness.
- Energy levels throughout the day are higher.
Prioritize Your Health by Exercising RegularlyExercise brings many of the same benefits as sufficient sleep. (Plus, when you exercise enough during the day, you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly!)
Plus, exercise means you’re less at risk of developing serious diseases like cancer and heart disease. Getting plenty of physical activity can also reduce feelings of depression (mental health is also a huge part of our overall well-being). Depression can lead to a lot of missed days at work and expensive treatments, as well.
Prioritize Your Health by Eating a Nutritious DietHealthy eating isn’t easy for us. That’s probably why so many Americans make some sort of diet-related resolution around the first of January each year. But eating a healthy diet is one of the best weapons we have against illness.
- Lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, obesity
- Higher energy levels and greater ability to focus on tasks at hand
- Better dental health (dental costs can be super-expensive!)
- Stronger bones and muscles (meaning lower risk of injuries)
Another way to save money while prioritizing your health is to cut out the dining out. You’ll save a huge amount just by buying ingredients and making the majority of your meals at home. Restaurant markups are huge. (Of course, with the pandemic, it’s still great to order carryout to support your favorite local eateries if you can!)
Finances Are Connected to Health—and Vice VersaA 2015 survey found that most people viewed their financial and physical health as strongly linked.
81 percent of those who responded felt that when their finances were in good shape, their other goals became much easier to achieve. Along the same lines, 70 percent said that good financial health had a positive impact on their physical health.
It’s easy to see this as true in our own lives, isn’t it? Each healthy habit motivates us to add another layer of health, and another. Maybe you start with diet, add in more aerobic exercise, and then tackle your sleep habits. Each one of these healthy lifestyle habits has an effect on your finances, whether directly or indirectly.
Entrepreneurs are sometimes known for sacrificing aspects of their health—sleep, exercise, nutritious diet, and more—for success. But professional success doesn’t mean much if you aren’t taking care of your body.
The financial reasons to prioritize your health should be enough to convince you to live healthier, even if health itself isn’t enough of a reward.
The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are only those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.