When I was a wee lad growing up in the countryside of northern New Jersey, life was good. I had a loving family, a small house with a good amount of land to run around and good friends. But if there was one thing I could change about my life back then, it was the fact that I was a lazy kid. In fact, some had even gone as far to call me a fat kid, of which I did not respond well. I think back to my past and laugh today at some of the names … and the best actually came from my brother. I mean, have you ever been called a “tub a lub a Crisco?”
In high school, I became a lot more active and slimmed down quite a bit. Still wasn’t physically fit by any means, but playing a lot of baseball and tennis really got me into better shape. Tennis is an excellent source of cardio because it’s just hours of sprinting back and forth and after graduating high-school, I went to college at around 200 pounds. For a six foot frame, that’s not so bad but I still lacked any sort of muscle. I can honestly say I didn’t spend a single day of my life at the gym, or excercising outside of sports until college.
Then through five years of college, I still didn’t excercise. Gambling became a big part of my life and instead of working out and keeping active, I became a hermit crab, staying awake until 5am and not waking up until 1pm. After graduating college, I gained back a lot of lbs, and got a job managing a restaurant. The long hours and hard work yet again brought be down to the 200 pound range. If you’re seeing a trend of me always being between 200 and 250 pounds without having an ounce of muscle, so was I.
Starting Self Employment
Self employment is good for a lot of things, but keeping an active life isn’t one of them, especially as a writer. As an added bonus, my extraordinary amount of debt keeps me working longer than most and sometimes I go days without even going outside. I’m more out of shape now than I’ve ever been and it sucks. I hate that my body is nothing but meat and potatoes and that a simple set of tennis gets me so winded, I don’t think I’ll survive. So today, I’ve started a new workout regiment, known as PX90. Day one was not fun but my commitment to everyone reading this is … I will survive the full 90 days.
So with that long winded story about my life out of the way, it’s time to tie in why it’s so important to be physically fit from a financial perspective.
Finance and Fitness Go Hand in Hand
- Fewer Medical Issues – The better shape your body is in, the less chance of major medical issues now and in the future. Health insurance premiums can also be more expensive when previous medical issues are noted so keeping physically fit will save money in a variety of ways with prior and future hospital visits. Not to mention you’ll live longer and feel better during it.
- Lower Food Budget – This can be a tricky item for undisciplined souls but generally the higher quality of food you eat, the more expensive it becomes. However, the amount of food being purchased is probably less when in shape and you should also consider eating out less. Making meals at home is a great way to stay in shape while saving money.
- Higher Quality of Life – At certain times during my life, I would sleep in, go to bed at 5am, and have pains in all parts of my body that a young kid shouldn’t have. Lack of excercise combined with a lazy attitude made me feel like garbage for too much of my life and I made some pretty stupid decisions with my money as a result. Hopefully, the past stays in the past.
I encourage anyone who isn’t happy with their physical fitness to do something about it today. Get started by taking a walk and parlay that into a daily workout routine you’re comfortable with. Not only will your body thank you, but your finances will as well.
Published or updated July 8, 2011.