How to Save Money by Getting Fit

Money Girl has 4 surprising ways that being physically fit can put money in your pocket. Plus, 3 ways to easily add exercise into your everyday life from Get-Fit Guy.

Laura Adams, MBA
4-minute read
Episode #267

Money Girl's Tips to Get Fit and Save Money

How to Save Money by Getting Fit

4 Ways Getting Fit Can Save Money

Here are 4 ways that getting in shape saves money:

  1. Lower insurance premiums. Insurance actuaries know that a high BMI increases your risk of disease and premature death. So being overweight translates into higher health and life insurance payments for individual policies, or for everyone in a group plan who must bear the burden of higher premiums. As your level of physical fitness improves, shop around for a less expensive health plan.

  2. Wellness discounts and incentives. Many companies with group health plans now offer wellness incentives—like subsidizing gym memberships or making contributions to employees’ Health Savings Accounts—in exchange for taking annual biometric screenings and participating in health coaching plans to stay healthy.

  3. Fewer doctor visits and prescriptions. Even if you have good health insurance, frequent visits to the doctor and trips to the pharmacy add up. Some of that expense could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. Obese people pay 36% more in medical costs over their lifetime. Conditions like type-2 diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression have all been linked to obesity.

  4. Less over-the-counter-medicine. An article published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that frequent exercise reduces the chance of catching a common cold by 50%! That’s half the tissues, cough drops, and bottles of Nyquil you end up buying if you’re in shape.

Fit People Earn More Money

Perhaps the best part of being fit is that you can earn more over your lifetime. Several studies suggest that regular exercise can make you more successful at your job and even command higher wages. A paper published in the Annals of Health Law found that obese people earn $1.42 per hour less, which could add up to a 6-figure loss over your career.

Losing weight and getting fit may be one of the easiest ways to save a pile of money over your lifetime—and maybe even increase your income as well.

In honor of the release of Get-Fit Guy’s Guide to Achieving Your Ideal Body, here are Get-Fit Guy’s 3 easy ways to add exercise into your everyday routine:

  1. Make it Convenient. There’s no reason to lose valuable time by driving to the gym, working out for an hour or more, stretching, showering, and driving home. Instead, get fit with my quick, intense 10-minute body weight workouts spread throughout your day.
  2. Get on Your Feet. The simple act of standing more can increase calorie burn and fat burn, improve important health markers, and strengthen your tummy, butt, hips, thighs, and calves. Even if you have to sit at work, try to stand up each hour and do a few jumping jacks or stair climbs.
  3. Use Motivation. Sometimes getting fit for the sake of fitness is not enough. Use extrinsic motivation to inspire you to exercise consistently. Try signing up for a 5K run or a charity walk, start a personal fitness or diet blog, or use a smartphone app that lets you share your workouts and successes to Facebook or Twitter where your community of friends can help support your efforts. Here are 10 more exercise motivation tips.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a trusted and frequent source for the national media. Her book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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