Financial and Physical Health: The Link Between Money and Fitness

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Have you ever considered the connection between your money and fitness level?  Well, I decided to start this blog and called it Run The Money for the specific reason that I believe they are connected.  If you’re reading my posts, you are a person who wants to run their money and not let their money run them.  You want to be fiscally fit as well as physically fitI firmly believe that financial and physical health go hand in hand.

financial and physical healthThe relationship can certainly be in varying degrees from person to person.  However, the same mindset that comes with financial discipline can be attributed to a regimen of exercise and eating healthy.

So, with that said, I want to use two fundamental aspects of both financial health and physical health to illustrate this concept.  For financial health, we will use the basis of your financial life: the budget.  For physical health, we will use running because it’s one of the simplest and cheapest ways to work out.

How does running relate to budgeting?  I’m glad you asked.  Let’s explore the relationship now.

It takes discipline to master your financial and physical health.

We will start here. I eluded to it in the opening paragraph.  You need discipline in all areas of your life if you want to maintain a high degree of financial and physical health.

Consider our example of budgeting and running.  Staying on budget and saving money requires a similar mindset and disciplined lifestyle to keeping a running schedule.  The monetary sacrifice of budgeting and saving like the physical sacrifice of running will improve your overall mindset and self-satisfaction.

Bettering your financial and physical health can bring out the competitor in you.

If you’re a competitive person, this could be fun for you. You can compete with yourself as you learn to be a better budgeter.  As you increase your mileage and ability to breath better while running longer, you could challenge yourself with your budget each week.  How can you cut an extra $5 or $10 from your food bill let’s say?  You’re challenging your mind as you challenge your body.

Increasing your financial and physical health requires that you remain accountable for your actions and failure to act.

If you told all of your friends that you signed up for a 5K and ended up not running it, how would you feel? Probably pretty deflated.  Running and having that social accountability from your peers is crucial to sticking with it.  The same is true for your budget.  Have somebody hold you accountable.  It could be your spouse as you make the budget together, a good friend, a colleague, or a mentor.  The point is you need to make living on a budget something you’re accustomed to.  Make it lifestyle like being a runner becomes a lifestyle.  I’m a runner and I’m a budgeter.

To be successful in both your financial and physical health, you need to track your progress.  It’s a motivating factor.

More than likely, you have a running app on your phone like MapMyRun or Nike Plus. This lets you track your miles and time.  Hopefully, you’re seeing improvement.

The same holds true again with budgeting.  As you become accustomed to your budgeted living each week and month, it gets easier.  You learn to do without.  And that is incredibly motivating because doing without means you’re holding onto more.  It’s very inspiring – and you’re the one doing it!  As Dave Ramsey says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

As you try to better your financial and physical health, you will have moments of failure.  Don’t let this discourage you.

Unfortunately, even though we’re disciplined and make progress, we will fail. We might regress in our running and have an off week.  With our budget, we may have an unexpected expense and we don’t have a complete emergency fund set up yet.  Let me tell you – it’s OK.  Things happen.  The point is – how do you respond?  Do you lie down and take it?  Or do keep pushing forward?  That’s what matters.  Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”  Let that be you.

Conclusion: Do you see how financial and physical health are related and how they affect our entire lives on a daily basis?

Initially, you were likely skeptical of the financial and physical health relationship.  You may have thought it was a bit of a reach.  But, I hope my illustration on fundamental aspects of both topics helps to seriously question where you are right now.

I know it’s hard to change.  It’s difficult to go from eating junk food and sitting on the couch to putting real food into your body and running a few times a week.  Budgeting and being responsible with your money is a real challenge if you spent most of your life spending carelessly and maxing out your credit cards.

I get it because I have been where you are.  Let me tell you something.  You can make a change and pay off that debt.  Getting off the couch and running 2 or more days a week is not only a possibility, it’s completely attainable.

As with anything in life, you just need to take that first step.

So, how are you doing?  How are your financial and physical health these days?  What can you improve on?  Let us know below.

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10 thoughts on “Financial and Physical Health: The Link Between Money and Fitness

  1. Great post, David. I’ve never really thought much about the similarities between running and budgeting/managing money, but as you point out, there are some strong parallels between the two. I really like your blog’s concept of personal finance with a health slant. Also, I am enjoying being connected with you on Twitter. Thanks for all the Twitter love.

    Cody

    • Hey there, Cody. Thanks so much for tracking down the blog and commenting. I haven’t publicized the site yet, so I appreciate you checking it out. It means a lot. Thanks also for the great feedback. I started learning about personal finance after graduating college in 2006 and started running in 2014. So, it made sense to join the two together. It’s been fun letting the ideas flow and I hope it helps a lot of people. I love the stuff you’re posting on Twitter and I think it’s awesome that you’re gaining such a following already. I enjoy great networking! And since we both have new sites, we need to support each other! Looking forward to your launch!
      Thanks again,
      Dave

      PS: If you’re reading this, follow Cody on Twitter @Dollar_Habits and sign up at DollarHabits.com to get notified when he launches!

  2. I really enjoyed the post. I have to admit that I’m not much of a runner anymore. Bad knees have kinda done me in. But I love the analogies to running and a budget. I definitely need to get a little more mentally tough at times with my budget. I have a tendency at times to get too lax and it’s going to add up over time. Hopefully I can get this corrected before too long 🙂
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Saving for the Future While Enjoying Life TodayMy Profile

    • Thanks Rob. I’m sorry to hear you can’t get out there much anymore. I pray that I am never in that boat, but it seems to happen to every runner eventually. I’ll just try to enjoy the gift while I can.

      It’s crazy how mental toughness transcends so many things in life. It all comes back to discipline and re-focusing yourself if you get off track. My wife and I let up often as well. But, we try to sit down and re-commit when it’s necessary. It’s a pain. However, it’s just necessary, especially with our son and the fact that we might try for another little one soon! Good luck with your budget! Stay strong!!

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