Does Financial Fitness = Physical Fitness?

by Miranda Marquit

No matter the time of year, it’s never a bad time to set new goals and work toward a better you. Two of the areas that most of us like to improve are finances and health.

If you are considering setting goals to help you improve your health, though, it might make sense to start with your finances. A recent survey from TD Bank highlights the positive impact good financial health can have in various areas of your life — including physical health.

finances affect health

Good Financial Well-Being Leads to Success in Other Areas

One of the most interesting results of the survey is that TD Bank found that 81 percent of respondents reported that their other goals were easier to accomplish when their finances are in order. On top of that 70 percent of respondents said that good financial health can have a positive impact on physical health.

When you start to think about these results, you can see how they make sense. First of all, it’s very distracting when your finances aren’t in order. When you are worried about debt and bills and what’s going to happen with your money, it’s hard to work on other areas of your life, and not just your physical fitness.

In our society, money provides the foundation for survival. Financial well-being doesn’t have to be about getting rich or having a big income. Financial well-being is about feeling as though you can make ends meet without being constantly stressed, and that you are able to set money aside for the future, and even have a little bit left over to occasionally indulge in your wants.

I don’t need a lot of money to be happy. However, I am more satisfied with my life when I don’t have to worry about how we’ll buy groceries this week, and when I know that I can go on a spring break trip with my son without breaking the bank. This financial well-being leaves me free to pursue other goals in my life, such as exercising for 30 to 45 minutes each day and taking the time to practice the guitar and piano. Other goals I have, such as self-improvement and better health, are made easier because I’m not always scrambling to make my money situation work each week.

Financial Worries and Physical Health

I can also see the connection between financial health and physical health. There are numerous studies that look at the impact that stress and anxiety can have on your mental and physical health.

Worries about money can lead to very real health problems. First of all, the stress can cause mental and emotional difficulties. Anxiety over debt can lead to depression. Stress can also make you irritable, straining relationships with your life partner, your children, and others. When these relationships are strained, it’s hard to cope emotionally. As humans, we need our social connections. Money troubles can cause problems in our connections, and lead to difficult emotional situations.

Don’t forget about physical health, though. Stress and anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms like higher blood pressure and heart. For some people, the emotional and physical combine in the form of stress eating. I know that I eat more when I am stressed, and I usually don’t reach for the healthy snacks. My stress-eating is usually marked by high-calorie, low-nutrient foods that can impact my physical health.

Your financial well-being can spill over into your health, and impact you in a positive or negative way. When you consider the way your finances affect other areas of your life, it becomes vital that you make efforts to get your finances in order. Take the time to make a plan for your future. If you are stressed about money, just sitting down, facing where you are, and then making a realistic plan to move forward can reduce some of the anxiety.

Take steps to improve your finances, and you will free yourself to start taking positive steps in other areas of your life.


Published or updated December 9, 2015.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Sam

There’s definitely a correlation. Unfortunately, the natural steady state is to gain 1-2lbs on average a year!!

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