Success in any field in this world most often comes to those who constantly seek to better themselves. This betterment can take many forms, from physical fitness to continuing education. Any efforts at self-improvement represent a positive mindset and a pursuit toward a more fulfilling and successful life. Many people, however, fail to realize that all the varied aspects of our lives are completely interconnected. While most recognize this to some extent, the depth and breadth of this interconnectedness can be incredibly subtle. Seemingly unrelated decisions frequently impact our lives in ways we never thought possible.
Exercise, for example, connects to physical health, mental health, and emotional health. Countless studies prove all three conclusively, and most people know this already. Less well known, your physical fitness can impact your financial health as well, sometimes by as much as tens of thousands of dollars per year. This may seem odd, but plenty of direct and indirect costs and benefits to physical health stand as evidence of this fact.
Obesity has become a nationwide epidemic. A number of factors contribute to this, including the quality of food readily available, the frequency of exercise, and the dramatic increase in eating out over the past several decades. As a culture, we constantly push the unrealistic model-standard beauty image, while simultaneously bombarding one another with messages encouraging eating out, indulging in junk, perpetuating laziness, the list goes on.
The resulting obesity causes and correlates with dozens of life-threatening conditions, causing increased annual medical expenses. Less directly, it can also increase life insurance premiums, increase grocery expenses to accommodate the higher caloric daily intake, and higher annual costs for eating out more frequently. Over the course of a year, this can end up costing thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.
Many of our small, daily health decisions end up costing a great deal over the long term. Taking good care of your body is one of the best investments a person can make for themselves, often in many broader-reaching ways than we would ever assume at first glance.
Take a look at this infographic from InvestmentZen and see some of the top health choices that end up costing a lot of money over time.