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January is right around the corner. When January 1st hits, gym owners will see dollar signs as their gyms fill up with New Year’s Resolution folks, trying to work off the excess pounds they gained over the year(s).
As anyone that has made it to February knows, some of those gym members will start to thin out, and the treadmills will soon become available again. Another New Year’s resolution broken. However, research shows that your weight may have a direct impact on your paycheck.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
If you saw me, you’d think I was in decent shape. Clothes can cover up a lot. I am the definition of “skinny fat”, or as Tony Horton likes to say, “loose in the cage.” I know that I need to improve my fitness level. Here’s the crazy thing. At work, they allow me to work out three days a week for an hour, and I’m still not in the shape I’d like to be.
I take advantage of this hour, but I’ll freely admit, I don’t push myself nearly as hard as I should. In all my time going to the gym over the years, the only time I really pushed myself is when I did P90X.
It’s a great workout, if you’ve never tried it. It’s so easy– you pop in the DVD and hit play. Following along is pretty straightforward. But, I’m the type that gets bored of workouts easily. And when I get bored, I tend to start slacking.
I have also tried Crossfit. While I really enjoyed my 2 month trial, I stunk at it. I had terrible form, and as much as I tried, I could not figure out for the life of me how to deadlift properly. On top of that, my wife was attending Crossfit classes with me, and she wasn’t a huge fan of the heavy emphasis on lifting.
For those that don’t know my wife, she doesn’t need motivation from someone else to push herself. I, on the other hand, need someone to encourage me. So, when the Crossfit coach got in her face attempting to push her harder, she had had enough.
Additionally, I injured my knee shortly after that incident when doing some plyometrics on some unstable tires at the gym. For the record, I have had two surgeries on my left knee, once to repair the ACL and then a second time to clean up a meniscus tear. When I saw the doctor to discuss my options, he said that Crossfit would most likely continue to deteriorate my knees and suggested that I find something a little less intense.
My Current Workout Regime
So for the past couple of years, I have been walking at an incline on the treadmill for cardio, which is low impact on my knees, and lifting weights. I have plateaued, mainly because I don’t push myself. As a result, I have gained a few pounds. While by no means would you consider me overweight, I could stand to convert some of this fat into muscle.
On Saturday, I tried something new. I attended a boot camp. This boot camp was running a Groupon, and the class was 40% off. It would cost me $1 a day if I went everyday for an hour. Not a bad form of “entertainment” if you ask me 🙂
A friend of mine actually first introduced me to this class. For months, I considered taking it, but the timing didn’t work out with my schedule. I think I was also scared to do it since I knew I was out of shape. Excuses, excuses, excuses…
Well, I bucked up and bought the Groupon! I am off for the next two weeks until Christmas. I don’t have anything that is pressing at home. No more excuses.
I have to admit though, I get really nervous when I enter new situations. I showed up 25 minutes early to my class as they had another class before. I watched how it was done and started to relax as I thought, “Okay, this is doable.”
No Pain, No Gain
Finally, 9 am came. I jumped onto the field and started to warm up with the group. I thought, “Man, I’m doing way better than I thought I would during this warm up. I got this.” I shouldn’t have been so cocky. I finished dead last during the workout. I was sucking air like I had run a marathon, and my legs felt like rubber. Walking down the steps of the gym was excruciating. While I was walking out, a woman in my class said to me, “Don’t worry honey; I was where you are, and now I’m in the best shape of my life.”
So what does exercise have to do with finances? Plenty!!!
Exercise and Finances
According to the Journal of Labor Research, people that exercise earn 9% more than their couch potato counterparts. Researcher Vasilios Kosteas, Ph.D., an economics professor at Cleveland State University, found that men who exercise on average earn 6% more, and women on average make 10% more.
The study defined exercise as aerobics, cycling, running and swimming, but as many of you know, weight training has been shown to offer many of the same benefits.
Smart, Happy, and Energetic
Kosteas also concluded that exercise increases your intelligence, positive attitude, and energy levels. “Each of these factors in turn can raise a person’s productivity, leading to higher earnings,” Kosteas explained.
It’s not just Dr. Kosteas that believes this. Finnish researchers studied 2,500 twins and found that the twin that exercised on a regular basis earned more money than their sedentary twin.
Ari Hyytinen, Ph.D., asserted, “Physically active people may also be more persistent; they persevere in the face of work-related tasks and hurdles,” and “increase their desire to partake in competitive situations.”
At Work and Healthier
Another reason people who regularly exercise may achieve more financial success is that they’re present and available to work. Physical fitness builds up your body’s immunity system, which means that you are less likely to miss work.
Vera Gibbons said, “Research shows healthy people miss fewer days, are more productive, more motivated, make more money and stay in the workforce longer,” she said. “Interestingly enough, it actually works the other way, too. People who suffer from financial stresses, in fact, two out of five save they suffer from ulcers, headaches, sleep disorders, physical ailments.”
When to Workout
University of Bristol researchers found that employees who exercised before going to work, or during lunch breaks, were better prepared for the workday. The study also determined that these employees were able to concentrate longer at work with unscheduled breaks, which led to these individuals finishing work in a timely manner. And of course, people that hit deadlines and are dependable are more likely to rise up the ranks and receive a raise or promotion.
In the book, Self-Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Personal Excellence, authors Christopher P. Neck, Charles C. Manz, and Jeffery D. Houghton found that many executives do prioritize physical fitness. They used a survey by TheLadder.com that revealed that 75% of respondents agreed that fitness was “critical for career success at the executive level,” and 75% believed that being overweight was a “serious career impediment.”
So what do you the readers think? Are you exercising enough and pushing yourself to obtain the results that you desire? Have you seen an increase in your paycheck from working out? Share your thoughts below.