3 Financial Benefits of Being Healthy and Where to Start

Keeping yourself fit and its effects on your overall health is something that you’ve already read about many times. What you may not know is that working out and eating right actually has tremendous financial benefits, too. A lot of research suggests that overweight people spend more on health care. Then again, it’s not just the lean who stand to save. The fact is that regardless of your weight, if you’re a couch potato, you’re most likely missing out on earning and saving opportunities.

Here are some of the benefits of being healthy overall, and how to keep a simple exercise regimen for starters:

happy and healthy

Benefit 1: Total Payoff in every bit of your paycheck

Health care costs aren’t the only way physical activity is a benefit. People who work out regularly – e.g. at least three times in a week – are more productive at work than those who don’t, according to research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Generally, those who get sufficient exercise also miss fewer workdays, according to the same study.

Again, those absences can translate to lost income and lost opportunities for advancement.

Devoting work time to physical activity can lead to higher productivity, a research from Stockholm University also suggested. The study shows that it is possible to use work time for exercise or other health-promoting measures and still attain the same or higher production levels.

The same production levels with fewer work hours means greater productivity, while individuals benefit from better health as a result of the physical activity. This increased productivity comes from people getting more done during the hours they are at work and from less absenteeism owing to sickness.

business professional

Another study published in the Journal of Labor Research found that men who work out regularly can expect to make 6% more than their sedentary counterparts on average. For women, the pay boost is higher: Fitness-savvy females make 10% more on average.

Benefit 2: Lose Weight, Lower Healthcare Costs

This is a no-brainer, but in case you take it for granted, lowering healthcare cost is probably the best reason to start exercising and losing weight. The World Health Organization has stated that people who exercise regularly save an estimated $500 in annual healthcare costs.

Elective procedures are always going to be expensive. Unexpected trips to the emergency room because of unforeseen accidents and illnesses, like fractures and infections are always pricey. Additionally, paying for the medical treatments you can’t predict is hard enough – it is always better to stop shelling out hundreds per year on preventable healthcare costs.

Having an inactive lifestyle is one of the many causes of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and depression. Just by doing regular exercise, like walking or swimming a few times a week, you can greatly reduce your risk of serious health conditions and diseases. You breathe better, sleep better, have more energy, and, if you make it a serious lifestyle change, you would most likely be able to dodge pricey health treatments and prescriptions altogether.

Benefit 3: Breaking the Habit

One of the best, if not the best, reasons why you should go out and exercise more often is that it changes your mindset. There’s a cycle that most people follow that keeps them in debt, and makes saving any money at all seem impossible.

say no to sweets

People oftentimes work too much, are constantly stressed out, and never have enough time to eat quality meals or take care of their bodies. This is where the health challenge comes in.

Break the cycle by introducing one of the best stress-busters out there into your routine.

Get excited about trying new healthy recipes, and scour the web for meal plans, snacks, and coupons to keep costs down. Fill up your free time by trying a new class at the gym, or exploring a new hiking trail with your family. Carry your new mindset over into healthcare, treating common aches and illnesses with gentle exercises like yoga, and nutritious foods.

Baby Steps to Getting Fit: Where to start?

If you want to start your road to being healthy, it’s always best if you start small. Commitment to exercise and other workout programs could be daunting to anyone, and what usually happens is that people would stop working out after Day 1 simply because it was just too tiring.

If you have a gym membership, it’s always best to look for an instructor, because they can teach you the proper workout plan, the proper diet, even the proper supplementation. More importantly, they can help you decide on how to properly start your training regimen, like suggesting the best time to workout depending on your working schedule, recommending the top 5 pre workouts for energy before working out (so you can maximize your results), and determining a better meal plan for yourself.

planking on chair

If you don’t have a gym membership, you can always go to the internet for different programs to follow, especially the ones where you can perform them at home. You can try these simple workouts for beginners:

Note: Perform this workout as a circuit, completing the prescribed number of repetitions of each exercise without resting. Once you’ve done one set of each exercise, rest for two minutes, then repeat the entire circuit one to two more times.

 Bodyweight Squat:

Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, so that your arms are parallel to the floor.

Keep your torso as upright as you can for the entire movement, with your lower back slightly arched. Brace your abs, and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.

Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one repetition. Do 15 to 20 repetitions.

Incline Push-up:

Assume a push-up position, but place your hands placed on a raised surface—such as a box, bench, ottoman or one of the steps of your stairs—instead of the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head.

Keeping your body rigid, lower your body until your upper arms dip below your elbows. Pause, and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible.

Do 12 to 15 repetitions.

Hip Raise:

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle, your palms facing up. Now try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that way—this gives you a tight core—while breathing normally.

Keeping your core tight, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause for five seconds—squeezing your glutes tightly the entire time—then lower body back to the starting position.

Do 10 repetitions.

Side Plank:

Lie on your right side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body on your right elbow and forearm, which should be directly below your right shoulder. Place your left hand on your left hip.

Similar to the hip raise, try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that in while breathing normally. Then raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. With your core tight, hold this position for 30 seconds. Roll onto your other side and repeat.

running together
You can also always start off trying out running and/or jogging for at least 30 minutes per day. Cardio exercises go a long way in terms of keeping yourself healthy and active with just a little bit of time commitment every day.

3 Financial Factors to Consider When Buying Your First Car

Buying one’s first car is something that is special because it is all enthusiasm from that point and moving forward. With good reasons, considering the fact that having a car can provide convenience since one is now able to take the road for new exciting adventures faster and easier.  For some, it can be a symbol for luxury, its leather seats providing the best comfort and that majestic sensation.

Either way, getting a car entails some major financial implications to a person or family who is making the decision. This is why it is important for every person to consider a number of financial factors before making that big purchase.

buying your first car

Many people have already recognized that a car is more of a need than luxury. In fact, almost everyone in the United States has a car or has registered for a driver’s license, accounting for a rise from 167 million to about 214 million just in 2014. Car ownerships are continuing to rise mainly because of the benefits of having a personal or family automobile, all the more reason why everyone else should take time to list down some important things first before purchasing their own.

Here are some of the considerations one should sit down and look at before deciding to buy his or her first car:

How much is Affordable?

The rookie mistake for each person trying to get a new car is that it’s almost always certain that he will want the best line of the top tier brand. No one can blame them, as having a new car can induce a kind of excitement that is incomparable. Financially, however, the primary factor to consider for anyone about to purchase their dream vehicle at this point is his budget and how much is he willing to actually spend on it.

getting the keys

Setting up a realistic budget before any decision to purchase is compulsory to any person wanting to be financially smart. This is to project whether the purchase would bring more benefits or more financial stress in both the short term and long term future. Is that new Cadillac 2017 XT5 Crossover fit one’s budget, or is it just there only to put more financial stress? Is the 2017 Toyota Yaris of great value to a person and his family considering that it’s cheaper?

Making a decision for a new car can be both exciting and stressing at the same time.

With regard to prices, one does not only have to look for brand new cars. The point is that there are so many car lines being produced today, and as the integrations of technology add to its mechanisms, the prices are pushed to the ceiling. As a smart consumer, it isn’t necessarily good.

Cars being introduced today are not really affordable for many people, which is why buying used cars can be the answer to this hindrance. According to Experian’s most recent State of the Automotive Finance Market report, used vehicles definitely cost less – a LOT less, with an average financed amount of $18,850. That’s more than $10,000 less than the amount for a typical new auto!

bought new used car

The common misconception of buying a used car is it is not as classy and as hot compared to brand new ones. The image formed in one’s mind when looking for second hand cars is it is ragged and craggy, rusty and may be break down easily when you drive a mile up.

That’s not necessarily true.

Secondhand cars can still provide the same dreamy, classy ambience emanated from a brand new car. Buying used cars is gaining popularity over the years because beyond its apparent cheapness, they are tuned, durable and most definitely reliable. In fact, for as low as $10,000, people can find good quality Toyota used cars in the market today!

Availability of Payment Options

As one has already set the budget and has projected the amount that he needs to pay, it is now time to take into account the availability of payment options. A good payment option lessens the financial stress of a person as he or she continually pays for the car. Usually, cars are sold less when bought at a full price, but that is not the common thing for many people to do as car prices are steadily going up.

A variety of banks are actually offering car loans which actually help those who want to purchase a new car. It is a good payment option mainly because a carbuyer doesn’t have to take out a huge amount of money in the succeeding payments. This partitions the full amount to a number of payable months which is achievable for many. The important thing however is to look for banks which offer little interests or collaterals since a missed payment can cost huge losses for a payor. Reading the contract with full understanding should be mandatory.

car loan applicatioin

There are also numerous payment options for second hand vehicles. While it is true that one would typically pay a higher interest rate on a loan for a used vehicle than he will on a loan for a new vehicle, historically low rates mean that many automakers can offer attractive financing options for their Certified Pre Owned (CPO) vehicles. Certified pre-owned cars (CPO) present an attractive alternative to buying a higher-priced new car. For less money, a CPO buyer can afford a car that feels almost new, even if the odometer is showing some miles.

In addition, shopping for a CPO car is easier than shopping for a used car. This is because the certification process removes one of the major drawbacks to buying a used car: uncertainty about the mechanical condition of the vehicle. A factory-trained mechanic inspects a potential CPO car to ensure it measures up to the requirements of that manufacturer’s program. The dealership that’s performing the certification replaces or repairs anything that’s worn beyond the limits of that manufacturer’s program.

Ownership Expenditures

What most people fail to consider in buying their first car is their assessment of what is called the ownership costs. Most people think that the cost for a car is seen on based on what the salesman offers. This is a wrong notion since the purchase is just the start of the financial stress.

When buying a car, many customers determine the value that a vehicle offers by comparing the price tag versus the features and benefits. For example, if one car costs a bit more money but has better gas mileage and more cargo room, most would consider that a good value. Based solely on that criterion, they would be correct. However, most customers don’t consider all the costs that go into a vehicle.

keys on keys
It may be smart to check out Intellichoice.com, a site which does a great 5-Year Cost of Ownership projection for new and even used cars. This projection takes all of the different factors into account including costs depreciation, financing costs, repairs, maintenance, fuel, and insurance. It totals them all up over the cost of 5 years, and compares that to the industry average for that vehicle’s class. Depending on how far above or below the total number is from the average, Intellichoice places a rating on the car.