Great Savings #40 – Embrace Exercise


Walking anywhere is great exercise, though walking on the beach is my favorite.


On the surface, the link between exercise and saving money or building wealth may not seem apparent. Yet experts tell us that too little exercise is at the root of an obesity epidemic that’s sweeping the nation. Worse, the consequences of being overweight lead to a variety of problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, depression, anxiety, joint pain, and more. Each one of these conditions carries a cost and those costs add up. Over the course of a lifetime, they can result in paying out thousands more for medical care. That’s why it’s critical to get a handle on weight, and to embrace exercise as we go to build a brighter future.


What good is having wealth if we aren’t healthy enough to enjoy it? And since we know exercise is a prime key to good health, what better way to insure we’re healthy than to start exercising? What we’re ultimately talking about are the choices that go into creating a higher quality of life. Thankfully, most everyone has the power to make different or better choices and that means they have the power to make their health a priority.


A 5K competition.

Strenuous exercise like running burns the most calories, but can be hard on joints. Pick an exercise that works well for your body type and level of conditioning.

Studies show exercise improves circulation, burns calories, controls weight, strengthens muscle tissue, improves mood, boosts energy, enhances sexual function and promotes better sleep. With so many benefits, there is every reason to start an exercise program today, and that directly translates into far fewer health problems down the road.


Getting started. If it’s been awhile since exercise has been a part of your routine, start by getting a physical, and then have your doctor suggest types of exercise best suited to you. He or she may even suggest working with a physical therapist to help ease into a routine. Most importantly, you’ll want to get a feeling for the amount of exercise your heart and body can tolerate, without impacting joints or creating undue stress. Be smart: See your doctor first.


Soccer is a blast.

If you participate in a team sport you won’t even realize you’re exercising. You’ll be too busy having fun.

It all counts. One of the nicest things about getting “more” exercise is most any kind of movement counts. That means walking, lifting, stretching, gardening, household chores and more all help to burn calories. True, some exercise like running, jogging, rowing, stair climbing, or playing a fast moving game like soccer will burn the most calories in the least amount of time. However, it’s much more important to know what your body can handle before undertaking vigorous exercise. For more information on the relationship between exercise and burning calories read our post, “Burning Fat: Exercise and Weight Loss.”


Another Great Savings Tip from it fun. As you consider a new exercise regimen seek out an activity you really enjoy. An organized class, participating in a team sport, or finding a walking buddy are all ways to increase the level of enjoyment. That turns out to be critical on those days you’d rather sit in front of the computer or television. Consistency is key. To improve your chances of success, regularly take steps to stay motivated. This can include mixing up your routine, creating a reward system for shedding pounds or completing your routine, and working out with a friend. If you’re looking for a simple, low-impact way to get started, read our post, “Walk Your Way To Better Health.”


I like rowing on a sunny day. It's a great work out.

The great part about exercise is once you start doing it, you feel so much better.

No equipment needed: If you can’t afford a gym membership consider walking, running, playing a game of ball with your kids, or dusting off your old bike. If weather is a consideration, you can find good used exercise equipment for sale at garage sales or on sites like Craigslist. Got an old rope? Then try a game of jump rope with the kids. Like badminton or ping pong? You can spend hours having fun with games like these and never even realize you’re working out. Remember, people were doing push- ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and other stand alone exercises long before gyms filled with fancy equipment became popular. Bottom line: You don’t need to shell out big bucks to start exercising.



A little goes a long way: If you think you need to spend long hours to get or stay in shape it may surprise you to learn even 21 minutes a day of moderate exercise can make a huge difference to your health—providing you make it part of your ongoing routine. For more information check out our post, “21 Minutes A Day Can Save Your Life.”


Action Plan: What are you waiting for? Start by making an appointment to see the doc, and then look into a class or find a team sport in your vicinity. Once you lock in on a program, build up your stamina gradually. Remember, your long-term goal of getting in shape will ultimately lead to better health. Achieve it and you’ll save thousands on medical bills over the years.


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