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The other day I had a thought while I was working out and doing my exercises for the day, trying to distract myself from thinking that I’m tired and maybe I should take a break.  I’m warning you about my thought… I’m not sure if there is any correlation as it really is just a thought.

Here it is:  It seems that people who are dedicated to improving their financial situation and their personal finance (e.g. those who are passionate about personal finance) tend to also be dedicated to improving their physical fitness.  I’m not sure if I see it this way around or if it is less common the other way around.  Perhaps there is just a tendency for the two to be connected and manifested in the same person.  Case in point is myself, however I wasn’t always this way as I only recently (probably the past two to three years) regularly incorporated exercise into my routine and lifestyle.  I would say it was probably after I started training for a half marathon that I regularly exercised three times weekly.  I wouldn’t say I am overzealous by any means, but I consistently do yoga once a week, work out once a week, and run 10km once a week.

Here are the reasons why I think that people who are passionate about personal finance also tend to be passionate about physical fitness.

Physical Fitness and Personal Finance Both Involve Self Discipline

Perhaps the most obvious aspect between the two is that both involves self discipline.  Self-discipline to stop yourself from buying something impulsively that affects your personal finance and self discipline to get your butt to work out even when you don’t feel like it.  Moneycrashers also believes that become wealthy is akin to becoming an Olympic athlete.  Both involve tremendous self discipline and sacrifice.

Physical Fitness and Personal Finance Both Have Visible Results

With self-discipline for both physical fitness and personal finance, you will see visible results.  You will see muscle definition and growth with physical fitness and with personal finance, you will see your net worth and investments grow.  This growth and improvement is positive reinforcement and further motivates you to do better with your physical fitness, to run harder, add more weight to your work out, and to to work out for longer.  Likewise, seeing your investments grow pushes you to save more, to challenge yourself some more by contributing more of your income to your investing.  It can be addictive to see the positive results.  However, sometimes positive results stall or plateau.

Physical Fitness and Personal Finance Both Need Your Patience

Most importantly, both physical fitness and personal finance tests your patience.  Sometimes you might plateau with the workout plan and you don’t see any results.  Maybe the last pound that you are trying to lose or the last inch that you are trying to lose isn’t coming to fruition.  Maybe the markets are so downtrodden and you are fed up of only gaining 0.5% year to date gains in the stock market when you could have gotten over 1.5% in a high interest savings account.  Both physical fitness and personal finance requires your perseverance to keep calm and carry on.  If you continue to stick to it, you will see results.  That’s the beauty of self-improvement, dedication, and continual learning of exercises to do (e.g. intervals for running) and indexes to invest in that will improve your current situation.

Related: Does that Gym Membership Really Do You Good?

Physical Fitness and Personal Finance Both Have Trainers

Both physical fitness and personal finance have trainers or people who you can pay to help you with your discipline and to give you pointers, however, these pointers might not be necessary.  For example, some of my friends have personal trainers and they love the results they are getting.  Just as some of my friends have financial advisers (and probably aren’t loving the results so much because they can’t trust their financial adviser).

If you’re wanting some ideas on how to gain self discipline, the backbone of improvement and efficacy for physical fitness and personal finance, check out this Forbes article about 5 Proven Methods for Gaining Self-Discipline.

Readers, do you think there’s any common ground between physical fitness and personal finance? Are you dedicated to incorporating both in your lifestyle?


Article comments

Don says:

I have noticed this too:

Both require an ability to think of your future self and do the best in the short term to ensure long term success. Setting financial and fitness goals for yourself also both require caring about yourself!

Steve Miller says:

I never thought of relating to personal finance and fitness but I totally get the commonalities. I’ve been working out since college (now 53 years old) and love the benefits it has provided.