4 Health Hacks to Boost Your Bank Account

When it comes to implementing a healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to associate large dollar signs to our goal. Organic food, fitness classes, and latest diet trends all come with a pretty hefty price tag, not to mention the time it takes to do all these things. In today’s world, where time is money, you can basically hear the “ka-ching” when you think about health.

Is your health helping your bank account?

This is also the reason that when we start saving or become busy, our health is the first thing to fly out the window. It is one of those things we know we should do, but it just doesn’t fit in right now.

But what if you thought of it more as self-care or self-development as opposed to health. Would you not attend a meeting or networking event that would help you get that new job you’ve been wanting? Would you save your money under your pillow rather than investing it? Of course not! These things you do for your career health and financial health are necessities, and it’s time to start thinking of our physical health in a similar way.

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The important thing to remember is that taking care of your physical health is not just about your weight goals or muscle definition. It has a huge impact on your cognitive health, allowing you to think more clearly, solve problems creatively, and work more productively.

This can be translated into your money management. A better brain will help you learn market trends faster, stick to your financial goals, and make more intelligent investments.

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Here are some easy tricks you can implement into your daily life to keep your brain at its peak performance.

Take active breaks throughout the day

When you have a major deadline approaching you think the best thing to do is to sit down, focus, and grind. Although we have the best intentions when we do this, if we sit for too long, we actually dull our mental sharpness.

Get moving to boost your health & bank account

When we exercise, we increase our heart rate and flow of oxygen to the brain. This fuels our brain cells and helps them communicate with each other more quickly. The faster we are able to think, the more productive we can be to finish that project on time.

The beauty of it, is that you don’t need to schedule an hour long workout to get these benefits. Researchers published in PLOS One in 2014 found that 20 minutes of moderate exercise activate parts of the brain involved in working memory and what we associate with “clear thinking”.

Try a walk at lunch or split it up into two 10 minute online videos. Research shows that moving even the smallest amount throughout the day can help counteract sedentary burdens. You will not only feel good but also find greater ease in concentrating, goal setting and time management.

Don’t get taken down by thirst

We’ve heard this one a million times, drink more water, yet we generally still grab a soda or coffee when we get thirsty. Even mild dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, stopping both your concentration and impairing short-term memory. We lose water from our bodies not only when we exercise but also when we breathe, perspire, and generate waste.

Food covers about 20% of our water intake, but most of us still need to drink 8 glasses a day to stay in tip top performance. Of course, a more active lifestyle requires more hydrating effort, yet nearly half the US reports drinking only 4 cups a day.

Drink water to boost health

Drinking enough water is an easy trick to boost your long-term performance, but just like you wouldn’t think about running 26.2 miles the first day of training for a marathon, breaking up 8 glasses over the course of the day is easier and better for you than drinking 64 oz. in the AM.

During my long hours at the office, I found myself getting a cup of water only a few times a day  and even when I had a water bottle next to me, I would forget to drink it until a thirst sensation poured over me around 3PM. The inspiration for the aLign trackers was born and I was able to have reminders and stay accountable while drinking water. From personal experience, you may not feel a boost when you drink enough water, but when you don’t, the lack of focus in the afternoon is definitely apparent.

Try increasing the amount of water you drink each week. Start with 5 cups a day week 1, then 6 week 2, working your way up to 8 a day to find the benefits to your health and productivity.

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Prioritize your snoozes

We did it as kids, why not as adults? Sleep is a tool used to strengthen your mental performance. Importantly, the amount of sleep you need is based on your individual needs and can vary from 4 hours for some to 9 hours for others. This is where step 4 below becomes important in knowing your body’s needs for peak performance.

Get your sleep to boost your bank account

In either case, sleep has been associated with increased creativity and mental clarity, literally. In the hours that we are in a deep sleep, our brain enters a cleansing process removing waste and allowing our neurons to connect more quickly and with ease. It’s like unclogging a pipe and allowing water to flow more freely.

Try building a routine around sleep so your body trains itself to enter its optimal sleep pattern. Many studies suggest reading a good old fashioned book (no smartphone or kindles) to rid stimulates and induce the sleep cycle.

Find your way to being mindful

Ok seriously, what on earth does it mean to “be mindful?” Many times this is associated with meditation and being introspective. For me personally, every time I try to mediate, I sit there for about a minute and then open just one eye to make sure I’m doing it right. a.k.a. I don’t really know what I’m doing, or rather, “typical” meditation doesn’t resonate with me. I say typical because most of us think of meditation as sitting in an upright position, crisscrossed legs, eyes closed and a small whisper of a mantra. This methodology absolutely works for some people, however, it is not the only way to be mindful.

Mindfulness is as simple as being aware. It is very individualized right down to the way you do it. Want to know how I found my mindfulness, a hot bath. I close the bathroom door, run the hot water and climb in. As the tub fills up I listen to the rush of water from the faucet, take in how it feels warmer on my toes than at my shoulders, focus on which muscles are finding the most relief, and as I slide my ears under the water hear my breath and heartbeat.

I don’t have a mantra or specific posture but I am attentive to each minor event occurring. Mediation of any kind is really just a training of awareness. Taking this mindfulness into the business setting can have huge benefits beyond the physiological decreased stress and improved sleep quality.

Mindfullness helps your health & bank account

Noticing different expressions on coworker’s faces in a meeting and being able to adjust, finding opportunities to help you and the company, these are just some of the ways training your brain in mindfulness can benefit you.

Try just two minutes in the morning. While you’re still lying in bed close your eyes and connect to each muscle in your body from your tiniest toe to the top of your head. Yoga and meditation may work for some, but for others it’s important to find your own unique way to think and observe broadly on a regular basis, unlocking the key to a mindfulness that will take you to your next level at home and at work.

 

Making health a priority brings ample benefits that go way beyond the gym and kitchen. By taking care of yourself and focusing on self-care you are activating your cognitive power to be better for your personal and professional life and ultimately advance yourself. So the next time you are striving for a promotion, starting a new savings plan, or researching a new investing portfolio, think about boosting your health and self-care as a tool to finding your wealth.

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Girl sitting front porch

This guest post was written by Jessica Louw, a health and wellness enthusiast and coach.  Jessica is changing the status quo of work-life balance.  Integrating health into the daily lives of busy, driven women, to take their personal and professional lives to the next level.

 

35 thoughts on “4 Health Hacks to Boost Your Bank Account”

  1. Great tips, Jessica! And you framed this the best way I know. Years ago, when I started seeing my physical essence not as beauty or even health, but as self-care, things changed.
    As we get older, we begin to see decline in those around us. And, it becomes starkly apparent that if we want to stay functioning long into our 60s, 70s, even 80s (as my mom did!), we have to take care of ourselves.
    Thank you for this!

  2. I do read a lot about health and I don’t know what I’m waiting for to implement the information. My biggest problem is sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time. I have started getting up & moving around, doing a few stretches, nap & get enuf sleep & I’ve increased my water intake. So I’m on my way, but what resonates the best is my mindset. I want to shift mine from resignation to I can accomplish improvement in my mobility. I’ve done it in so many areas where I’ve had to learn, grow & transform, I know I can do it here.

      1. That’s a great outlook Roslyn. The way I like to think about it is to be just a little bit better every day and then when you look back a month or year later, you can see the work taking shape. Think of all the the little things you can do and then multiply it by 365… that’s when you get massive change, but it starts small just one day at a time!

  3. As someone who is also consulting with people about their health and vitality, I loved all the tips you offered in this post, Jessica. Sleep is so important and yet so many people are still fooling themselves into thinking that less than 7 hours a night, is okay for them. I know personally the nights I get less than 7, my mood and personality changes the next day. And it affects every organ in my body too. Although I have heard very credible differing opinions on how much water to drink, I agree that many of us are just not getting enough. It makes sense to look at our health as a commitment to self-care. I’ve been doing it for so long, I sometimes forget other people are still in the learning mode about taking responsibility for themselves, before they have major health issues.

    1. Thanks so much Beverley! I definitely feel that now that I am drinking enough water, I can tell instantly if I’ve forgotten in the day because I feel totally different. But it takes a while to train your body to know that and if you haven’t been drinking enough water for a while, you can’t really tell that difference, but your body is craving it. I always encourage everyone to try it out for a week or two and then see if they can feel a difference!

  4. I do something similar to align trackers – I use an clear gallon jug for my daily water and have marked the hours of 7am to 11pm (in 2 hour increments) with magic marker along with some inspirational images and words. Seeing where my water should level in regards to the time of day helps me with water intake. All great tips, thanks!

  5. So true that we tend to neglect our health when we get busy. That often leads to problems that can shut us down, making us lose more time. Self-care is essential for peak performance and, as you pointed out, the steps can be done easily. Great tips.

  6. Great blog… and great points. I am a tight wad when it comes to money.. and had the same issue.. however… I got over it when it came to my health, for example with Weight Watchers.. losing weight and being healthier… I WAS WORTH it… best $$$$ I ever spent! 😉

  7. Christy, this is great advice! I have some health challenges that I fight, and frankly I had to prioritize taking care of my health above all other things. It pays off! I can’t take good care of my family or work if I’m not taking care of myself. That was a big paradigm shift for me as I’m naturally a give all I have and worry about me later personality.

  8. Super tips. I do not get enough water (excuse me for a sec while I chug some down…OK. I’m back. I feel so much better! 😉 ) All goofing aside, your comment about sleep reminds me of some research I came across about sleep and productivity. Sleep allows the brain to flush out the day’s build-up of toxins. I don’t know about you, but my brain needs all the help it can get! I often take breaks during the day, to clear out the cobwebs and to water my plants. It’s always smart to refocus on other things during a busy day.

  9. Loved your blog! I am a bath gal too and I agree mindfulness comes in different forms. Great self-care tips too! As a Life Coach I am always helping my clients find time for themselves and your tips are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Great post! As I am doing more with social media and I teach live online classes and coach online, sitting too long is on my mind a lot. Love how you share that even a bit of movement helps. Speaking of which, I need a walk right now! 🙂

  11. Great Post – I learned about this when i got an I-Watch and found myself mocking the watch when it told me to “Stand Up”! I mean – really – my watch is telling me what to do?? But it was a gentle kick in the wrist reminder of all that is needed.

  12. Thanks for these reminders and a few new ideas. I am going to try the two minutes in the morning exercise. My tendency is to work through the day and forget to take a break. Need to make some changes!

  13. Good health definitely leads to more productivity, Jessica. Such a great connection you made. We can’t neglect one side of our personal wellness and think nothing else is impacted negatively from it. Even small efforts can make a huge difference. If I want to be healthy and active 40 years from now, I need to take it seriously today!

  14. Great tips! I tell my clients to hydrate and sleep. Knowing they will soon start feeling beautiful from the inside.

  15. Guilty of not taking enough breaks and not drinking enough water. Must do something about that! I love my sleep and always make sure I get enough, otherwise I am like a walking zombie the next day.

  16. This is such great advice! The sleep and the water especially stuck out to me. As a therapist, I’m always trying to remind people about the importance of both sleep and water intake. Both of them significantly impact mood. If people are not getting those two factors under control, they will not get mental health issues under control either. Excellent article!

  17. I love how you tied health to finances. As a health coach, I find that many people put more value on their money than on their health. Thinking of it as an investment in one’s self-care or self-development is a great way to look at it!

  18. It’s a shame that people associate organic food as being expensive. There was a time when all food was organic. Now, you have to think by association. Lower price food is lower quality nutrition (massed produced). If you were sick would you spend money on lower costing medicine, if you knew that the higher price was more effective and would lead to quicker recovery? What you’re paying for with organics is quality nutrition. You eat less because your body receives the nutrients it needs. It takes more of cheaper foods to give you the same nutrient value. It pays to invest in your health before you have to investment in medications to return you to health.

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