Regular exercise linked to success in life

It should be no surprise to hear that exercise is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. With the help of a balanced diet, exercise can help you achieve personal fitness goals, whether you want to lose those extra pounds before swimsuit season or get the six-pack abs you’ve always wanted. But, the list of positive benefits doesn’t stop with physical fitness. Regular exercise can also provide psychological benefits such as:

• Improved mood

• Higher self-esteem

• Enhanced brain function

• Reduced mental fatigue

• Diminished anxiety

These are all very good reasons to stop reading this article and head to the gym. If they are not motivation enough, then consider this: Regular exercise has been linked to higher salaries. According to a study published in the Journal of Labor Research, employees who exercise regularly (at least three hours each week) earn 9 percent more,on average, than employees who don’t.

Previous studies tried to confirm the relationship between exercise and income, but proved merely that regular exercise was correlated to a higher salary. Vasilios Kosteas of Cleveland State University used “propensity-score matching’” to compare employees with similar work ethics and backgrounds (health history, education, experience, etc.). When exercise was the only independent variable, Kosteas found that people who exercise regularly earned nine percent more, on average, than those who didn’t exercise. The study also found that employees who didn’t have a history of healthy behavior saw an increase in productivity after starting a regular exercise routine, and they often got a raise.

Of course, as with many things, individual results will vary. Irrespective of higher earning potential, one thing is for certain: Exercise has been linked to many positive effects on the human body and mind, so do yourself a favor and start working out regularly. If it doesn’t show in your paycheck, it may provide benefits in the form of lower health-care bills and increased longevity.

So get out there and exercise!

• Mike Piershale, chartered financial consultant. is president of Piershale Financial Group. Send any financial questions you wish to have answered in this column to Piershale Financial Group Inc., 407 Congress Pkwy., Crystal Lake. You may also fax them to 815-455-6895 or email Mike. Piershale @PiershaleFinancial.com