Exercise Your Way to a Bigger Paycheck

by Vincent King · 8 comments

You don’t make enough money.

Shocked? Probably not. Most people believe they don’t make enough money. But the truth isn’t that you don’t make enough money. The truth is that you’re living with another problem altogether. Let’s look at Jane. Jane’s paycheck is quite a bit larger than yours, and yet you can’t figure out why. She’s been at your company as long as you have, and isn’t the boss’ niece (like you!).

So why is Jane making more? It’s easy. Jane is healthier.

You may scoff, but a new study shows that Jane is making 6-10% more than you, or anyone else who doesn’t, because she works out. Obviously, going to the gym won’t change your paycheck overnight, but the results of consistent working out will.

The recent Cleveland University study clearly showed that working out three times per week can help you earn as much as $320 more per month. The study indicates that intelligence, positivity, and energy are all enhanced by exercise, and each of these is a determining factor in elevating productivity and personal creativity.

Sounds simple enough, but working out requires change, which isn’t so easy.

You’re Not Fit

You’ve joined the gym before. But because it didn’t have that magic effect on your health and life, you tossed it in the can, then left it there while you kicked back in your recliner and streamed bad sitcoms from Netflix (or whatever it is you do. You have your vices, I have mine!).

Whatever you did, the thought of “torturing” yourself at the gym wasn’t something you were willing to continue. After all, exercise isn’t for everyone.

Working Out Is Too Much Work

You gave up because you didn’t like sweating, or you didn’t like exerting more energy than necessary to get you from the fridge to the couch. Or maybe you didn’t enjoy it. That’s okay, too. But it does mean you’re more likely to stay exactly where you are. And that Jane’s check will continue to grow faster yours.

Jane will continue to earn more because she is willing to work harder, even if it isn’t at the office.

Keep in mind, it’s not the exercise that earns you more, it’s the improvement in your focus, and the energy you generate for yourself. It’s your ability to manage your stress and stay healthier.

These factors coalesce to help you think more creatively, work smarter, and stay on the job (instead of out sick), which all add up to making you a more productive, valuable player in your industry. And the more valuable you are, the more you will ultimately earn.

So maybe it’s time to step away from the thinking that working out is about sweating and expending more energy than you have.

Re-frame Your Thinking

See being fit as a way to pull yourself free from your current earning rut – a chance to better the quality of your life and elevate your income.

Take a moment to think about how you felt while working out. Not about sweating or being tired afterward, but about how your body felt as you moved through the motions of your routine.

Endorphins give you pleasure, and pleasure is part of a better life. If you don’t remember what that felt like, then perhaps it’s time to rediscover that feeling.

Find A Solution You Can Live With

By finding your fitness sweet (not sweat) spot, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Think of an activity that energizes you and one that you actually enjoy.

Do you like walking? Or perhaps you would prefer dancing? Do maybe jumping rope? What about power cleaning the house?

Make a list of all the many fun movement activities you enjoy enough to do often, then narrow your list to your seven favorites. Now take that list and assign each activity to a day. Making Monday number one on your list. Tuesday belongs to number 2. And so on. This way, you’ll mix up your fitness routines and are less likely to get bored.

Set up a journal for your workouts, then record how you felt once you finished. On days when you want to skip doing something active, go to your journal and re-read some of your entries to motivate yourself.

Stay on the fitness path for a minimum of a month and you’ll form a habit you’ll be able to stay with.

Do you believe that a few hours a week at the gym could both help you feel better, and improve your bottom line?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Priswell says:

    I agree. Getting in shape is a subtle way to earn more money. People prefer to hire good-looking in-shape people, and they will pay them more.

  • Jon says:

    I wonder if people earn more because they exercise, or do people that exercise more just simply tend to earn more (because the people that regularly exercise tend to be more go-getters, etc)? The people that excercise more may just have the attributes that cause them to earn more, and it’s not necessarily that they earn more because they exercise more.

    In other words, it’s interesting to wonder if correlation really equals causation in this case.

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman says:

    I think this works for white collar workers probably pretty well. BUt for a blue collar dude like myself? Not as helpful because we’re always being active and lifting stuff .. not too many of us are overweight!

  • Marbella says:

    It’s nothing new if you going to the gym, eat healthy foods and staying in good physical condition makes you more productive and think better in your job. Managers can see and appreciate it and you get a bigger salary.

  • Jean says:

    This is all quite true. When you’re out of shape, you tend to be plagued more often by lethargy. Not to mention that your confidence is up when you’re fit too as you have less insecurities about your body in public. Ultimately, everything ties together and being physically sound helps being mentally sound to some extent.


  • Suzan says:

    What an interesting perspective. It is evident in scientific research that stress kills, I always try to prevent myself from stressing too much because I know the damage it does to my body. However, I never thought of the flip side of that- that providing my body with good stress, exercise, would bring me positive results outside of my physique. Money is the highest form of motivation for most people. This article has motivated me to make sure I don’t skip out on working out so I can make that green 🙂

  • KM says:

    I would have to disagree. It really depends on the person and if exercise is really necessary for them to elevate those three characteristics. I haven’t seen my intelligence or positivity suffer if I don’t work out – energy, maybe, but I still enjoy my job enough to be more productive and efficient than most other employees. Maybe I am not a good example, but take people like Stephen Hawking – one of the most brilliant, positive minds in the world, and he is unable to ever exercise. For some people, it’s a state of mind, not a state of body.

  • Josh @ Live Well Simply says:

    I never thought of the relation between working out and a bigger paycheck. 🙂 Better productivity from fitness could definitely translate into better financial rewards from work, depending on the type of work you do.

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