Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Credit Card Karate: The Moves to Block Spending | Main | Why You Shouldn't Buy Tires at Costco »

November 10, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I'm a postman and I walk about 8 miles a day, 5 days a week. So plenty of exercise here!

I agree that the facts are really strong that long-term health will be better with daily exercise but I also see a definite short-term impact. I have more energy, am more productive at work(which impacts my value to the employer and thus the rewards I receive and eventually my Net Worth), and my family enjoys being around me more as I have burned off the stress.

My main source of exerice is commuting by bicycle 30 miles round trip.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I would go walking in the nearby park with a neighbor 2-3 times a week for an hour. Then my husband brought home a nasty head cold, I was out sick for a few days, and I still have a cough. It's getting better but my neighbor has gotten busy, so I'm thinking of taking some self-defense courses in the meantime. There is also an indoor climbing wall a few miles from my house I would like to take on...

I exercise pretty regularly, more for the social aspects (ballroom dancing is my exercise of choice for about 3.5 years now) and the article is right, generally. Stay fit/stay healthy is pretty good advice.

That said, the Elizabeth Warren study it refers to ("A Harvard study found medical bills are behind 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies") is pretty much bunk. It counts anybody with outstanding medical bills at the time of bankruptcy as having a medical-related bankruptcy, plus anyone with any medical problems that might have contributed to financial recklessness (alcoholism, gambling addiction...)

So if you declare bankruptcy with an unpaid medical bill of $500 and consumer credit card debt of $25,000, Warren will group you with people who declared bankruptcy almost solely due to medical issues. A better percentage than the >60% she reports is the approximately 1/3 of the people in her own survey who attribute their bankruptcy to medical bills.

She's not just a Harvard professor, by the way - she's also the Chair of the Congressional oversight Panel that monitors TARP money.

I try to walk 3 miles a week. I also walk the dog once a week..another 1/2 mile.

1/3 is still an awful lot of medically-related bankruptcies.

Remember the old saying, though: 90% of statistics are made up.

Work out 6 - 7 days a week- try to run 3-4 miles at least 3 times a week and do cross training / weight training the other days. That said it's not enough exercise- I'm getting up around 205 lbs, a mixture of muscle and fat, which is not good- I'm 6'2" and my 'fighting weight' was 175 lbs... that said I can still do 25 pull ups in one set, run several 8:00 - 8:30 miles and other fitness-like stuff... if I were 30 lbs lighter I'm sure I'd be much faster!


At some of my earlier jobs, poor health was seen as a badge of honor because it meant you were too important to spend time working out and eating right. If you had time for self-care, you weren't working hard enough. How crazy is that?

I run 4 to 5 days a week, including a 10+ mile run on the weekend. During the winter, I cut back on the mileage and add weight training. I love how exercise makes me feel! Plus, I'm very careful about my eating habits. I may not work crazy hours like my former colleagues anymore, but I know I feel a lot better.

An interesting thing I've noticed once. That most things that are more important than money... requires money. :D

Yesterday, my congenial group of 6 friends, nicknamed "the rabbits" by the remainder of our adult education 'Hike for Health' group of 54, hiked up to the top of Mission Peak (2500ft') and back down the other side to Mission San Jose (9.5 miles) where the bus picked us up for the journey home. The views of the San Francisco Bay from the top were fabulous. Last week it was a 14 mile jaunt in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We do this every week of the year, rain or shine. We are blessed to be surrounded by dozens of state, county and local parks and open space preserves and to have year round hiking weather.
The rest of the week I keep myself active by doing all of my own gardening - so far so good healthwise at age 75.

Agree, without your health you have nothing and if you are unhealthy you will spend more time and energy with problems, medicines, doctors, etc. Take the approach to stay healthy, eat right, exercise cause it can only help your mind and body.

Interestingly enough, my husband (who recently quit his job, which had begun to have a major negative impact on his health) forwarded a WSJ article to me recently about folks who found that they thrived while unemployed, spending more time taking care of their health and more time with their families. Once they returned to work, they slipped back into sacrificing health and family for the job. It's very sad that many workplaces seem to make this an either-or thing (either you give us your ALL or you can kiss this job goodbye).

I also read something yesterday about a study done in Europe (and I always thought of Europe as being more balanced than the U.S.). The study found that when people retired, their health and sleep improved. The exception was for a small group of people who loved their jobs.

I second the bicycle commuting. Free alternative to a gym membership and saves our family from having to buy, insure, and fuel a second car. OTOH, you can sink a lot of money into biking gear if you get carried away.

The greatest benefit is how it can clear your mind and provide a break from work stress before you have to deal with home stress.

One significant cause of health problems is stress, as this great recession we are in has verified once more, in fact we are seeing more and more suicides and shootings related to the stress of losing one's job, one's healthcare, and/or one's home and the breakup of families. Can you imagine the situation we are in today if we did not have the programs that FDR started during the Great Depression, such as unemployment insurance, FDIC insurance, and social security. Today's news talks about a jobless recovery and several more years of high unemployment - the stress upon our society is only going to get worse unfortunately.

Getting back to the primary topic of the FMF website I have always been of the opinion that one of the greatest benefits of accumulating wealth is that it can provide a cushion and insulation from many of the bad things that life can throw at you. Being financially secure definitely reduces stress and worry and can keep you healthier. The other contributing factor that others have mentioned is a healthy diet, something that is underestimated by a large percentage of the population. It is hard in an affluent society such as ours where food is cheap and plentiful to avoid eating too much, especially foods that are full of fat and sugar. Just like credit cards, that's another area of life where discipline is called for.

One of my big worries when I was raising my family was losing my job. That would have resulted in having to sell our home and move hundreds of miles to a location where hopefully aerospace jobs were more plentiful. This is why even 50 years ago when our net worth was very low we always kept enough liquid assets that would allow us to relocate. Staying healthy is thus a much more complicated issue than just going to a fitness center regularly. One's overall health has has much to do with diet, and mental health and happiness, as it does with purely physical health.

Although I love to go to the gym recent financial constraints have put an end to this. Fortunately I live in an area and a climate where I get get out ever day. I walk 5 to 7km at least 4 times/week I also try to ride my bike a couple of times a week, often combining it with a 1km swim in the sea. SO staying fit does not have to cost a lot. Reasonable walking shoes @$20, Bike and helmet @$100, costume, swim goggles and swim cap @$20 for the lot.. the only things I had to buy - swim goggles and cap, most of us have the rest of the gear hiding in a corner somewhere!

When I was younger, I use to exercise alot, especially with weight (which by the way, some studies say slows down the aging process).

I don't do that as much and lately I've been really feeling it. Luckily, I took a vacation at Disney world last week, and after walking practically all day for 7 days, with a 5 year old girl riding on my shoulders half of the time, I now feel great. I think I'll try to keep up the walking, and lifting weights again...

I agree that exercise makes you feel and perform better.

- 2x/week of intense biking (7 miles)
- 3x/week of weight training
- I intend to pick up another aerobic sport

@Mike: far from bad! Seems like I pretty much have the physique you used to have. I had to gain 20 lb to get there though, and there was a remarkable cost in terms of aerobic endurance (so yes 30 lb would make you faster!). Anyway, since you're so active already, you might want to look at reducing calorie-laden foods (calories are typically found in the fats).

I agree whole heartedly that health is a critical element, but like someone above said, there are many things important in life that need money, so focusing on money, health, wealth, personal-growth, family, kids, future goals and other elements are important. BUT, like you said, if you do not have 'health on your side', the others fail very quickly.

After focusing for a couple of decades on making money and building a career/portfolio, I have now come to TWO MAJOR elements:

1. Health
2. Spiritual Peace

Both of these are going to be my focus, and I have a lot to catch-up. I have changed my food intake, quality of input, virtually stopped my 1/2 drink a week and limiting to one chicken meal per week. Rest of the time, it is all about vegetarian meals, veggies and fruit juice.

Having just started the exercise kick, I am doing 30-40 min per day, 6 days a week, with a target of 4000+ steps, and approx 2 miles daily (12 miles per week). It is fun since I put Predator 1/2/3, Rush Hour 1/2/3, Jurassic Park 1/2/3, Aliens, AVP, James Bond Movies and watch them on a 144 Inch Home Theater with speakers blasting and it is a LOT of JOY. Tomorrow will be Terminator series and I will start with the newest one that I just downloaded from the net!

Thanks for bringing this up.....good topic.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.