5 surprising ways being fit saves you money

Improving your fitness will help you live a longer, healthier life. But did you know that it could save you money, too?

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money health care

Improve your fitness to improve your finances

Being is shape can benefit your health in many ways-reduced risk of disease, more energy and a longer life, just to name a few. But enjoying a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit could also lead to a healthier bank account.

 

While you may think that the road to fitness is an expensive one-personal trainers and gym memberships don't come cheap, after all-working out at home and incorporating more activity into your daily routine will get the job done for a fraction of the cost. And the long-term savings add up, too. Here are five ways being fit can help save you money.

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woman shopping

You'll save money on clothes

 

If you find yourself going up and down a clothing size every six months, you know that the cost of new clothing can really start to add up. Whether you're a size two or a 12, keeping your weight-and clothing size-consistent means that you'll be able to wear your favourite pieces longer, and can avoid the financial strain of frequently restocking your wardrobe.

 

If you've recently lost weight and are holding on to your bigger clothes, consider donating them to a local charity. Then focus on maintaining your weight loss and updating your current wardrobe as necessary.

 

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women on bikes

You'll spend less money on transportation

Why drop thousands of dollars a year on public transportation or parking, gas and car maintenance when there are less expensive ways to get from point A to point B? When you increase your fitness level and endurance, suddenly cycling to work or rollerblading to a friend's house seem like reasonable-and dare we say, fun-ways to get around town.

 

In addition to spending less time with your mechanic, choosing these active methods of transportation will give you a boost in energy and contribute to your overall health. You won't get that riding the bus!

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quit smoking

You'll spend less money on unhealthy vices

Being fit and leading a healthy lifestyle is practically impossible if you're also smoking on a regular basis. Not only are you increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke with every puff, but if you smoke a pack of cigarettes per day, you're also throwing away approximately $3,600 a year.

 

Kicking a smoking habit isn't easy and won't happen overnight, but if you're committed to quitting, you can succeed. And you'll find that the longer you stay smoke-free, the easier it will be to increase your fitness level. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, your lung function will improve within two weeks to three months of quitting (great news if you want to take up walking or running) and you'll reduce your risk of a smoking-related heart attack after one year. You'll also have more cash in the bank-and who could argue with that?

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medication side effects

You'll spend less money on medication

 

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, adults aged 18-64 who participate in regular physical activity will decrease their risk of more than 25 chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Keeping illnesses at bay means fewer trips to the pharmacy and in turn, less money being spent on medication for chronic health conditions each year.

 

Boosting your activity level is also linked to better sleep habits, which may save you money on sleep aids and headache medication.

 

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grocery pantry

You'll save money on your grocery bill

Being fit isn't just about how far you can run or how much weight you can lift. To enjoy a truly healthy lifestyle, you need to keep your diet in shape, too. When healthy living becomes a priority, suddenly spending money on take-out and unhealthy restaurant grub seems like less of a good idea. The notion that fast food is less expensive than making a fresh meal is a common misconception. With a little advance planning, you can eat healthy homemade meals all week for less than you would spend to take your family to McDonald's.

 

That's not to say that you can't enjoy the occasional night out, of course-just be sure to make smarter choices when you're looking for a quick food fix or sitting down to dinner at a restaurant with friends.

 

Related:
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How to make exercise a habit