Couple working out at home together.

What’s The Connection Between Exercise And Salary?

Sarah Li Cain3-minute read
UPDATED: April 12, 2022

The idea that exercising regularly offers a ton of health benefits is not new. Whether you run a few days a week or hit the gym daily, exercising will help you feel and look your best. This is especially so if you have a chronic health condition like back pain that requires regular exercise.

Did you know, however, that exercising regularly can lead to an increase in your salary? In fact, studies have shown that those who exercise often can get paid many times more than those who don’t. Plus, there are many other financial benefits.

Want to learn what they are? Read on.

The Link Between Exercise And Earning More Money

It sounds weird that more exercise means more money. But if you think about it, this correlation makes sense because it demonstrates that the type of person who makes exercise a habit can use those same positive attributes to increase their earning potential.

For one, those who exercise regularly may wake up earlier, therefore getting more done and increasing their productivity. It can also result in higher energy levels, which increases the amount of work someone can get done. Though there isn’t a clear link, more energy may indicate that think on your feet a lot more, offering chances to impress colleagues and those who make salary decisions.

Plus, if you’re willing to exercise regularly, may show that you’re disciplined and willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals. Think about it: It requires a certain amount of time to be able to exercise regularly and even to motivate yourself to do so. It also requires that you build in a routine and plan ahead – especially if you’re juggling a family in addition to all your other responsibilities.

In other words, if you exercise regularly, you’re good at reflecting on what you need to do and then taking action. You’re willing to work consistently and often very hard to achieve your goals.

Different types of exercise can also impact your earning power. For example, if you’re into doing low-impact exercises, you may not seem as ambitious as some who are into higher-intensity ones such as weightlifting and CrossFit. Taking part in these types of exercises could indicate that you’re more willing to push beyond comfort and that you’re OK with being uncomfortable, which are qualities you’ll need if you want to advance in your career.

Maybe you’d like to hire trainers and participate in classes that offer more opportunities to exercise. The more money you earn, the better your chances of being able to afford these extra costs.

Other Financial Benefits Of Exercising

We get it. It’s hard to establish a regular exercise routine. Maybe you’re thinking that money isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. Yes, you’re right. It’s not that exercise only leads to more money, it can lead to other areas which can have an effect on your financial wellness.

Think about it, if you’re someone who exercises regularly, you might be a more confident person and willing to take more risks and strive toward goals or meaning in your life. In this case, exercising could offer fulfillment, or even happiness in your life. 

For example, if you go to the gym or have friends who you talk to regularly about exercise, chances are you’ll be more sociable, and therefore feel more connected and have a more positive outlook in general.

What does that mean? Well it could mean you’re less likely to spend because you’re emotional or upset. Remember the term “retail therapy”? It doesn’t necessarily apply to happy and confident people.

Plus, if you’re exercising that much, chances are you don’t have as many health issues, which saves money on healthcare. And if you’re pairing that with good eating habits, hopefully you’ll only need to see a doctor for your preventative screenings, which should be included with your health insurance plan.

Should You Exercise Regularly?

Common sense dictates that exercising regularly offers a whole host of benefits, one of which is an increase in your salary. However, your salary doesn’t automatically go up just because you exercise. It still takes other skills, like being of value to your employer, negotiating skillfully and regularly seeking more opportunities to advance your career.

Even still, exercising regularly is a good goal. You don’t have to go overboard and hit the gym 7 days a week to start. Even a simple routine such as daily walks of 10 minutes or yoga in the morning can do wonders. Once that becomes second nature, you can add more if you choose.

Once you incorporate more and more, you see your mood becoming much cheerier, your waistline shrink while your wallet fattens.

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain is a freelance personal finance, credit and real estate writer who works with Fintech startups and Fortune 500 financial services companies to educate consumers through her writing. She’s also a candidate for the Accredited Financial Counselor designation and the host of Beyond The Dollar, where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations on how money affects our well-being.