Want a 9% raise? All it takes is a little sweat…

We know hitting the gym is a great way to forget about your troubles and relieve stress.  Those work and money problems you’ve got just seem to disappear in the rear view mirror when you’re in the middle of a great sweat.  Guess what?  You just may be on your way to a better financial return than that investment in Facebook stock a few weeks ago.

Workers who exercise regularly earn 9% higher pay on average than those who don’t, according to a study published Career startin the June issue of the Journal of Labor Research.

Okay we know that exercise boosts mental function and energy and improves our mood.  Also we know that people who exercise are more disciplined – so perhaps just that fact alone leads to being more productive workers.

But let’s not quibble about the chicken and egg here.  If you aren’t particularly disciplined, exercising regularly will help you become more so.  So this isn’t an “either you are or you aren’t” issue.  You can put yourself in the more disciplined, more productive, more pay group immediately by simply committing to exercising at least three times a week.

Personally, I don’t enjoy going to a gym.  I don’t have the patience to wait on machines and to smooze with muscle flexers or to preen in front of a mirror.  I just want the exercise – thus, a simple treadmill in our home works perfectly for me.  I jump on for an hour and use that time to listen to great podcasts.  This morning I listened to Michael Hyatt on How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty and then Andy Stanley on You can say, “I do.” But can you follow through?  Not only do I get the benefits of the exercise; I also get the input of high-achievers on principles for increased success.

I’m convinced the time spent exercising leads to much more than a 9% raise.  How would you describe the impact of being healthy on your success?

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  • I exercise regularly early in the morning because the gym is mostly empty and I like to listen to podcasts (you, Hyatt & Stanley are a few of my favorites). I would tend to agree that discipline in this area spills over to my work performance (and thus compensation). When I’m working out consistently I feel more focused and productive at work. If I miss a few days I start to feel lethargic and unmotived.

    • 48DaysDan

      Very cool – thanks for sharing. I get most of my best ideas when I’m in a full sweat. I always have a notepad handy and usually come out of that hour of sweating and listening with 4 or 5 great ideas.

      • Me too! I do the same, but with my iPhone and record voice memos or jot a note down.

  • chris conley

    no doubt workouts make a difference. I started in 1999 with a 5 am 90 minute workout 5 days a week. I’ve lost 40 lbs. but as important, I proved to myself that I can achieve the goals I’m willing to work on. One thought comes to mind, something like shoot for the stars, you may miss but aiming high and missing is better than no plan and succeding.

  • Jeff

    A little 20-minute jog/sprint about 3 to 5 times a week (plus an occasional 30-minute swim) has done wonders for my sense of well-being upon my otherwise intellectual, sedentary position. I quit weight-training for reasons of injury and decreased motivation for gym attendance, so cardio is all I have left, and I have no motivation for stretches and pushups.

    I can’t say that exercise has produced discipline in all my areas of life, but it has certainly helped the creativity in my written work and my sense of optimism.

    In some ways, I have trouble liking people who are high achievers.