It’s time to pump up your bank account. Regular exercise may be as beneficial to your bottom line as it is to your waistline, finds a new study from Cleveland State University.
Researchers asked thousands of Americans about their exercise habits as well as their weekly incomes. What did they discover? People who exercise three or more times each week make roughly 10 percent more–or an extra $80 per week on average–than those who never exercise, according to the study. That finding holds regardless of BMI, meaning how fit you look doesn’t seem to play a factor.
Even occasional exercise provided an income boost: People who work out just one to three times per month make roughly 5 percent more than those who stay seated, the study says.
What’s the deal? Studies have shown that exercise increases your intelligence, positive attitude, and energy levels, says study author Vasilis Kosteas, Ph.D., an economics professor at Cleveland State University. “Each of these factors in turn can raise a person’s productivity, leading to higher earnings,” Kosteas says. Basically, you feel better and work better when you exercise, and that translates to a heftier paycheck. (See How Running Boosts Your Brainpower.)
The study defined exercise as aerobics, running, swimming, or cycling, but weight training has been shown to offer all the same cognitive and energy-increasing benefits. So however you prefer to train, doing so more often will likely pay off in more ways than one.
Pressed for time but want to fit in a quick total-body workout? Try blending a few conventional exercises like the pushup, burpee, and medicine-ball slam for a 10-minute power regimen, suggests BJ Gaddour, CSCS, CEO of StreamFIT.com. To see how it’s done, watch Gaddour demonstrate the move here.