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The How and Why of Physical Fitness for Financial Fitness

Physical Fitness for Financial Fitness! Does this rings any bells or led to a pondering frown?

People often ask me as to why I am so keen about Physical Fitness as one of the most significant part of Financial Fitness. Well, as a financial coach I take a huge role in your life as I am sharing the onus of money management for you in such a way that you are never under the financial pressures and always future ready.

Last 5 years, I have been touching lives closely as I plan not only your personal finances but also helping businesses in organizing their wealth to keep it churning and surplus too for the business challenges.

My definition of Physical Fitness is simple, the ability of your body to sustain your lifestyle, work culture and routine life challenges without any medication or if I put it like a financial fitness expert, without any spend on your body to keep it going for meeting your work-life expectations. And that is why I thought it is very important to understand the why Physical Fitness is for Financial Fitness.

Having said that, it makes it all the more important for me to embark physical fitness as the prime goal for my clients who are entrepreneurs, corporate goers, business owners and dreamers in one or the other way.

Significance of Physical Fitness  for Financial Fitness?

When I am working on a Financial Fitness Plan or managing wealth or organizing a portfolio, I am primarily touching the following aspects:

  • Retirement Planning
  • Wish list/Bucket list
  • Parallel Path
  • Business Goals
  • Family Plans
  • Child Education
  • Destination / Weddings
  • Educational Loans
  • Risk Management / Wealth Protection

The reason I listed the above set of areas I touch upon is to underline the fact that, all of the above set of life phases is Finance dependent and also health dependent. The proper allocation and functioning of all of the above is only possible if your fitness is taken care of properly.

There will be no fun in travel bucket lists, retirement plans, that passion driven parallel path past your corporate career, your child’s education or that dream destination wedding – you will not be able to enjoy any of it – if you are not physically fit and neither will you be able to attain financial fitness as you will end up shelling out a huge chunk of your savings and investments on your health.

Physical Fitness for financial fitness
Rashi speaking about Financial Fitness at a recent event conducted by SBS Fin. on the significance of Financial Fitness

How Physical Fitness is Financial Fitness?

To explain how physical fitness is directly proportional to your financial fitness, let me share the closest example, yes, it is about me and how controlling my physical fitness led to better control on my finances.

I am Rashi Bhargava, your Financial Fitness Coach, 39 years of age waging war with lower back pain for 6 years and 4 months. I have been part of this Corporate rat race for 15 years, running in life non-stop as if there was no tomorrow after completing my PGDBM.

If cancer is called the ‘emperor of all maladies’, back pain might as well be the empress. Back pain might not kill, but it doesn’t let one live either. It’s like being madly in love with someone but not being able to be with that person. It leads to a miserable life.

Fact I learnt hard way through: That Pain in the back and neck is by far the number one reason for Indians (and others too, worldwide) for the ‘years of life lived with disability’.  Lower back pain affects up to 80 per cent of people at some point in their life, and neck pain affects up to 50 per cent of the population.

21st Dec 2010, 8:45am is etched in my memory not because I won a million-dollar lottery but my battle with pain started. And I was naive enough to ignore this pain and importance. Visit to the doctor gave me temporary relief. Doctor prescribed me pain killers, handed me a sheet of paper with few images of stretching exercises to do and told me that these exercises I must do lifelong. Pain persisted and after 3 months I was recommended Physiotherapy. 15 sessions of physiotherapy gave me relief for few months and then the same story. This continued for next 3 years. Pain, Volini gel and hot water bottle became my friends at home and travel. I always use to smell of Volini.

3 years into back pain yet I had not learnt my lessons. I did not value money nor understood loss of productivity because of this. I use go to doctors or take physiotherapy sessions, simply put my life was working on a jugaad…a temporary one. Money was being spent like anything on these temporary reliefs. No doctor gave me guidance as to why exercises are must and back pains means muscles getting weak. Finally, one night 13th July 2014 I started having muscle spasms while sleeping. Initial few days I ignored them as one off small health issue. But when I started losing sleep and finding it difficult to lie on bed anytime of the day I got scared and rushed to my Orthopedic doctor. Since it was hot and humid and my morning walks were at peak initial diagnosis was loss of salts, vitamins. Supplements worked a bit but spasms persisted so much that I couldn’t sleep a wink and lying down in bed became a nightmare.

After a month of torture, I was recommended 12 sessions of physiotherapy. Unlike my previous experiences where I traveled far distances for my therapy, I was this time recommended to a physiotherapist who was at 5-minute walking distance from my home. I was in so much pain and discomfort that I would just not let my physiotherapist touch my back. It was testing times and 12 sessions also did not ease my pain. I once shared with a friend that I would give away all my money, wealth and trade for a pain free life.

With faith, encouragement of my therapist and little bit of reading on pain management, I started getting relief and during these painful 2 months I self-reflected a lot. Finally started understanding my body and it dawned on me that it is impossible to achieve financial fitness without physical fitness.My therapist Dr.Khan (Korperkraft) who is a certified TheraBand trainer and a fitness freak started encouraging me in my sales language…a language I understood 😊

In 6 years and 4 months I have spent close to 5 lacs on Doctor fees, physiotherapy sessions, medicines, X-ray and MRI…. Changed doctors, physiotherapists, taken treatment at the most expensive centers like Vardan (Times of India run center) and Back 2 Fitness. Had to dip into my investments for these treatments. Had I invested in health like SIP in Mutual Funds my story would have been different. The economic loss in terms of productivity cannot even be measured.

Somewhere at the back of my mind I have a lingering thought that my back pain also contributed to some extent to my lay-off from Taurus Mutual Fund in Oct 2012. In tough times organizations want nimble footed agile employees who can give more than 200 % to work. I was in a different zone during that period, consumed in pain, always asking my reporting manager for leave or reporting in late in the morning because I had to go for my physiotherapy session.

Most of us want to be physically fit, but very few of us are. The same holds true with financial security. Most of us want to be rich, but don’t want to sacrifice as needed or develop good financial habits. The relationship between health and wealth should be worth noting for all of us. If we want to have a luxurious home, nice car, annual vacations, we must first take care of our body.

“If you’re healthy, you’re not depleting your wealth to pay doctor bills or prescriptive drugs or treatments. You’re also going to be more productive because you aren’t going to have as many sick days, and if you’re a productive person you are going to get raises and a higher income.”

The partnership between health and wealth doesn’t end here; it’s a vicious cycle that can spin the other way as well. If you let yourself get in financial trouble you’re likely to endure headaches, stomachaches, stress, a lack of sleep and fluctuations in weight. Young people are usually in good physical condition, but that doesn’t mean they come out unscathed if they don’t take care of themselves.

“What you do at a younger age will influence how you fare later in life. Like in my case neglecting physical fitness in my 20’s. “If you have a bad diet in your twenties, you may not keel over in your twenties or thirties, but if you never develop good health habits; it will catch up with you.”

Breaking an unhealthy routine can be difficult but some simple changes will help you move in the right direction, whether your problems are health or wealth-related. Ever since I encountered my physiotherapist cum fitness trainer I have challenged myself to incorporate at least 60 minutes of exercises daily to strengthen my muscles, improve my stamina and endurance, however busy my schedule is. I have failed at times, but I have been persistent. It’s been one big struggle…in fact it’s been a war. But now I am confident of my win. This is reflected in my business growth and how people take me on.

The bottom line: In order to become an affluent financially fit individual, you must make smart investments and the smartest is an investment in your health. I hope I could strike a chord here on how of Physical Fitness for Financial Fitness.

This is the basic idea of keeping #collaboration as a theme for client engagement at #SBSFin for the year 2017, where in we will be touching different aspects of #FinancialFitness beginning the year with Physical Fitness. If you have any queries regarding your investments or financial fitness feel free to write to me, rashi.bhargava@sbsfin.com