How Is Your Health?
In mid-2021, an American Psychological Association (APA) study confirmed what many already knew: “Weight gain and disordered eating spiked during the stress of the pandemic.” According to a study by Jagdish Khubchandani, Et al., nearly half (48 percent) of American adults gained weight during the first year of the pandemic and OnePoll found that 70 percent had given up working out during the height of the pandemic.
Now, more than two years later, new polls show it is proving harder than anticipated for Americans to regain pre-pandemic levels of fitness and that injuries resulting from jumping back into pre-pandemic routines too quickly are a significant contributor.
(Advisor schedules don’t typically help.)
Most advisors found a significant increase in productivity and efficiency as meetings switched from predominantly in-person to almost exclusively virtual during the pandemic. And with most advisors decisively sticking to heavily virtual schedules rather than returning to in-person meetings, the reduced physical element of the job will remain.
Aside from health benefits themselves, there are clear links between health, fitness, and productivity, which may make these suggestions from the APA particularly relevant for advisors:
Start with modest goals: Drink an extra glass of water, cut back the sugar in your coffee, take the stairs each morning, or build a reenergizing 5-10 minute morning and/or afternoon walk into your schedule.
Work back into a routine: Think about daily habits that promote movement, fitness, healthy eating habits, and sufficient sleep.
Create an environment for success: Eliminate the presence of temptations like snacks and sweets and create a schedule that uses your environment to promote regular movement (a standing desk, daily walk, timer to take a water break, etc.)
Measure your progress: Higher levels of self-monitoring are correlated with more consistent longer-term success. Consider keeping a journal or log of activities, habits, or food intake.
Emphasize health, not weight: A focus on nutrition, movement, sleep, and reduced screentime will benefit anyone, regardless of weight or shape.
Create accountability: Whether you recruit a colleague or family member, a partner in accountability can help keep you consistent and maintain momentum as you share and compare daily wins.
As the saying goes, “A healthy person has many dreams. A sick person has but one.” Surely for financial advisors, as well as their clients, your health IS your wealth.
Christy Charise, Founder & CEO of Strategic Advisor