Need big returns from equities? Go wear your running shoes!!

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Title of this post may surprise you but once you finish reading, you will understand my point of view. On AI post, this time we thought to write something which not only benefits us financially but also physically. As my father once said “Better to run on tracks than later run towards hospital”. I am sure most investors or traders are glued to computer screens ignoring health concerns & pushing themselves to the limit. It is not a good habit and may hamper your investment success as well. If you are one of them, then this article is dedicated to you my friend.

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I don’t think I have a right to boast about running or exercising without telling my own shortcomings. I was a lazy bum who loved to sit on sofa and stare at computer screen for hours. Fortunately, I was not addicted to television (except cricket). This resulted in my body weight touching 100 kg mark (quite a lot for 5’11” guy). Someone has rightly said that “No one can change your life except you!”. Cutting long story short, few years back I joined a marathon out of peer pressure & it made me realize the benefits of running. I continued running till my weight reduced to 82 kg. All my wardrobe was gone for a toss but only to be replaced by newer and fitter clothes which earlier I couldn’t dare to wear. In this process, I realized that fitness helps in many more ways than just health. Let me explain these benefits in more details. A disclaimer that I am not a qualified health expert but these opinions are from my own personal experience.

More Productivity 1: Increased Mental Alertness: As per medical research, a good 25 minutes exercise can boost your alertness levels for the rest of the day. In the beginning, I hated morning running but with time, it becomes a habit. Morning is the only time which no one can take from you except you. Contrary to my initial thought that I will be sleepy for rest of the day, I felt more alert during the day & super sleepy at night. Getting sound sleep is such a bliss. Better alertness also helped in understanding equities even better. How often you feel terribly confused between so many stocks & continuous news onslaught. Mental alertness helped me to cut noise & focus on my strengths to execute planned investment strategy. This resulted in getting better returns (34% Annual Return) & avoid short term speculations. Once you know, you are doing what you planned, it reduces stress which otherwise comes from frequent change of mind.

More Productivity 2: Reduces sickness rate: Ever since I started running, I fall sick only twice a year which is a huge improvement over my past sickness rate of eight times a year. This gives me at least 5% more time per year (18 more productive days). Not to mention the relief from trouble of falling sick every now & then, coupled with increased mental alertness, I think my productivity must have gone up by double digits.

Financial Benefit: Avoid long term complications, bills & pills: As per health experts, if we make a habit to exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week then chance of getting diabetes or heart complications reduces significantly. These 150 minutes should not be in one day but spread across the week. Some of the recent studies also proves lesser chances of cancer as your immunity remains strong to keep control of body cell multiplication (lack of control is the root cause of cancer). This will tremendously improve your quality of life & of course without any major medical bills or regular pills. Longer you live, longer you will be able to multiply your wealth in stock market. Also, you will be able to enjoy more time with family. There is no point in slogging hard & inviting a heart stroke to ruin all future plans. Live long & live better.

Investing Benefit: When in doubt, go run: Now-a-days there are so many stocks in market, each having their own merits & demerits. It often leads to a mental battle of which stock to choose among so many stocks. Money is limited but stocks are plenty. Even with the help of statistical tools & analysis, mind is divided as in which stock to choose for investment. My own way of coming out of this situation is to seek fresh air & run 10km to stimulate my mind. Whether it is hormone secretion, increased metabolism or improved brain blood circulation, often I am able to see new perspectives and have better clarity of thought which are otherwise difficult when you are glued to a spreadsheet or computer screen for hours.

Lastly, someone has rightly said that “Health is real Wealth”. If you don’t believe in this, just give it a try for 1 month as a trial offer 🙂 I can bet that you will not repent. Thanks for your patience of being with me on this non-financial article & I will leave you with these two thoughts:

  • “No one can change your life except you”
  • “The best time to do it was yesterday, the next best time is now”

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