The start of a new year is like a chance to hit a reset button, and nearly half of all adults in the U.S. will take advantage by setting New Year’s resolutions. Many of us will focus our intentions on our health and well-being, vowing to eat better and exercise more, or to quit this or that bad habit.

Fitness New Year’s resolutions aren’t just about fitness, though. The end goal of new health or exercise habits is to reach a state of greater overall balance. Sadly, debt interferes all too often with achieving those goals, even when you are doing the work.

As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’m familiar with the link between our financial and physical health. I know that if you are dealing with debt, a gym routine cannot restore stability, no matter how diligent your workout plan may be. These three facts about the impact of debt upon our well-being show that, in seeking to improve our health for the year ahead, it may pay to look at our finances first and foremost.

Debt can raise your blood pressure.

Anyone who’s faced true financial insecurity can attest to the physical stress it brings. In 2013, researchers from Northwestern University proved it. Their study found that adults ages 24 to 32 with significant debt are likelier to have poorer self-reported physical and mental health as well as significantly higher blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. According to one of the researchers, Elizabeth Sweet, currently an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, these findings may be only the tip of the iceberg. “We need to be aware of this association and understand it better. Our study is just a first peek at how debt may impact physical health,” she said to the Huffington Post.

Debt can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

There’s no question that high amounts of debt are associated with higher rates of stress and anxiety. As Sweet told Health.com, “We’re seeing that debt really does have serious impacts on psychological health. It causes a feeling of being underwater and not being able to get out, and that can really drag on for a long time and do a lot of damage.”

Anxiety and depression commonly co-occur, and a different study found a link between debt and depressive symptoms. In 2014, Rutgers researchers found that adults aged 51 and older were more likely to self-report depressive symptoms when they carried higher amounts of unsecured debt, including credit card debt.

Debt can be a literal pain.

If you’ve ever felt physically affected by a big credit card statement, you’re not alone. Various studies link high levels of “debt stress” to migraines, headaches, muscle tension, digestive tract problems, and other health issues.

Live your best life in 2020. Speak to a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer today.

If you want to truly hit a reset button for the year ahead, I encourage you to look beyond the latest diet or fitness app. Your long-term physical health depends upon quality financial health.

So, let’s all vow to eat better, exercise more—and stop debt in its tracks. Give us a call at (901) 327-2100 and we’ll help make 2020 your best year yet.