Many people dream of success. They have big goals and know exactly how they’re going to reach them. These people are driven and won’t stop until they’re in the position they want to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, ambition is often admirable when coupled with hard work. If you’re one of these people, have an excellent work ethic and know everything these is to know about your industry, there are very few things that can stop you from landing your dream job. Except, of course, for your health.

We all know that healthy people have more energy and are therefore able to get more done in one day. And we’re all aware that it’s easier to focus when you’re feeling on top of your game. Which is why it makes complete sense that healthy people are often more successful than those who are constantly falling ill. But it’s not just that healthy people have an advantage in the workplace, it’s that unhealthy people can actually be at a serious disadvantage when it comes to their careers.

Illness causes time off work

Every sick day you take off to recover from a tummy bug or the flu is a day you’re not around to prove yourself. Your work for that day will either be handed over to someone else or left for you to handle when you return. If a colleague is forced to do your work in addition to their own, they will eventually start to resent you. And if you have to do catch up on everything you missed while you were off sick, you’re going to end up rushing jobs and making mistakes or stressing yourself out by working on weekends.

You also never know when an opportunity could arise. If you’re booked off by a doctor for a week, you never know what you could miss. Perhaps there was an exciting task you could have been part of.

The less healthy you are, the more sick leave you will have to take. This could impact your boss’s willingness to trust you with high-stakes work or strict deadlines. After a while, they may feel like they can’t count on you. And that’s not how you get ahead in business.

Medical costs cause stress

There’s work stress and then there’s personal stress. Some people work better in chaos. They like tight deadlines and seemingly impossible tasks. The more stressful the situation, the more calm and focused they are. No matter what happens, they know they will get the job done. Some people thrive with work stress but nobody does well with personal stress. And nothing causes more personal stress than financial difficulties.

Medical costs are expensive. If you don’t have health insurance benefits, you could easily end up having to pay a large sum of money all at once. Which means your emergency fund will be depleted and you’ll be worrying about your financial situation day and night. Or worse, you don’t have an emergency fund and have to put it all on your credit card. The personal stress caused by medical expenses could keep you awake at night and leave you distracted when you’re at work. And when you aren’t giving the task at hand all your attention, that’s when mistakes occur.

If you want to be successful and make the most of your career, you need to care for your health. And that means watching what you eat, exercising and having health insurance that allows you to treat a problem as soon as it arises.