In the United States of America very few people practice preventative medicine. Most people wait until they get sick or injured to go see a doctor. At most, they might go get a yearly physical and blood work when they hit a certain age. Yet, they will buy every type of insurance possible (home, auto, health, life, flood, boat, renters, etc.) to cover them when disaster strikes. This leads to the question…why don’t we do the same when it comes to our health?
Most of us deal with the morning grind, work 40+ hours a week, take care of our families, clean up our houses, do our chores, pay our bills, and wake up and repeat the same thing the next day. We are essentially living for the weekend and/or our next vacation. Believe me, I know this feeling. Unless you are happily retired or wealthy you know how this works.
Many people feel that they are too busy to exercise, to prepare healthy food, and to take time to relax from a stressful day at work. Yet, they have time to watch their favorite TV shows, go out to the fancy new restaurant in town, and browse social media. Every single person alive has 24 hours in a day. What you chose to do with that 24 hours is your choice. If you don’t make yourself a priority nobody and I mean nobody else in this world will.
Personally, I chose to wake up at 5 am to get my workouts in, because I know if I did not get up early I would not have the time to get them in. I use those early morning hours as my “ME TIME”, because when I come home from work it is family time. Nobody makes me get up to work out. I do it because I love it and I am putting an investment into myself. I know how I chose to live my life now will determine how I spend my future. Exercising is like putting money into a retirement account. Instead of financial security you are creating “health security”.
My advice is to find a time in your day that works for you to do something physical that you enjoy. If that means getting up at 5 am so be it. If that means exercising after work so be it. If you have the ability to work out on your lunch hour so be it. But, get moving to help yourself and make it a habit. If you stick with an exercise program long enough it will become addictive in a good way and will inspire a new level of self-esteem you did not have before.
Getting stronger feels awesome. Getting leaner feels awesome. Having people complement your physical progress feels awesome. Knowing that you are making a commitment to yourself feels more awesome.
What is going to make you feel better? Eating fast food, burgers, pizza, fried chicken or healthy meals with lean protein, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats?
What many people fail to realize is what you put into your body determines what you get out of your body. Eating clean or healthy is not just about your physical appearance or the weight on the scale. Your food choices determine your mood, energy, and ultimately your health. So many diseases are preventable based on nutrition. Eating a diet full of trans fat and sugar will likely lead to diabetes. Eating a diet with too many calories could lead to heart disease and a number of cancers. But, eating a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats will make you happier and healthier.
Making smarter choices in your diet can do wonders for your overall sense of well- being. Preparing your meals or “meal prepping” goes along way to achieving a healthier version of yourself. Disaster strikes when people have no idea what their next meal is. When people get hungry that make bad choices.
DON’T BE AN EXTREMIST
No, I am not talking about joining a terrorist group or a cult. Don’t force yourself to be so committed to one thing that you ruin your life to achieve it. Believe it or not you can be great, achieve your goals, and be a decent human being. This is not to say that what you desire out of life does not take effort and planning. What I am saying is make time for the things and the people who matter while still taking care of yourself.
When a stressful situation arises in life you have to ask yourself these questions. Can I do anything about it? If the answer is no, you should stop worrying and move on. If the answer is yes, you should figure out a solution and move on.
I consider myself a level-headed and calm person, especially at work. I am not a perfect person and sometimes I let things get the best of me. However, I know how to relax. It could be something as simple as going for a walk, listening to music, playing with my kids, or looking at a picture that makes me happy. The point is to pick and chose your battles and don’t let life get the best of you because it never ends well. So take some time to smell the roses.
Ultimately only you can choose to be happy. There is no magical key to happiness. You can’t put a dollar amount on happiness. Happy is a mindset. You have to make the personal decision to be happy. I truly believe that happy people have the most rewarding and longest lives, because their happiness keeps them healthy.