We’re all busy people. We’re juggling our careers, relationships, finances and businesses with an incredible level of finesse and precision.
Most of us even find the time to maintain a healthy social life, heading out to enjoy the company of our friends and acquaintances several times a week.
But here’s something I want to make abundantly clear.
We’re absolutely terrible at caring for ourselves and I believe we don’t place a premium on our health and physical fitness. This has to change.
We neglect fundamentals such as making objective choices about what we eat and drink and often forget to place importance on improving our mobility, flexibility and simply taking opportunities to move when we can. All these factors are typically relegated to the “I’ll worry about it later” bucket when considering everything else we have going on in our lives at the current moment.
We have only have one body in our lifetime, why aren’t we caring for it?
Derek Weida is an amputee Army veteran who turned to purpose driven fitness to break out of severe depression after he was discharged. He also makes incredibly entertaining YouTube videos, inspiring millions around the world through his positivity, work ethic and nonprofit work.
However, most of us can’t relate to serving as a Paratrooper in the United States Army and losing a leg after getting shot in the knee from an insurgent’s bullet.
But what we can relate to is our own experience of a debilitating injury or condition that took us out of action for some time. I’m talking about broken bones, ligament sprains or even a sickness that left you bedridden for some time.
Yeah, it’s not ideal. Your ability to perform basic physical tasks decreases or even completely escapes you. Your sense of overall physical confidence, too, does take a beating for some time. You lack drive and your inspiration to get things done plummets. At worst, you may also, like Derek, experience a bout of depression.
This brings me to my main point.
Keeping good health must be the most important thing in your life. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. It is, without a doubt, a non negotiable and I believe you should treat it as such.
It’s at this point I must confess some irony to you. As I type this, I’m sitting in the corner of an outdoor bar after work, amid a cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke while drinking a beer. And I’m writing about good health. (Ha!)
I wanted to mention this because many perceive “health and fitness” to be an all or nothing approach. We have a tendency to believe that once you’re in the health and fitness game, all the small indulgences you once enjoyed in life must be abandoned.
The majority of us aren’t full-time bodybuilders nor athletes whose unwavering dedication to diet and training propels them straight to the top 1% of prodigious levels of physical conditioning.
We’re everyday people working long hours and doing our best to strive for our own personal notions of what we consider success.
We also want to be healthy enough without being obsessive, yet we still crave to reach the apex of our own physical capabilities before our time is up.
Moderation, as cliché as it sounds, is absolutely key here. Being “healthy” will improve your quality of life and should not be an all-consuming process that detracts from your willingness to enjoy a night out with friends and family within reason.
Four Incentives to Prioritize Your Health
Now, if I haven’t prompted further thought on the topic, I expect this part to get you thinking. My perspective is as follows:
If you’re unhealthy, you’ll be unable to offer the best care you can to those closest to you and those you value the most. Being physically incapable of playing with your children due to poor lifestyle factors is a common fear of parents, as an example.
If you’re unhealthy, your ability to work is compromised through mental and/or physical fatigue. Performance may suffer, leading to reduced output and a sense of perpetual disappointment. This can be worse for those of us performing a trade such as plumbing, carpentry or bricklaying. Physically incapable of working? You’re not getting paid.
If you’re unhealthy, costs of living increase. Granted, research has found that eating a healthy diet costs an extra $1.50 a day per person. For a family of four, this equates to an extra $2,200 per year. I’d also bank on costs being even higher if you’re going down the organic route which is now subject to much debate.
Conversely, I could argue that ongoing costs of medication and local GP visits reduces these other costs to a mere pittance. Want a pack of 60 Belviq weight loss tablets? That’ll be $238.31.
If you’re unhealthy, being able to openly travel the world and interact with new environments will be compromised.
And that’s only four examples.
All this talk about being healthy sounds good, but how do I start? What do I do?
I believe that some of my earlier posts on Body for Business may help you.
First, seek out small adjustments you can make in your lifestyle. No, not a complete overhaul at the beginning, because that’s incredibly daunting and can contribute to paralysis analysis. Doing all you can to get an adequate night’s sleep is also a powerful starting point.
Third, get started. Hiring the right personal trainer for you and ensuring you don’t burn out during your time at the gym is of foremost importance when ensuring you’re not just another flash in the pan when it comes to your results.
The rest, my friends, is up to you.