We all know we should make healthy lifestyle choices, but do you ever sit down and ask yourself why?
For some, a healthy lifestyle means exercising more. On the other hand, improving diet may be more important. However, improving your health can be compared to saving for your retirement, improving your lifestyle is a life-long investment, not a quick fix.
We don’t always know this, but we have a bank of health. Most of us are born with a full bank account. In our youth we have usually drain this account, not considering the impact the constant withdrawals can make. Throughout our lives, like most things, until they go wrong, we don’t appreciate all the time that they were going right! We spend most of our working lives paying into a pension. If we don’t, we know why we have little on which to live when we are old and crinkly. Yet, I wonder why people are so willing to blame ill health on ‘getting old’ when they have made little effort to invest in their health.
Andy grows up not really caring about his health. He is healthy, he can run around having fun. He would much prefer to have McDonalds everyday than have to eat any vegetables.
As Andy grows older there is no discernible impact on his health. He goes to university and starts to live life based on his own choices. His bank account of good health is still pretty full. By choosing to drink alcohol, sit around in lectures (or at the pub) eat takeaways he’s still feeling ok. His mum notices he’s put on a few pounds, but it really isn’t a big deal. He struggles getting out of bed in the morning, but so do most of his friends.
Andy is not reinvesting in his health by exercising or eating well, his sleep habits are poor, and he gets quite stressed when deadlines are looming.
Forward 10 years and Andy is now in his 30’s and he’s beginning to get a bit low on his health reserves. He’s noticing that the ‘puppy’ fat he used to have is now definitely a beer belly. He’s getting a bit achy in the mornings and feels tired an awful lot. He finds it hard to be cheerful and seems to get every cold that is going around. He’s can’t wait to leave work and have a drink.
Noticing ill health
Move forward another 10 years, he’s now in his 40’s. He’s now in the red and his health is in the red. Life with kids seems unbearable, and frankly all his wife seems to do is nag him to do more. What ever he does is never enough and he’s always exhausted. Work is bearable, partly because it takes him away from home. He has been diagnosed with a back condition and is pre-diabetic. He’s also struggling with a bit of arthritis in his knees. He’s in the morbidly obese category for his BMI. He spends most of his free time watching Netflix and on his phone.
Finally, as he gets older, he develops more and more health conditions, ending up on medication to thin his blood, to manage his diabetes and also the pain in his back. All the medication he takes has side effects, so he also has medication to minimise the side effects.
At any stage in his life he can top up his reserves by making healthy choices. Obviously, the longer he takes to make healthy choices the harder it will be, as is getting out of any debt. However, he can make real discernible changes in his lifestyle that will not only benefit him now but also as he grows older.
Who Does Your Healthy Lifestyle Impact?
When we analyse our choices, we start seeing the impact the choices we make right now will have on our future. Equally important, is noticing how our lifestyle choices impact our children. Kids look to us as their role models. If they see us eating unhealthily, sitting in front of the TV every night, drinking alcohol to cheer ourselves up, getting stressed and feeling unable to cope, it is more than likely they will develop the same responses to their life.
Another key point is that it is probable that your early influencers (parents/carers) had an unhealthy outlook on their lifestyle, and you have simply carried on the pattern. I know that my mum used to plonk me in front of the TV with crisps/sweets when I was bored or upset, which was the same response as hers. It also kept me quiet so she could get on with what she wanted to do.
To demonstrate the value of your body, you can eat healthily and exercise with them. Undeniably, you are showing your children ‘how’ to live as opposed to just telling them.
The Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle
The World Health Organisation state the benefits of a healthy diet are
- Opting for a balanced, adequate and varied diet is an important step towards a happy and healthy lifestyle.
- Vitamins and minerals in the diet are vital to boost immunity and healthy development,
- A healthy diet can protect the human body against certain types of diseases, in particular noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and skeletal conditions.
- Healthy diets can also contribute to an adequate body weight.
- Healthy eating is a good opportunity to enrich life by experimenting with different foods from different cultures, origins and with different ways to prepare food.
- The benefits of eating a wide variety of foods are also emotional, as variety and colour are important ingredients of a balance diet.
15 Benefits Of Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Here are 15 benefit of living a healthy lifestyle:
- Setting a good example for your children
- Good health in your retirement
- So, you can do the things you want to do
- To have boundless energy
- Combat disease and avoid infections – improve your immunity
- Better skin quality and reduce hair loss.
- Reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease
- To create good blood sugar levels – reduce risk of diabetes
- Improved heart and reduce risk of stroke/heart disease
- Better bones & teeth – reduced risk of arthritis
- Improve mood – reduce stress
- Better memory – reduce cognitive decline i.e. dementia
- Improve productivity and attention
- Sleep quality improved
- Live longer
Want more details? Healthline do an excellent job of explaining in more detail
Everyone has different priorities in the health, and you want to be healthy in your latter years, don’t you?
Which are the most important reasons for you to change your lifestyle! Let me know in the comments below 😊
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