Valuing Your Health and Wellness - Why It's ImportantDec 15, 2022
In our fast-paced world, with so many distractions, it is easy to forget about the most valuable asset we have… our health. Many times, people will choose to sit on the couch and binge watch a show or scroll through Instagram watching reel after reel. I am not against sitting down and unwinding with a Netflix series because there is value in doing what you enjoy. However, I do think people spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting in front of a screen when compared to being active. Working in a profession in which I am constantly trying to help people make better choices and value their health, I hear all kinds of reasons. Some people say they don’t have time, others talk about how they don’t know what to do, lack of motivation, and cost, just to name a few.
The reason why we should value our health is really simple and it comes down to the simple fact that the body we have is the only one we get. It can’t be replaced, and if we neglect taking care of it for too long, we run the risk of doing significant damage.
I like to use the analogy of a car because I think most people can relate to it. Everyone who relies on their car will regularly take their car in for routine maintenance: oil changes, tire rotations, brake pads, etc., and they don’t think twice about it. We also regularly put gas into our car to make sure we are able to get where we are going. If you have a high-performance vehicle, you will put higher quality fuel into the engine to make sure that it continues to perform at a high level. If we look at how most people treat their body, we see a very different picture. People regularly avoid doctors’ visits, don’t exercise, and eat too much processed food. Our body is a high-performance vehicle; it needs to be exercised regularly, requires high quality food, and routine maintenance to keep up with the demands of life.
Now that we have pointed out the importance of our health and wellness, let’s talk about some of the common reasons why people don’t exercise.
1.) I don’t have time. This is the most common excuse people come up with. I know days and weeks can fill up quickly, but the time required isn’t a lot to get the benefits. If you can move your body, increase your heart rate, and maybe even work up a bit of a sweat for 30-45 minutes five days per week, you will be doing wonders for your body. Really examine your schedule. Where are you wasting time? Check your screen time on your phone. Think about how much time you spend sitting in front of the TV or the computer watching a series or playing a game. If you truly can’t find 2.5-3.5 hours in your week, I would be shocked!
2.) I don’t know what to do. Sometimes people get too caught up in “what is the best exercise.” The answer to that question is actually a simple one: The best exercise is the one that you will show up and do most days of the week. I know it may seem silly, but showing up consistently is the most important thing. If you don’t like running, then my guess would be when it is time to go run, you will find an excuse not to. However, if you really enjoy biking, when it is time to hop on your bike for a 45-minute ride, you will happily show up and get the work done.
3.) I’m not motivated. Investing in your health and wellness, getting your workouts in, and eating healthy are not things that should be done and fueled by motivation. Sure, you might be motivated to get healthy and make changes and that is a great place to start. However, if you are expecting to wake up and be motivated every single day, then you may have unrealistic expectations. Motivation is a fleeting and temporary feeling that we get. Discipline and consistency are what we can rely on every day we wake up. It is great to be motivated to enact a change, but the way we actually make change is with discipline and consistency.
4.) It’s too expensive. Without getting overly detailed here, there are plenty of low-cost gyms and inexpensive forms of exercise. Going for a 30-45 minute walk every day is something that requires almost no extra cost, and the same can be said for running. You can easily find a gym for $50/month or less, and I know that sounds like a lot, but it comes out to $600/year. That $600/year could potentially save you from needing expensive medications or procedures in the future.
To wrap it all up, if we live a sedentary life, eat too much processed food, and don’t take care of the most precious thing that we have (our body), then we will ultimately see a decline in our overall quality of life. With poor diet and exercise habits, we set ourselves up for diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, just to name a few. The cost of these diseases is not just financial, but also lost time with loved ones and the inability to continue to do the things that you love. There is a saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and this holds true with our lifestyle choices. The great thing is that it is never too late to start and there are plenty of resources to help you reach your goals and live the life that you want!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Andrew PT, DPT, OCS, CMTPT, CSCS
Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today!
Remember, Movement is Medicine!