Take Care Of Your Body.
This sounds easy enough, and you’ve heard it a thousand times. But why do you want to take care of your body?
Lets analyze a case of two friends: Bob and Steve.
Both men are college students who also work, so they’re very busy. They haven’t had the privilege to have a fixed schedule for years.
Even still, Bob goes to the gym 3 times a week. He makes sure to read ingredients and measure his food, and goes for walks regularly.
Steve, on the other hand, doesn’t read ingredient lists. He orders delivery food/fast food twice to 4 times a week. He also eats frozen dinners regularly and skips breakfast. Steve figures he walks 20 minutes to work each day so that should cover his exercising for the week. After all, 20 minutes a day 5 days a week is 100 minutes!
After their last exam for the semester is done, they decide they want to celebrate by playing a few games of basketball. Basketball is something that they used to play together all the time growing up. It was actually how they first met, back in highschool!
So they start playing and Steve is winning as he usually does. However halfway through what would of been a full game, Steve pulls a muscle in his leg and another in his lower back.
It’s very simple, Steve has not been taking care of himself. By not exercising regularly, he has conditioned his body to be prepared for minimal physical stimulus.
As kids, they were always running around and playing. That is (one of) the reasons why the injury happened to him now and not earlier.
Bob however, has been eating healthy and exercising regularly. His body has had steady supply of vital nutrients for years, whereas Steve has had steady supply of preservatives and empty calories.
Upset, Steve goes home since he can not play anymore. Over the course of him healing from this, he changes nothing about his diet.
The lack of nutrients has left his head foggy. He has trouble focusing and sleeping and this has caused his grades to start slipping.
On top of injuring himself playing a game that is very important to him and grades slipping, he has had to take time off of work.
Steve wonders to himself, where did things go wrong?
The answer to that question is, he failed to take care of his body. It is not difficult to take 45 minutes out of your day 3 times a week to exercise.
It is tedious having to count calories and making sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. However, if he had of began doing this when he first went to college, it would not be difficult to him now. It would have been second nature to him at this point.
Losing money from time off work. Grades slipping and the reality that he can’t play the game that means so much to him takes its toll.
Steve falls into a depression.
This brings us to my next point.
Take Care Of Your Mind.
Mental health plays so much more into how our world is than we give it credit.
Our minds are powerful beyond our knowledge.
But so many people either don’t know how important that is, or try to write it off as if it isn’t.
Back to our case with Steve.
Steve has begun to feel hopeless. He feels as though he isn’t smart enough to do well in his courses.
Discouraged, he stops going to class.
When he is able to go back to work, his attitude has become very poor and is reflected in his productivity.
One day, his supervisor pulls him aside and tells him that he has been slacking. He needs to pick things up. Whatever is going on outside of work needs to stay outside of work.
Steve becomes upset hearing this and snaps, cursing at his supervisor. This resulted in a 2 week suspension without pay.
Steve goes back home, angry and sad and wants to just shut the world away. So he has a few drinks to take the edge off.
The next morning comes and he remembers everything that has become of his life. Remembering how he felt alright after a few drinks last night, he decides to have a breakfast of vodka and coffee.
The Beginning of Steve’s End.
This breakfast ritual becomes a morning habit for Steve.
After a couple weeks, that morning habit becomes an afternoon habit as well. Soon, Steve is drinking consistently throughout the day.
He has however started going back to class, and now that his suspension at work is up he is working again.
Things seem like they’re looking up for him!
Unfortunately, halfway through the second semester, he begins having excruciating stomach pains.
Steve goes to the doctor to see whats wrong and that’s when he gets the news.
Steve has developed a stomach ulcer from his drinking habit.
I want you to keep in mind, during this whole time Bob has continued his healthy lifestyle.
Bob has had laser focus because he gives his body what it needs and has even received a promotion at his work.
What Can We Learn From Bob and Steve?
There are a few important takeaways from Bob and Steve’s story.
Exercise is important not just for looking good, but for overall health and longevity.
Middle aged women who engaged in less than or equal to 1 hour of physical activity a week were found to have a 52% increase in all-cause mortality. ¹
Isn’t that insane?
Here’s where I’m going to share some facts with you.
This May Surprise You, but Physical Activity Could Very Well Save Your Heart.
In a study involving 62 patients with CAD (Coronary artery disease), they were able to conclude and quantify the effects of leisure time physical activity on atherosclerotic lesions.
These patients were randomly assigned to an intervention group where they were subjected to leisure time physical activity, or assigned to a control group where they got the same care that they were before.
From this study, it was concluded that 1,533 (+/- 122kcal/week) of physical activity was able to stop the advancement of their CAD.²
More Remarkably, they were able to find regression of lesions in patients who engaged in an average of 2,200 kcal/week of physical actvity.²
To put that simply, 5 to 6 hours of regular physical exercise a week was able to reverse patient’s CAD. ²
There was large differences between the two groups.
10% of the intervention group experienced progression of their disease compared to 45% in the control group.²
Physical Activity Can Actually Prevent Diabetes.
In a study involving 5990 men from the University of Pennsylvania, it was concluded that physical activity was inversely related to the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).³
Roughly, every 500 kcal increment of physical activity from 500kcal to 3500 kcal reduced the subjects risk for diabetes by 6%.³
What I found most surprising, the protective benefit of physical exercise was experienced more in people that were at higher risk of the disease!³
Make Taking Care of Your Mind And Body a Priority.
It’s difficult. I get it, but you know how the saying goes.
What’s worth having doesn’t come easy, and what’s easy isn’t worth having.
Reprogram your mind. Start building habits that will improve your physical and mental health.
When you are physically and mentally healthy, you will find that life gets drastically better.
To quote one of my favorite actors, Jim Carrey,
Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.
Want to learn how to build life changing habits?
Make sure to check out this post that teaches you how.
I got ya, Bud.