As most people know and are sad to admit (myself included), many things that taste amazing are terrible for your health and cause a lot of damage when you eat them. Sugar. Wheat. Alcohol. To name a few. It takes effort to exercise discipline, to not always eat everything you want to eat.
Grabbing and devouring everything that tastes good is the path of least resistance.
It is also the path to lower overall health, weight gain, and more disease.
The healthiest people tend to say “no” to certain things that, in their minds, they would like to eat. Maybe they’ve already eaten a piece of chocolate, so they say no to the cookie. Yesterday they didn’t eat super healthy, so today they say no to everything that’s bad for them.
Did they splurge and eat a weird slice of cake on Saturday? They stay away from desserts for the next few days.
This is what it means to be healthy. Make well-thought-out decisions. Be aware of what is happening in your body (and when). And not always say “yes”.
They Focus (Most of the Time) on the Big Picture, Rather Than Right Now
If we all focused on the now, we’d probably never get it right, because we’d rarely be in the mood. The couch, which is more attractive, would always win.
We always ate the cupcake and donuts and never said no.
We would give up standing since sitting is easier.
We’d be drinking all night, who cares, and it’s only one night (although it’s funny how it happens again the next weekend…and then the one after that too).
You get the idea.
Creating and maintaining excellent health often means looking at the big picture of what you want, rather than impulsively living in the moment.
They Exercise Every Day (or, Nearly Every Day)
According to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition:
“Adults need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve their health: aerobic activity and muscle strengthening.”
A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week is recommended. That, combined with two days of strength training per week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following two examples:
Brisk walking (also known as moderate cardiovascular activity) for 150 minutes each week (that’s 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) and muscle-strengthening activities (also known as weight lifting) on 2 or more days a week for all major muscle groups work.
Jogging or running for 75 minutes each week (intense cardio) and muscle-strengthening activities (weight lifting) 2 or more days a week that work for all major muscle groups.
Choose one of the options above. Better yet, choose the most difficult and challenging one. Do this every week. Even when you don’t feel like it. Because he has a bigger, long-term picture in his mind of wanting a fit, healthy, healthy life.
However, make a conscious and stronger choice and consume things that help fight the disease. The healthiest of people know this, that food and drink will promote maximum health and therefore a longer and more vibrant life.