My sister shared with me an interesting quote yesterday, I think she got it from her financial advisor, who was emphasizing the importance of living a healthy life now… and not in the future. So many people will say that they’ll get healthier later in life, when they have more time. But, the quote went on to say that “health is your greatest wealth” and it’s so very true.
What’s the point of looking forward to retirement, if you aren’t going to be healthy enough to enjoy it? And speaking of that, why spend your life wishing you were almost retired… why not enjoy what life brings you today and live in the moment?
It sounds silly, but remember when we were in school and we learned about the hierarchy of needs?
At a very basic level, it’s at the bottom of the pyramid to take care of your physiological needs –> plus, health is on the second level as well. I feel like in today’s overly-connected world, we spend way too much time in the top two sections of the pyramid and sometimes forget about taking care of our selves at the very basic, foundational level.
I spent the majority of last year trying to figure out how to focus on that. It felt like I was being super selfish, but honestly, it’s necessary. Obviously I had the whole running/exercise thing down, but there was a lot more lacking. And over the course of the year, I learned a ton about what it means to actually take care of yourself.
So, that being said, how can you make health your greatest wealth?
Find your exercise passion. It’s different for everybody and while I would love to tell you that if you run long enough, it’ll turn into yours, that’s probably not true. Maybe you really like yoga, or golf is your jam. Whatever it is, find what gets you moving and active… it doesn’t have to be high intensity.
Evaluate your food choices. I think it’s safe to say that the food you eat has a bigger impact on your health than the exercise that you do. Not saying that exercise isn’t important, but there’s a reason they say that abs are made in the kitchen.
I will never be someone that restricts the food that I eat, but instead, focusing on portion control has completely changed my perspective. Knowing when you’re hungry/not hungry makes a huge difference… and it sounds like it’s something that we should already know. But, I used to eat as a way to pass the time, console myself if I had a bad day… whatever. Knowing that and preventing it goes a long way.
Drink more water. All of these articles keep popping up that say “She drank a gallon of water a day, see what happened.” I’ve written about this in the past (here and here), but drinking more water has obvious benefits. Clears up your skin, flushes your body of toxins, keeps your muscles happy… it goes on and on.
Get more sleep. Super obvious one because I feel like it’s in everything that I read, from training for a marathon to improving your life in a general (here’s an article with more insight if you don’t believe me). I don’t think that everyone needs the same amount of sleep (I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, less is definitely better and I have this annoying thing where I wake up at the same time every day). But, figure out how much you need and make sure you are giving your body that.
Do what you love. Find a hobby or something that keeps you challenged, engaged and interested. It’s easy to waste SO much time watching TV or surfing the internet, but what is that really doing for you? Probably nothing. Back to the hierarchy of needs —> this goes a little higher, but it will give you so much happiness to find something that you love to do and spend time doing it.
Do you think health is your greatest wealth? What are you doing to stay healthy?
Any other tips to share?
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