People think I'm crazy. They think I am missing out on lot of delicious foods and exercising a lot. Really I'm just a guy who is trying to eat sweets only occasionally, not drink anything sugary, generally eat minimally processed foods and no fried or fast food, and I try to exercise at an intensity that pushes me to get better every day. Why do I do that? Why should you do that?
It's easy to not care about your health when you are young because you generally don't feel pain, you don't have to go to the doctor for anything serious, and you want to live a little before you're old and can't do anything "fun" anymore. I get that. But would you believe me if I told you that the decisions you make now in your youth affect the quality of life you will have 10, 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years from now? Picture your body as an attractive, clean, high performance car like a Jaguar or a BMW or something. The car will last you a really long time if you clean it inside and out regularly, service it every few months, and don't drive it where it is not designed to go. But if you never wash it, trash the inside, and drive it off road all the time, then you can expect your car to not last as long and get really expensive to maintain.
Your body if very similar. Our bodies are absolutely amazing. They are designed to run smooth and adapt to all kinds of different things so that you feel good for a long time. But, like the car, if you don't treat your body well, it will eventually start having pains and problems. The problem is we can’t fix and replace parts easily in our bodies like we can a car. Once you really injury something or develop a chronic condition, it is tough to manage and your quality of life decreases. So what are things you can do now and keep doing to make sure you have the best chance of a good quality of life when you’re 60?
Eat things that will promote your health. This means to get proper portions and choose the less process food before the processed or fried foods. Regularly eat a variety of fruits and vegetables with your meals every day. Keep from overeating and eat foods that are known for their nutrition value.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. Regardless of what your fitness goals are, everyone needs to exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of low intensity exercise such as walking at a faster than normal pace, climbing stairs, easy cycling, or slow swimming. If you want to do a little higher intensity exercise such as running, fast swimming, cycling, weight/resistance training, calisthenics, or playing sports that require sprinting then get at least 15 minutes per day. Mix it up with both but keep moving. Your heart and your blood pressure will thank you and it will help you to maintain a better physique. If you get involved in any sort of sport or develop a hobby of something like trekking it will be super easy to do this daily activity with a community.
Do resistance training. This can be weight training or calisthenics. Whichever you choose, giving your body resistance to motion helps to stimulate bone health. Your youth is the most important time of your life to build up your bone structures, especially for women. Resistance training has proven to be very helpful for people of all ages (even 60 and 70-year-olds) to improve their quality of life because it builds some strength that makes normal daily activities easier.
Get on a regular sleep schedule. The average person spends one third of his or her life sleeping. That is the average. Sometimes I feel like youth are trying to beat the average by staying up all night and never sleeping. This causes unnecessary stress on your body that makes you age faster and get sick easier. Try to get at least 7 hours in one stretch every night.
Cut down on the alcohol. You only get one liver. Alcoholism is a factor in many chronic diseases later in life such as obesity, liver disease, diabetes, and even heart issues. It’s not bad to have a drink, but try not to make it a daily occasion and save the buzz for rare occasions. There are many other ways to have fun!
I could go on and on with tips, but these are some of the most important things that youth can apply these days. We all want to be healthy when we are old and we don’t want to be forced to use a walker or a wheelchair. We want to play with our grandkids and pick them up. Apply these tips for life and your body will thank you later in life and keep running smoothly into old age!