10 Reasons To Be Healthy While You're Young - Now, Not Later

10 Reasons To Be Healthy While You're Young - Now, Not Later

Starting your health journey now can have major payoffs later.
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Being healthy can be an afterthought for many people in their teens, twenties, or even thirties. It doesn't help when you add a busy schedule and greasy, cheap food that is readily accessible only a hop and skip, or a drive and park away. Add the fact that you're ballin' on a budget and you can pretty much assume the recipe for disaster will be ready to come out of the oven.

This being said, I tried to come up with some genuine reasons and benefits of being and staying healthy while you're still young. Some of them are pretty obvious and straightforward, but some may be new things to consider the next time you have to make that decision between a greasy hamburger and fries, or a hearty salad with grilled chicken. And let's be real, you're allowed to spoil yourself every once in awhile. I am the last person to reprimand someone for enjoying their food.

1. More energy for now and later

It won't normally be a sudden burst of energy when you first start working out and eating healthy on a regular basis, but you will gradually notice that you have more and more unexplained energy. And we all could use more energy in our everyday lives. After you get over that little bit of mental and physical soreness that comes with getting accustomed to eating healthy and working out, you'll feel that extra kick that you need to get you through the day. If you start to live a healthy lifestyle now while you're young and have more energy, it will be so much easier than trying to start it later on when you're older and more set in your ways.

2. Improve your health for the future

If you get in the habit of being healthy now, it will put your body at a lower risk for health problems and possible diseases later on, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Remember, skinny does not mean healthy just as a little extra fat does not equate to being unhealthy. There's so much that goes on internally in your body that is affected by what you eat and how often you are working out. Once you reach a healthy equilibrium within your body, it will function more and more like the fine-tuned piece of machinery that it is meant to be. #beastmode

3. It becomes a force of habit

After you've made yourself follow a schedule that is healthy for your body, it will become such an unconscious effort that it won't require mindful consideration. It essentially becomes a lifestyle and no longer as much of a chore. You become so accustomed to eating certain things and not throwing away your diet and great workouts for a few minutes of greasy satisfaction. You start to become proud of who you are and how far you've come.

4. It can provide you with more confidence

You start to look at your body and yourself in a whole new light. It becomes a work in progress that you're always striving for. It keeps it interesting for you and you can go shopping or wear that old tank top with confidence! Not to mention, you get to pride yourself on how far you've come when you show up to your next high school reunion, or when you show up to your job on a daily basis with more confidence in the way you look.

5. You will feel better and more refreshed

Since you will be consistently replenishing your body with proper nutrition and the right kind of calories along with working out on a regular basis, you will notice that your body will be able to do its normal functions with a lot more ease. Racing up the stairs to drop off your groceries so that you can get to your appointment on time? No problem. Your skin will thank you for allowing it to insulate itself by breaking out in a sweat and getting rid of those nasty toxins in your body. Add on a couple more years and your skin and body will tend to reflect your healthy eating habits and lifestyle, making you feel and look younger.

6. You tend to gravitate towards healthier habits

You become so accustomed to being healthy that you get on a certain schedule of eating certain foods and working out that you focalize your day on it. It becomes the fabric of your days that you plan around. Therefore, you tend to do other healthy things that can optimize your newly acquired healthy habits, such as drinking more water to stay hydrated and going to bed earlier to get that extra sleep you so desperately need after that hard workout. If you set yourself up for a healthy schedule now, it will be so much easier to do the same later on when you're thrown into the middle of a busy career or whatever life may throw your way.

7. You meet positive people with similar interests

Once you get yourself in a healthy schedule, you tend to surround yourself with people that are supportive or have the same kind of healthy habits. You normally end up making friends or spending more time with people that are also interested in being and staying healthy. They will likely gravitate towards that new salad bar rather than hitting up that new bar down the way for drinks after you've both put in a good two hours at the gym. These will likely be some of the friends that you will carry on with you as you try to figure out this crazy thing we call life.

8. It pays off on your mental well-being

Working out can be one of the greatest stress relievers you can experience. It allows you to take all that stress you have acquired throughout the day or week and vet it towards something more helpful than just being frustrated. Being able to take all that stress out while you run, lift weights, or do yoga can allow you to peacefully release all that steam. The less stress you have now while you're young will have huge implications on your overall standard of living and mental well-being later on. If you can find a healthy way to release that stress now, it won't be such a hassle in the future when new issues and things hit your schedule.

9. You attain greater willpower and mental ability

It honestly takes so much self-discipline and mental strength to consistently eat healthy and workout on a regular basis, especially in the beginning. But the more and more you exercise these habits, the more it will become second nature and will likely pay off in the future. You will be able to tell yourself, as much as I really want those cookies at the end of the day, I really don't need them. That in itself can be super challenging, but so much of it is mental. If you are able to get yourself into a healthy mindset on a daily basis, it makes all the difference on your thought process and daily habits for now and in the future, which also allows you to become stronger mentally.

10. You become a positive role model for family and friends

You did it! You forced yourself to be healthy and you're sure proud of yourself for it. And so are your friends and family. By proving that you can do it, you show them that they can also make steps towards bettering themselves and their own lives. You become that role model for people and therefore become a positive influence that people like to surround themselves with. Become your own superman or superwoman!

Happy and healthy living is the best kind of living. Remember, you only have one body; might as well take good care of it.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Mitchell

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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PSA: Talking About Your Emotions Does Not Make You Weak

No matter what you are going through, you are strong.

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I've always been afraid of being weak. I don't mean weak as in I can't pick up that box kind of weak but rather emotionally weak. My number one personal rule growing up has always been to never let anyone see me cry, and I've done a pretty good job of not breaking it. Even at my lowest points, I've always managed to put on a smile and act like everything was fine in front of other people. For some reason, I mistook showing any form of emotion as being weak.

I recently came to the realization that my "rule" growing up was absolutely ridiculous. As a result of bottling up all my emotions, anger and stress would build up over time. I often found myself getting irritated over little things because internally there was so much going on.

A few weeks ago, I found myself breaking down in the backseat of my friend's car for what quite literally seemed like no reason. I couldn't even pinpoint why I was upset. For the first time, my friends witnessed me crying. My first instinct was to be embarrassed. My face turned bright red and my stomach started churning when I realized my friends may perceive me as weak. But they didn't. Instead, they talked to me about what was going on and reminded me of how strong I was.

I know that I'm not alone when I say that talking about my feelings makes me feel weak. We live in a society that looks down upon being vulnerable. People are constantly brought down for talking about how This is an issue that affects both boys and girls. I've seen girls get called dramatic a million times for simply opening up about how they feel. Boys get attacked and made fun of for crying or being emotional which makes no sense because it is a completely normal thing!

Talking about your emotions does not make you weak. In fact, being able to talk about your feelings is a sign of strength. It takes a lot for a person to truly be able to open up and get personal with others. As a society, we need to stop shaming people when they are most vulnerable. Everyone has emotions and they are part of what makes us human! If we lived a life without showing our emotions, we would all be robotic. Quite honestly, it would be a pretty boring life.

It is OK to open up and talk about how you feel. It's time to stop being afraid of telling people the things that are bothering you. If you have a hard time opening up to people, remember that they are your friends for a reason. Your friends are not going to judge you or make fun of you for opening up, and if they do they are not your real friends. They are on your side and there to help you through things. That's what friends are for. Don't be afraid to open up and remember that you are strong!

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