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.