We all want to be healthier, but why does a healthy lifestyle matter to you? What’s your real purpose? Your reasons must truly motivate you.
One of the most read articles on this website is why is a healthy lifestyle important. For me personally as a fitness instructor and once an owner of a chain of gyms I’ve always realised the importance of a healthy lifestyle but I’m not sure I’ve really appreciated why does a healthy lifestyle matter until now.
Having been physically fit and healthy for most of my life it took a period of seriously bad ill health following my two retinal detachments to make me really appreciate why does a healthy lifestyle matter.
Life changed dramatically while I was both coming to terms with my severely limited eye sight and slowly adapting to the changes. It totally knocked me and I believe due to the limits it placed on me physically my health spiraled out of control. I couldn’t train in the gym. So I went from 6 days a week exercising to virtually nothing for two years. And with the limits places on me around the kitchen my diet went from very healthy to being dependent on microwavable processed foods.
The consequences were awful. Incredibly high blood pressure which on a regular basis skyrocketed requiring many visits to emergency rooms in hospital. An interactive thyroid. Low testosterone levels. Difficulty breathing. Back problems due to my birth defect of a double curvature of the spine that had always been kept in control from my workout regime now being allowed to deteriorate. All in all my health was truly dictating my life. I was constantly backwards and forwards to the doctors and various consultants. I was on 10 medications and 2 inhalers. I got to the point where I was spending more time being prodded, probed and examined by medical people than I spent with friends.
It took the birth of my Grandson to make me begin to make the changes necessary to bring about improvements in my health. It was this event that really showed me why does a healthy lifestyle matter.
No longer would I leave the fate of my health in the hands of doctors. Instead I chose to make adjustments myself that would potentially help to restore myself to good health.
I wanted to be part of his life as he grew up.
They say wisdom comes with age. What could be wiser than choosing vibrant health through making changing to ones way of living through a healthy lifestyle.
One of the biggest changes I made was choosing a healthy, plant based diet which was a huge change in what my standard diet had been like through my entire lifetime. In fact I had long believed in the power of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet through eating plenty of meat, chicken and fish. They now package this type of diet as Ketogenic. But this diet did nothing when I went back to it to help restore my health. Only once I went plant based did huge improvements come about. Nobody who knows me well can believe I now no longer eat any form of animal product, but for me the transition was easy. This was simply because my motivation was so strong. I was no longer prepared to accept constant ill health nor the feeling that I was over the hill nor looking past my prime, aging badly.
I wish I’d learnt what I now know when far younger. I have no doubts I would have avoid the nightmares of ill health and its incredibly painful consequences. But what I know is it is essential to find the true empowering motivation that will make you keep going no matter how difficult the changes may be. It requires finding reasons that mean a great deal to you. Knowing it is important is not enough, wanting it more than anything else, because it matters, is essential. Only with these deep felt motivators will a healthy lifestyle matter to you.
What is obvious to me now is that many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many others are often the result of lifestyle choices over many decades. A plant diet can reduce the odds of getting many of these diseases. Make no mistake about it, our standard diets promote a long list of health problems, such as clogged arteries, diabetes, digestive disorders, gout, constipation, cancer, and obesity.
But for anyone to try this a healthy lifestyle must matter. No longer must you be asking why does a healthy lifestyle matter, instead you must know the reasons and hold these close to your heart. You’d think avoiding the above diseases would be sufficient but it often isn’t.
They must really care for very personal reasons when they say to themselves “What choices can I make today to help bring about good health tomorrow and in the future?”
Health is undeniably our most valuable wealth. You can dare say it’s as valuable as life itself.
It’s your source of income. Without it you can’t work.
You rely on it to enjoy a full life.
To see your children and grandchildren grow up and develop, to be there for their greatest moments depends on your health.
Your health is very much dependent on your lifestyle choices.
Good health only comes from having a good healthy lifestyle.
So that is for many of you the real reason why does a healthy lifestyle matter.
In the twenty plus years as a health professional I’ve seen many goals people have to get healthy, lose weight, burn fat, get beach ready, have more energy, all of which are great goals, but none are powerful enough to make you stick with a healthy lifestyle and the necessary choices for the long term.
Your reasons are the purpose behind why your health matters. They are what will keep you on course to live your best health. Of course you’ll have tough days and fall off plan, we all fall off plan, your “why” is what gets you quickly back on it.
Start asking yourself “why do I really want to live a long and healthy life?”
Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open. B.K.S. Iyengar
A Cornell University study “When Do Gain-Framed Health Messages Work Better Than Fear Appeals?” found that you respond better to positive health messages than negative ones.
Positive health messages are classified as “gain-framed” because they are based on gaining something positive as the result of your actions.
For example, “Eat plant based and you’ll live longer, see your children grow up, fulfil all your dreams” would be “gain-framed.”
Saying, “Don’t eat plant based and you’ll face many chronic illnesses and die earlier than you should,” would be a negative “loss-based” message.
You will be best more motivated by positive reasons for why a healthy lifestyle matters than fear-based messaging.
Get digging and find your empowering, positive reasons!
Perhaps share your reasons here in the comments so to commit to them.
Does a healthy lifestyle matter to you? Of course it does, but why does it for you?
This is Larry Lewis