Last Updated on April 5, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
A lot of people are driven to health and fitness because of the influence of others. In the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t really matter what other people think. Being healthy and fit is a way to increase your chances of a longer life. That should be reason enough to focus on eating better and getting more activity. Here are several ways you can be a champion of health for yourself.
How to Be a Champion of Health
When you think of the term, “champion,” do you envision some Hercules figure lifting a boulder? A lot of people do. However, you don’t have to look like a body builder or a super model to embrace the benefits of good health. One of the most important of these is a longer lifespan.
So, what can you do to be a champion of health for yourself?
1. Realize You’re Being Healthy for “You.”
Health and fitness should be more driven by the fact that people could live better lives rather than being “shamed” into it. Speaking from experience, I feel incredible after losing my first 50 pounds, and look forward to how I’ll feel after the next 50.
I think anyone who jumps on the fat-shaming-train should be kicked in the junk. Hard. However, they do have a point in their juvenile rants. If you don’t take care of yourself, life is considerably shorter and eventually more difficult to manage.
2. Realize the Damage You’re Causing to Yourself
For the longest time, I would sit at my desk and pound back cupcakes and candy bars while working or playing. Little did I realize the extent of the damage I was causing to myself. Not only did I become obese, but I was also causing issues with my heart as well as my knees.
At one point, I felt that I was not going to make it to see 2017.
Everyone’s physiology is different. Not everyone can handle certain things that are accompanied by weight gain. I know many people who are overweight who can still get up and dance around like a hip-hop artist. If I would have tried that in October of 2016, I surely would have had a heart attack.
That doesn’t mean that those overweight individuals are in optimal health. The reality is that being “big and beautiful” is causing severe damage to the rest of the body. It’s like looking at a nice and new Tesla. What if you were given one and then opened the hood only to find the engine had been replaced with a bunch of drunken squirrels?
Just because it looks nice on the outside doesn’t mean the insides aren’t falling apart.
Here are just a handful of elements that I found which are affected by being obese:
- Heart Problems: This is pretty well-known and often common knowledge.
- Sleep Deprivation: Many overweight people experience sleep deprivation and apnea. In fact, I used to stop breathing in the middle of the night. I haven’t had those issues after losing 40 pounds.
- Damage to Joints and Bones: The human skeletal structure was never meant to reinforce incredible amounts of weight. In fact, studies are currently looking into how obesity is actually bad for bone development and maintenance.
- Unable to Keep Up with the Children: This has been one of my biggest fears. No parent wants to be bested by their 10-year old when it comes to things like Xbox Kinect games or outdoor sports.
- Reduced Sex Drive: Enough said.
These are only the tip of an extremely large, and often deadly, iceberg. The last thing you want is to slam into it like the Titanic.
3. Realize Even the Smallest Improvements are Worthwhile
No one is expecting you to roll out of bed looking like Chris Hemsworth or Emma Watson. Well, except for those waking up next to each respectively. Anything you do that is beyond your normal routine when it comes to health is beneficial.
Hell, simply adding a 1/2 cup of blueberries to breakfast every morning improves a ton of aspects in the body.
There’s nothing wrong with starting off slow and working yourself into a groove. Take me, for example. One of the biggest ways I avoided a heart attack in January of 2017 was simply because I increased my walks. Over time, I strengthened my cardiovascular system and no longer feel like someone is punching me in the chest all day long.
That alone is why I consider myself a champion of health for myself. I avoided a hospital vacation simply because I walk to the store to get groceries for the day.
Being able to sleep without fear of suffocating from apnea is also a bonus.
Instead of viewing house cleaning as a chore, think of it as a form of exercise. If you clean vigorously, you can burn as many calories as an aerobic exercise while gaining the benefit of nice living space. And, it will improve cardiovascular activity in the body over time.
4. Realize You Can Do More When You’re Healthy
It’s often the little things I wind up geeking out about. For example, picking up a 50 pound bag of dog food without straining myself is a nice feature. This is done thanks to a regimen of upper body work I occasionally do.
I’m not trying to be Mr. Universe, but grocery shopping is much easier to handle.
There are a lot of fun things I can do now that I wasn’t able to before. For instance, I almost forgot how much I love hiking in nature. Now I can go several miles before falling to my knees in exhaustion rather than several feet.
Do you have any idea how much money I’ve saved in gasoline alone simply by walking?
There are many things that people often take for granted when it comes to physical activity. It’s more than just being in shape or being able to fit into those summer clothes. It’s about being able to do things for yourself that accentuate existence.
Being a champion of health is essentially being a champion of your life.
5. Realize You Can Be Happier
Yes, there are many people in the world who are happy even though they are overweight. However, health and fitness has correlation for improving mood. If you’re happy now, what if you could be ecstatic?
Food is often linked to moods and mental stability. For instance, chocolate consists of various components that help production of chemicals responsible for elevating a person’s mood. In reality, there are a number of foods that directly affect how a person’s brain manages everything from happiness to memory.
Food isn’t the only thing that can impact health, either. In fact, past studies show how regular exercise also impacts your mental state.
You’ve probably heard the term, “runner’s high” in the past. This is a prime example of how the body responds to intense physical activity by making you feel good.
Being a champion of health for yourself gives your mind a chance to process information better while improving an outlook on life.
6. Realize that It’s Inexpensive to be a Champion of Health
Too many people get sucked into gimmicks and diet plans that “guarantee” a healthier body. In reality, none of these will work unless you want them to. Overall, it doesn’t have to cost you anything extra to focus more on a healthy lifestyle. In fact, you may even save money.
For instance, I’ve save a ton of money on groceries simply by portioning out my food in a realistic manner. Just by keeping the portion sizes down, my food is stretched further which means less spending at the register.
I know a lot of people will invest in gym memberships and trainers, which is good as long as you use them. However, it is possible to be a champion of health for yourself without spending thousands of dollars a year. It’s all about motivating yourself to get more out of your day.
If you don’t have the money, calisthenics can be done from virtually anywhere without requiring a dime. In fact, I have a quick workout I do that has been greatly beneficial for me and doesn’t take a lot of time and absolutely no money to invest.
It’s Your Life…
What it all boils down to is that life is yours to do with as you please. You don’t have to be a champion of health to enjoy life. However, being healthy will make an impact on how long you get to experience it. Don’t try to improve yourself simply because someone else wants you to. Do it because you want to live longer and get more out of living.