Last Updated on September 27, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
Have you ever thought about the small changes you make today may promote greater changes later? Aside from a cult classic movie, the Butterfly Effect is a concept that essentially encompasses this idea. While I think people take the concept way too far, I can see how it will directly affect health and fitness.
How the Butterfly Effect Works
In a nut shell, the Butterfly Effect is theorized by the changes which may occur from the simple flapping of a butterfly’s wings. These alterations essentially create a snowball effect to modify the slight movement of air currents. Eventually, it could lead to something like a tornado or hurricane.
This is the broken down version of the effect and is all theoretical. Mathematically it’s sound, but there is no solid evidence to confirm or deny the claim. And being able to foresee the future regarding certain decisions isn’t practical simply because of the number of variables between now and then.
While I don’t think these kind of changes will have that much of an impact on weather, I know from first-hand experience they alter health and fitness.
Vitamins and Minerals
The human body requires a specific balance of vitamins and minerals in order to maintain itself. Throughout history, scientists have discovered how certain elements improve specific aspects such as vitamin C to improve immune systems and calcium to strengthen and repair bone matter.
What happens when you don’t get the vitamins you need on a regular basis? Although you’ll probably not drop into a pile of goo, it will affect your lifestyle. You’ll be more likely to suffer from various illnesses, may be more susceptible to certain types of cancer and diseases and may even have difficulty maintaining concentration.
Health and fitness doesn’t stop at your outward appearance. While many of us relish the idea of looking like an underwear model, it’s the inside that really counts. Proper nutrition directly affects everything from internal organ function to processing information within the mind.
Let’s take sodium, for example. Humans need salt to regulate internal fluids, transmit impulses from the brain and even development and use of muscles. However, too much of it can easily lead to cardiovascular problems over time.
Pouring the salt on your stake now may very well be increasing the likelihood of developing heart disease later in life.
The Way You Eat
A lot of people in society are grossly overfed, especially in the United States. For instance, fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell convince us that a $5 meal deal is a good price. Unfortunately, it also contains a vast amount of sodium, carbs and calories. But we buy it because it’s cheap.
Like the adage goes, “You get what you pay for.”
The Butterfly Effect is very apparent in eating habits. It’s perhaps one of the most notable aspects of health and fitness. It’s quite common knowledge that eating half of a buttercream frosted cake is going to lead to severe complications in the near future.
Changing how you eat will affect your lifestyle now as well as in the future. For example, the first 20 pounds I lost were due primarily because I started eating less food in general. Instead of nearly three-quarters of a pizza, I limited myself to two slices. Instead of two packages of ramen noodles for lunch, I eat one.
It’s small adjustments like this in your meals that begin to affect your body almost instantly. It doesn’t happen by mere coincidence, but more of scientific fact. By practicing proper portion sizes, I was able to drop a lot of weight relatively quick.
Another example is how some children behave and focus better in school if they have enough protein in the morning.
One of my favorite health activities is setting personal records and working to beat them. For instance, I started this journey only able to do eight push-ups. I geeked out pretty hard when I was able to whip out 22. But, I wouldn’t be able to set that record if I skipped out on specific exercises.
Every push-up I do today will improve my ability to beat my record tomorrow. It’s why athletes train and why many of us try to exercise as much as possible. It’s all about improving physical abilities for the future.
In this instance, the Butterfly Effect is demonstrated through routine activity. If you stop working out for a few months, your abilities diminish as the body has no use of bulk that isn’t being used. Essentially, your body cannibalizes itself by shifting proteins and other elements to other areas.
If I want to ride in Pedal the Plains next year, I need to start working on stamina today. Don’t focus on how an exercise makes you feel right now. Keep in mind the affects for future use. Personally, I find it fun to lift heavy objects at the grocery store or climb a hill without getting winded.
How does the Butterfly Effect impact your love life? Probably more than you realize. And I’m not just talking about physical appearance, which plays a major role – arousal.
For men, being out of shape and obese like I was makes it difficult to say, get in the mood. When the blood flow and stamina just isn’t there, it’s not going to happen. In other words, prepare for a disappointing night and heightened sexual tension between yourself and your partner.
Being healthy and fit impacts a wide scope of your love life. Here are just a handful of things you may not have thought of before:
When you lack confidence, you’re not going to score well with a lover.
- Poor self-worth
A lot of people who have low opinions of themselves are often ashamed of their bodies. It’s a very unattractive feature.
- Heart conditions
A lot of people face heart problems while in the throws of passion. While some of these are genetic issues, you might be amazed by how often it’s caused by poor health; speaking from experience.
I’m not saying that obese people can’t get it on or don’t have fun when they do. However, poor health makes it less possible. If you think you’re an outstanding lover now, imagine what you could be if you were healthy and fit.
Preventing Illness and Injury
Proper exercise and diet has basis to prevent illness and injury. In reality, you make your body more resilient to damage of all kinds. From fighting off Alzheimer’s disease to taking less physical damage in a car accident, health and fitness are key.
This is one of the reasons why health insurers cover preventative costs. The more healthy you are, the less you pay. That’s because you’re less likely to become sick or break a bone and less likely to file a claim against the insurance company.
How you treat your body today impacts illness and injury tomorrow. The more effort you put into this practice, the stronger you become in almost every way. You may even find yourself being social, joining city sports leagues and having a great time while meeting your significant other.
And that’s really the crux of the Butterfly Effect in health and fitness. The decisions you make today may lead you down a path full of opportunities that are life changing. It begins a chain of events that happen over time altering your life in ways you may not see today.
It All Starts with Effort
While it may be unlikely that your health may lead to a world disaster, you never know what kind of small changes can make the difference. Every decision you make unfolds an endless number of possibilities. What if you lost all the weight you wanted, filled yourself with confidence and found yourself running for president?
Sometimes even the most unlikely of scenarios can unfold before you all because of a single decision. It all begins by putting in the effort to be healthy and fit. Don’t assume you’re unable to do something in the future because of your position today. It can change in an instant.