Make a Commitment
Making a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle is easy. Following through and keeping that commitment can be a bit more challenging. When you feel your resolve slipping, it can be helpful to remember the benefits you experience by eating well, staying active and taking care of your health. Here are 7 reasons to make a commitment to health, fitness and nutrition.
1) Reduce Your Risk of Health Complications
For adults, physical activity can lower your risk of: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancer. For older adults, staying active can lower the risk of falls and improve your cognitive function.
Nutrition and Hydration
When you combine physical activity with a healthy diet you’re providing your body with the nutrients needed to function optimally. A healthy diet should also include consuming enough water on a daily basis to rejuvenate your cells, flush toxins from your body and maintain proper hydration. A healthy diet can reduce your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and more.
Sleep and Stress
Managing your stress and getting enough quality sleep can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and other serious health conditions. A healthy lifestyle should also include regular visits with your healthcare team. When your physical and emotional health are well balanced the benefits can be tremendous.
2) Live Longer
Healthy habits, like those outlined above, contribute to longevity. In fact, the National Cancer Institute quotes a study…
“…which found that people who engaged in leisure-time physical activity had life expectancy gains of as much as 4.5 years” – from cancer.gov
Over the last century, we’ve become more aware of the correlation between a healthy lifestyle and life expectancy. As a result, we’re living longer and enjoying a better quality of life than our parents and grandparents did.
 A report by the Federal Interagency Forum on Ageing concluded that as of 2010 there were 40 million Americans over the age of 65. By contrast, there were only 3.1 million over 65 in 1900.
We’re not only living longer, we’re living better. 76% of study participants, 65 and over, rated their health as good, very good or excellent and more older Americans are staying active than ever before.
3) Enjoy More Of Life
Living longer means being around for the important times of your life like, seeing your kids graduate from school, get married and have kids of their own. A hundred years ago the average life expectancy was only 47! Today, the average life expectancy has increased to 78. A lof of important life events can happen between 47 and 78 and the healthy habits you establish now may help you live well beyond the average. (I guess 80 really is the new 50!)
4) Have More Energy
When you are physically active your body gets stronger and works more efficiently. Once you start moving you’ll want to keep moving and you’ll feel more energetic!
Even low-intensity exercise, like walking, can reduce your fatigue and increase your energy.  A study conducted by the University of Georgia found participants reduced fatigue by 65% and increased energy by 20% after incorporating low-intensity exercise. Researcher Tim Puetz said the findings suggest that…
“…exercise acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue.”
Think of all the fun things you could do with more energy!
5) Feel Better
With more energy and less fatigue, you’ll feel better too! In fact, your immune system will be stronger, fueled by powerful antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in your diet, and more capable of fighting off disease and illness. Regular exercise and quality sleep will help reduce your stress, improve your mood and increase your sense of well-being.
6) Look Better
Free radicals contribute to wrinkles, age spots and other signs of ageing on your skin. A healthy diet, which includes good sources of antioxidants, can help reduce the signs of ageing. In addition to drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated, exercise and proper rest will help you stay fit and looking your best.
7) Set a Good Example
Still not convinced you should make a commitment to health, fitness and nutrition for yourself? Then do it for your kids. According to recent studies, over 1/3 of all kids in the USA, are obese. Children who are obese have a 70% chance of being obese as adults. By making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, you’re setting a good example that can have a long-lasting impact on your children’s health.
Attitudes and habits formed in childhood can strongly influence a person’s future health. What can parents and caregivers do? It is critical that parents set a good example by integrating healthful habits into their family’s daily life. – from PreventCancer.org
These are just a few of the benefits you can expect when you make a commitment to health, fitness and nutrition. Adopt a healthy, active lifestyle for yourself and for those who are important to you.
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program or diet.
Links to More Information
- Healthy Eating – PreventCancer.org
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans – Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
- Healthy Sleeping Tips – National Sleep Foundation
- 5 Quick Tips to Reduce Stress and Anxiety – Psychology Today
- “Older Amercians 2012: Key Indicators of Well -Being.” Ageing Stats Federal Interagency Forum on Ageing, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. http://www.agingstats.gov/agingstatsdotnet/Main_Site/Data/2012_Documents/docs/EntireChartbook.pdf
2. O’Connor, P., & Puetz, T. (2008, February 28). Low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent, study finds | UGA Today. Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/low-intensity-exercise-reduces-fatigue-symptoms-by-65-percent-study-finds/
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