Spend Time to Get Time: Take care of yourself to live a longer life.
We all know how important consistent exercise and proper nutrition are. By now, you have probably heard it over a hundred times.
In a study conducted between 2007 and 2008, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that over 33% of adults age 20 and over were obese.
It’s wild, isn’t it? Just to put this figure into perspective. Think about your plumber, your doctor, and your accountant. If this statistic is applied to those three people, then one of them is obese. Now repeat this process for the entire US population. It gets to be pretty out of hand. All those people live lives that are affected by obesity.
You also have to realize that these results are from over four years ago. Today, how high do you think that percentage is?
Where is the disconnection between what people know and what they actually do? It’s important to remember that people are usually more emotional than they are logical. That’s why people use excuses. If they don’t “feel” like they are emotionally prepared to do something, they won’t do it. It doesn’t matter what the benefits are.
When it comes to taking care of themselves, people say they don’t have the time. That’s their excuse. What they fail to realize is that they are actually losing time by not taking care of themselves.
A recent study looking at the effects of physical inactivity found that people who don’t find the time to take care of themselves will lose approximately 0.68 years of their life. That’s 248 days or 5,957 hours.
If you were to work out for 30 minutes for 5 days per week, it would take about 45 years to spend 5,957 hours working out. Sure, everyone thinks they have a busy schedule and they know time is a limited resource.
Before you skip along thinking you’ve justified not taking care of yourself due to your busy schedule, ask yourself which of these works better for your schedule:
- Working out 30 minutes per day
- Losing a few hours of your life every day?
I know the second option isn’t the most positive to think about, but it’s a fact of life. When it comes down to it, it truly is your choice to decide which is right for you.
If consistently taking care of yourself will make you live longer, why not do it? You also get a bunch of other benefits. Things like increased productivity, fewer doctor appointments, and better sleep.
The only two things preventing you from doing something about it are learning what you need to do and deciding to make the necessary changes.
I can’t make the decision for you, but I can give you a little help. That’s why the final thing we’re going to discuss are some actionable steps you can take.
What you need to do to hold onto your 248 days—4 steps
1. Re-evaluate how you spend your time
A lot of people use the excuse that they don’t have the time to take care of themselves. The real problem isn’t that they don’t have the time; it’s that they spend their time poorly. If you spend 3 hours a day playing video games or watching television, the first thing you need to do is change how you’re spending your time.
2. Set goals for yourself
You achieve much more if you have something to focus on. Figure out what you want to achieve and be as specific as possible. That way, you can positively know when you have accomplished your goal. Be realistic with your expectations, and be sure to set realistic deadlines that you can follow.
3. Find someone to hold you accountable
For most people, it gets more difficult to keep going the longer you have been doing something. Having someone that can give you a nudge when you start slowing down is extremely beneficial. Get someone you can count on to push you that extra step. It can be your spouse, friend, co-worker, or the neighborhood mail carrier. It doesn’t matter who it is, just get someone that you can count on.
4. Take Action Immediately
Hopes and dreams are great to have, but they’re pretty much worthless unless you do something to attain them. The single most important thing is that you take action to make some sort of change. I don’t expect you to go out and conquer the world today, but I do expect you to make an effort and take one small step. It’s time to get going.
The Lancet: thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2961031-9/abstract
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm