Contributor's Corner: The Importance of Staying Active and in Shape
Staying healthy and active should be a priority for everyone no matter how many commitments they hold. It may seem like common sense to some people, but not everyone understands the benefits of being healthy and active. Most people tend to get caught up in the “hustle and bustle” of life and forget to be aware of what’s going on inside their bodies.
This problem is classic in the realm of the college lifestyle. There are even phrases like “Freshman 15” that label the consequences of the “typical college kid”. But why is it that all across America there are kids in school who gain weight as soon as they live on their own at college?
It’s simple. It’s easier to eat junk food and sweets than invest the energy into working out regularly.
As a former collegiate athlete, I had no choice but to take care of my body, exercise and learn how to properly feed myself to have a healthy balanced diet. From my experience I will share with you a few tips on how to get started on a basic healthy lifestyle.
First and foremost, diet is the most important component of a healthy lifestyle. Consistently consuming food with “empty calories” adds up quickly and can adversely affect your health in the long run. A quick fix to a bad diet is just to add a couple more servings of fruit throughout the day as a snack and try to have vegetables at every meal. These small changes can add up to a monumental difference in your physical health. Eating with proper nutrition is like upgrading from regular to premium fuel, and your body is a luxury vehicle!
The next important step of the change to a healthy lifestyle is exercise. As I said before, it is easier to be lazy than it is to be healthy, but it IS worth it. Once you start regularly working out alongside healthy eating habits, you will be energized. While most people think they’d be tired from the exercise, the opposite is true. Your body will adjust and become accustomed to the new physical activity and you will start to FEEL the change randomly throughout the day. A staircase that used to have you out of breathe on the way to class suddenly becomes a breeze as you stride along your path. Waking up in the morning isn’t as much of a struggle. Imagine just feeling lighter on your feet in general because of losing a few excess pounds and toning a little muscle.
These are only a few of the benefits of starting a healthy lifestyle and from personal experience, once you’re conscious about making the change and hold steadfast in your decision, it’s hard to go back. I hope my insight into the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle will inspire you to make the change in your life, and remember: it’s not easy, but it’s worth it!