Fitness is essential to productive living, longevity, and economically-sound retirement. Body acceptance is no alternative to getting fit, especially when letting go will put your life in danger and cost you thousands of dollars once you get a bit older. Losing a bit of weight and packing a few pounds of muscle are substantial investments that will reap the rewards via a healthy future and fewer (if any) hospital bills.
Losing weight is 80 percent diet. Sure, you can lose weight without changing your diet, but that would involve herculean effort and long periods. Merely reducing your sugar consumption by limiting your soda intake or cutting carbs can significantly improve your weight-loss efforts. You don’t need to go cold turkey and eliminate most of your regular food and drinks; that would only make you fall off the diet wagon easier. Instead, limit your consumption slowly by eating fewer carbs and drinking fewer sodas. Add more protein and vegetables to your diet to make up for the lost carbs, and you’ll soon find out that you get less hungry when you eat more meat and vegetables.
Get Some Exercise
Get off the couch and get to the gym, go out running, or do a bit of gardening. Any kind of physical activity is better than nothing. You don’t need to work out every day, even a couple of days a week is enough to keep you relatively healthy. Exercising on just the weekends reduces your overall risk of dying by 30 percent. You’ll be 40 percent less likely to die from a heart attack and 18 percent less likely to die from cancer. You don’t need to get extra athletic or force yourself to run a marathon. Just go on your own pace and keep your heart pumping and your lungs working a bit harder. If you are hesitant or unable to exercise outside, you can also do so at the comfort of your own home. Exercise equipment is readily available for rehabilitation and bariatric (obese) individuals.
Cut Down on Smoking and Drinking
Utah residents are one of the healthiest individuals in the nation, even in their twilight years. This is partly due to their outdoor culture and their tendency to avoid smoking and drinking. That doesn’t mean you have to go full-on straight-edge to become fit. Just cut down on the cigarettes and alcohol. Smoking deprives your body of oxygen, actually reducing the oxygen levels in your body. Particulates and toxins from the cigarette smoke get absorbed into your blood, constricting your blood vessels and wreaking havoc on the collagen and elastin in your skin, making your skin wrinkle and sag! Alcohol (and sodas, to a certain extent) damages both your kidneys and liver, so limit your drinks to 3-4 bottles of beer a day.
Overall, getting fit is investing in the future. Staying healthy not only makes your quality of life so much better. It also allows you to spend more of your money enjoying that life.