My Health is My Wealth
I started to develop a passion for health and fitness in my early high school years. This is what led me to pursue a degree in health and physical education because it combines my two passions: health and teaching. While pursuing this degree, I relied on a lot of motivational speeches to help keep me inspired to achieve my goal.
Listening to one, I heard a quote "We sacrifice our health in order to gain wealth then we sacrifice our wealth to regain our health" Dalai Lama. When I heard that it really opened my eyes and allowed me to see how prevalent a problem this really is in today's world. I'm a big advocate of hard work, but I'm a bigger advocate of taking care of oneself. We do, however, face a lot of challenges in today's world to live a healthy lifestyle- from cheap, easy food to not enough time to exercise. I do believe a healthy lifestyle can be attained and maintained even through all these challenges. It does take a change of attitude and priorities. I have faced these same challenges, and it has been difficult to try to live a healthy lifestyle consistently.
Coming home late from driving for Lyft after a long day of school, it became easy for me to go pick up fast food rather than to prepare a healthy meal. I believe the convenience and cost of fast food is what attracts so many people to consume this food on a regular basis. At least it was for me until I realized I had begun to feel less energy throughout the day, and I was gaining unwanted weight. It was time to make a change. This was not the first time I have made this change. I have gone through this cycle before- eating bad, gaining weight then starting to eat healthy, exercising, taking care of my health, and losing weight. This has actually been my third time to go through it. It's a cycle I'm ready to stop. I know health is a lifelong process. You don't just get to a certain place, and then stop making the choices you made to get you there. I am in the process now to try and make these choices on a daily basis forever. The biggest challenge of course is that life gets hard. It's hard to make those decisions when there is a five-dollar meal waiting for you down the street-no cooking needed, no dishwashing needed. Just pay five dollars to get the combo and go on about your night. It is a lifestyle that I'm diligently working to maintain because while convenient is it really worth sacrificing my long-term health due to being lazy. I do envision a country where we can go get that five-dollar combo but it will be fresh fruits and veggies. Right now this is not the case. The fresh fruit and vegetable salad is going to cost you at least twelve dollars, and that adds up.
This is a problem we face, but I do believe healthier choices are beginning to become less expensive. Another side, I believe, to living a healthy life in today's world is physical activity. The Center of Disease and Control recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity daily. This has been something I've enjoyed since a very young age, and I have for the most part been able to maintain consistency with an exercise routine. The challenges remain though. I believe part of the problem stems from a lack of knowledge and enjoyment of activity. Physical activity doesn't have to be torture. In fact, it should be something you enjoy. Something I want to be able to do in my life is to get more adults to find an activity that not only gives them physical benefits, but also something to enjoy whether it be tennis, running, swimming, or cycling. There are so many activities that can be done to get in the recommended amounts of exercise. I believe a lot of people think that you have to go to a gym to exercise, and that just simply is not the case. The other big challenge is obviously time. This is something that needs to be looked at creatively. I believe there are options out there to be able to increase activity while at work. Maybe go for a walk on your lunch break, or start a fitness class for colleagues. As a future teacher, I hope to not only teach my students the importance of health and physical activity, but that I can also lead by example and have after school fitness classes for other teachers. This can accomplish two things. One is the time aspect- why not just get a thirty minute exercise right after work. Secondly, leading by example so that students can see the importance of maintaining activity throughout our entire lives.
The last area I would like to write about on taking care of yourself is mentally. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. In my opinion they are both equally as important. You could argue that mental health is more important. This is an area that is important to me because I have seen kids and adults commit suicide while suffering with their mental health. In today's world, especially with life being go-go-go, it's sometimes easy to forget to breathe. Breathe and take the time to be in the moment. For example, try to realize that stressing about that bill is not doing you any good. That exam on Thursday that is making you lose sleep is only an exam, and it's not even here yet. So much stress and worry causes poor mental health and so could be avoided by being present in the moment. I have to remind myself of these things daily and will continue to try and practice daily self-care with, not only, my nutrition and physical activity, but also with my mental well-being. This is a subject that I have a sincere passion for because too many people are suffering from diseases and illnesses that could be avoided with lifestyle changes. I believe this is a change that can only be made by each Individual person. However, it is my plan to make this knowledge available to the people around me, and hope that they apply the knowledge to live healthily in today's world. Finally, healthy living is an individual journey, but having support is critical to success. I know making lifestyle changes is not an easy task, but my hope is that I can continue to make these necessary changes as well as help people around me and all around the world to make these changes as well. At the end of the day, our health is our wealth.
Editor's Note This essay was submitted by a student who is applying for the SupplementRelief.com 2020 Health & Wellness Scholarship. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of SupplementRelief.com. Nothing should be considered medical advice nor is a physician-patient relationship implied. This essay content is intended to be entertaining and hopefully informative but ONLY YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional. The student's name has been withheld to protect their identity.
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