Big Returns on Habits of Health
When we talk about new insights into the importance of particular Habits of Health, the medical community has the tendency to talk about the negative consequences of ignoring that facet of health. For example, if you don’t maintain your Habits of Healthy Motion, you are likely to gain weight and open the door to the plethora of challenges associated with diabetes.
As you work to transform your health and spread Optimal Health in your community, framing the total value of a Habit of Health in terms of what you gain is far more meaningful. In other words, think about what you gain, not what you lose. You’ve likely heard me say this with regard to reaching a healthy weight—it’s not about losing pounds; it’s about gaining a new lease on life—but the sentiment extends to every aspect of health.
One you make one positive choice, the rewards ripple throughout other areas of your life. When you turn those choices into a Habit of Health, you in turn begin to solidify other mini (at the time) Habits of Health. This means that even the smallest step toward Optimal Health produces a wealth small returns that might not be immediately visible but will add up over time. While the relationships between Habits of Heath are numerous, creating an intricate overlapping web, these few simple examples should help to illuminate the potential of these ripples:
- Exercise is good for sleep. When you live an active lifestyle, your body is more likely to welcome a restful night’s sleep. Your initial focus might be on motion, but you are also improving your Habits of Healthy Sleep, which are also critical.
- Restful sleep helps to prevent overeating. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, the chemicals that regulate appetite can become overactive, leading you to eat more than you really need. Once you start sleeping better, sticking to your fuelings will be easier.
- A balanced diet gives you more energy. When you regularly consume nutritious, low-glycemic foods you will feel less sluggish throughout the day, which is critical for getting your workout in. Binging on greasy, unhealthy foods can leave you feeling lethargic and sap any interest in being active.
Getting the idea? The Habits of Health are full of these cascading rewards. Yes, you will eventually need to master each individual Habit of Health, but knowing that you are making progress on all fronts with every step forward might help you to see and harness your own momentum. Take your health one choice at a time and be proud of every positive step you make. You’re covering more ground than you might realize!