“Good health is true wealth” isn’t just some insignificant platitude. It’s undeniably significant. A high quality of life is largely correlated with good health.
“Health is like money. We never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” -Josh Billings
If one improves their health, their quality of life will follow. I’m a firm believer of that, not only from witnessing the changes to people I’ve known and coached, but because I’m also a living testament to it.
In early 2014, I hit the lowest point in my life. For the prior three years, I had spent most of my time drinking, smoking, partying, playing video games incessantly, and eating fast food for nearly every meal, basically ruining my body. Eventually, I became a college dropout, broke, depressed, and broken-hearted because I had gone through a rough breakup at the time.
My terrible decisions were catching up to me. With no money to support my unhealthy habits, I woke up one afternoon completely sober, walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror at my fat, out-of-shape body. A feeling of disgust, disappointment, sorrow, and many other negative emotions came over me, as this was the worst I had ever looked in my life. I looked and felt miserable.
I gave myself an honest, yet brutal, assessment.
I knew I had to change, as I couldn’t take life getting any worse. The first place I knew I had to start was with my body. I took a picture because I knew this was going to be the last time I was going to look like that.
Within just a few months of working out and dieting, I was able to make a massive turnaround. For the first time in years, I finally had the confidence to take my shirt off at the pool. I got back into school, started playing more gigs with my band, and started dating again.
As I continued to focus on my health, life continued to get significantly better. Eventually, I graduated from college, got a job as an engineer, started a business, began dating an amazing woman, and placed in bodybuilding contests. Getting my health right provided the foundation for my success.
Here are 9 reasons why your health is of the utmost importance in regards to your quality of life:
1. Prevents Disease and Illness
Regular exercise and a healthy diet strengthen the immune system and the cardiovascular system. This can help you to reduce inflammation, free radicals, and the release of toxins associated with disease and infections. Both stave off hypertension (caused by high blood pressure), help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of diabetes.
Personally, I have only been sick maybe twice in the last 5 years. Before I began exercising and eating right, I got sick much more frequently.
2. Heightens Energy Levels
Your body is an adaptive machine. Whatever you do frequently, your body will adapt to and become more efficient and effective at it. So as you continue to eat a healthy diet and push yourself in the gym, your body will make the necessary adjustments to get better at all of it. This includes getting stronger, lasting longer, and going further. Every physical activity will be easier because you are pushing your limits.
3. Enhances Mental Performance
Because you are improving physically, you will have more capacity to improve mentally.
Where the body goes, the mind follows. Physicality equals mentality.
You’d be surprised what your body can tolerate. It’s often that our minds don’t think we can take more than we really can. So as you push yourself further physically, you are also exposing those new limits to your mind, pushing yourself further mentally. This includes your focus, critical thinking, comprehension, communication, and ability to learn as well.
4. Reduces Anxiety and Depression
The body provides the environment for the mind. If the body is filled with toxins, inflammation, stress hormones, and the like, then it’s not going to be able to function at its full capacity, because its main priority will be to rid itself from all of the mess. This means the mind won’t be able to perform at its full capacity either. But if your body is clean and healthy, then the mind can be clean and healthy.
Working out improves nerve cell connections in the hippocampus, which can help to relieve depression. A nutritious diet also gives the body the necessary materials it needs in order to build those connections.
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. It also has been found to work just as well as medication for depression and anxiety. Even regularly exercising can greatly reduce the effects of anxiety and depression over time.
5. Boosts Confidence
Research has shown over and over that a healthy lifestyle can significantly increase your self-esteem. Exercise can put you in a positive state of mind and make you feel accomplished in the short-term. But in the long-term, these healthy habits can make you feel good about who you are, your physique, and your abilities.
These positive feelings can spill over into other areas of your life. This can create positive momentum elsewhere, which can create a positive feedback loop.
Eventually, I became confident enough to step on stage and compete. It was one of the most rewarding moments of my life, because I put so much into it.
6. Extends Lifespan
Developing and sustaining healthy habits can actually extend your lifespan. Not only has it been proven in studies, but it just makes sense. If you compare your body to a car, the body needs regular maintenance just like a car does.
The better you take care of it, the longer it will last you. And, the higher quality you will have in those later years. That will matter to you and your family.
7. Costs Less
This one is not as obvious as it sounds. Of course, healthy people don’t get sick nearly as often and don’t get as sick as unhealthy people. So by being healthy, you’re definitely saving yourself some money by keeping medical costs low.
But what about the money that you’re leaving on the table from not performing optimally?
Your low performance could cost you clients, sales, promotions, raises, or any of the key performance markers that matter to your success.
8. Increases Attraction
When you’re healthier, you look better. Your clothes fit better. You’re happier. You’re more relaxed. You look and feel more confident.
Because you have a positive perception of yourself, others are more likely to see you that way as well.
Frankly, if you look good with your clothes on, there’s a better chance that you’re going to look good with them off. Not only that, but you’re showing that you take care of yourself and that makes you more appealing. If you show that you care for yourself, it’s likely that you can have that same care for another.
9. Improves Sex
Last but not least, sex is better. And who doesn’t want better sex?!
It’s a physical activity. So when you are in a healthier physical state, not only will your performance improve, but you and your partner will enjoy it more.
When your endocrine system isn’t wrecked, you can be more hormonally optimal. This means you won’t experience sexual dysfunction and your orgasms will be amplified. When you’re in a healthy state, you can be more assured that you’re bringing something good to the table.
When you’re healthy, your life has more potential. An improved physical state allows for an improved mental state, which allows for an improved emotional state.
That allows for an improved experience, entirely.
In my situation, my success in the gym spilled over into my success in school and in my work. All of that success spilled over into my relationships. Every accomplished goal gave me a taste of success that left me hungry for more. I just followed that hunger.
I hope this gives you a hunger for more for yourself in health, and subsequently, in life.
If you need help with achieving your greatest body, go to my coaching page and send me an inquiry. I’d be happy to help you.