“Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”
A constant mantra of mine is: “How bad do you want this?” In my own workout routines and nutrition goals I so easily get sidetracked. I lose motivation.
I lose perspective and drive. I become so tired. My goal might be far off in the future, but with each moment in life I must ask myself how bad I want it. Life is full of trade-offs. Some choices have effects that are not realized until much later in life while others have almost instant results.
The problem that we face in life is that we want it all. We do not like making choices, especially when those choices avoid instant gratification. It is easier to think short term than long term. Keeping options open allows you room to breathe. The problem is we cannot have it all. Having it all leads to frustration and disappointment. I encourage you to be confident in your decisions, to appreciate the trade-off. When it comes to exercise there are several things to consider about exercise.
Time. Exercise takes time. There are limited hours in a day and time can become scarce. Time spent exercising can mean less time spent on work, school, family, television, children, or a fun night out. Time is the ultimate trade-off. The bright side is contrary to what you might think exercise can help increase productivity, help you live longer, and reduce your health care costs.
Increase productivity. Adding exercise to your daily routine can add a sense of accomplishment and give you more energy. A recent study by the University of Georgia concluded that a low intensity exercise routine like a 20-minute walk can increase energy levels by 20 percent and reduce the feeling of fatigue by 65 percent.
Live longer. Staying physically active can help increase longevity. As little as 120 minutes of exercise a week can add 4 years to one’s life. The University of Michigan found that women who were physically active and ate fruits and vegetables in the diet survived longer than those who did not. Regular exercise into the golden years can also increase the quality of life. Older adults who exercise are happier and reduce the likeliness of developing Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases.
Reduce health and prescription costs. It is estimated that $130 billion a year is spent on health care costs related to inactivity and obesity. What is your share of that number? How much do you spend on weight related diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes medication, heart disease? Increasing activity along with changing your diet can reduce or eliminate the need for certain prescriptions and other related health care costs.
Contrary to what you might think exercise can increase productivity, help you live longer, and reduce health and prescription costs. Are you willing to make time for exercise? Make the trade off? Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.
Phillip Cox is a personal trainer, exercise enthusiast, and Army veteran. For feedback, questions, or to get individual coaching email him at email@example.com.