In lots of previous blogs, I have talked about health as an investment. As it turns out, learning to manage your health is a lot like learning to manage your finances. If you start young, you can afford to make mistakes.
You bought concert tickets without having enough money in your checking account? Well, mom and dad will cover you, just this once! You ate a whole pizza for dinner, and haven't exercised for a week? Well, your high metabolism will cover you, for now!
But eventually, these backup resources run out, and mistakes, or just plain bad luck, can become a serious problem. So whether it is personal finance, or personal health, the younger you start investing in yourself and your future, the better off you'll be.
Just like a savings account, it is better to add a little bit, very regularly, than big lump sums only once in a while. It's about creating a habit that you will stick to, and eventually not even need to think about.
So how do you develop good health habits now, when you're young? (P.S. If you're not young, sorry for getting to you so late! But tell your kids or grandkids!)
It's all about discipline. Health culture in America is going through a "fad" phase, where the newest foods, exercises, or training plans are used today and forgotten tomorrow, because we're all looking for the smallest time commitment.
Well, savings accounts don't fill themselves.
Practices like Tai Chi, meditation, stretching, and medium physical activity, when done on a daily basis, are the best things a young person can do to ensure their health in the future. Find something you enjoy, and stick to it. Don't set health goals for yourself when you are young, because that means you are already looking to reach a point where you are done! Instead, just commit yourself to enjoying the activities themselves. It may take some searching, but there is something out there for everyone.
You never appreciate having money in the bank more than when you don't have any, and you'll never appreciate good health more than when your health starts to fail. So start developing those good habits now!