You’ve probably heard of a 90 day fitness challenge? However, you’re unlikely to have heard of a five year challenge. It’s simply not a sexy number. It doesn’t work for marketers or consumers. If you’re a life or fitness coach, you’re unlikely to sell more books, DVDs, or seminars pushing a number as far off as five years. If you’re signing up for a five-year fitness plan, you’re likely to slough off after the first six months because five years seems like an eternity.
Why five years? On one hand, it’s an arbitrary number, but it’s almost because five years is long enough to do almost anything you can imagine. For a child, it’s an eternity. In five extra years, they feel they can accomplish anything.
Why the focus on fitness? It’s because it will change your body from human to superhuman. You’ll go from average to Olympian. However, it’s not all about the body. Exercise can make you smarter, and this will lead to making a lot of better decisions.
5 Things to Work on Now
While it’s hard to know where you’ll be in five years, here are five things you can do to be in great shape in five years:
- Work on improving sleep habits
Sleeping too little, too long, or not deeply enough can affect you in many ways. It can result in stress, depression, and hormonal imbalance. Over time, unbalanced sleep habits will make you more sluggish and overweight. You’ll tire easily and eat more comfort foods.
Here are some simple ideas to help you sleep better:
- Avoid computer usage before bed. The bright light from your computer screen or mobile device makes your brain more alert. It inhibits the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy.
- Figure out your optimal sleep time. It’s easy to be so motivated that you sleep too little or so apathetic that you sleep too much. Once you figure out how long it takes to feel fully refreshed, stick with that schedule.
- Go to bed at the same time every night so that your body knows when to wind down.
- Avoid eating a big meal before bed.
- Make your room dark. This helps with stimulating melatonin.
- Keep your room at the right temperature, so that you can be comfortable.
- Quit Cigarettes and Alcohol
While your body may be able to tolerate these toxins now; in five years, you’ll have lost a lot of brain cells from alcohol and compromised your lung capacity.
The body can take a lot of abuse, but there is a limit, and when your body reaches it, the rate of cellular deterioration will be faster than the rate of cellular repair.
You don’t want to be dumber in five years and you don’t want to be wheezing up a flight of stairs.
Admittedly, these are not easy habits to quit, but, when you think about it, your life depends on making the right decision.
- Get Health Insurance
When it comes to health insurance there are many choices, for instance, providers like Cigna, Aetna, Assurant, etc. Some can be obtained from an employer plan, others, like USHealth Group, focus on self-employed and individual insurance markets.
- Eat Better
You don’t get immediate feedback from your body about how bad the standard American diet is for you. At worst, you may feel a little sluggish after an unhealthy meal. However, in five years, you may experience a chronic health issue like obesity, diabetes, or a weak heart. You will also have accelerated the aging process and your mental health will have declined.
Replace processed foods, refined carbohydrates, prepackaged fast foods, and delicious bakery goo with the following types of foods:
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Exercise Regularly
Your brain and your body both love exercise.
Studies have shown that even moderate exercise like a brisk walk for a half hour will improve brain health and cardiovascular fitness. Besides improving all physiological functions, exercise also reduces stress and oxidative damage from free radicals.
If you want to take it up a notch, try weight lifting, yoga, aerobics, swimming, hiking, bicycling, or martial arts.
5 Years Will Pass Anyway
One reason, however, why people don’t get health insurance is that it can be expensive. One way of getting affordable health insurance is only paying for what you need.
Imagine your life five years from now. Will you be fitter, stronger, and smarter? Will you have better relationships, more money in your bank account, and contribute more to the world? In short, will you have a better life?
If you don’t plan to be healthier and fitter five years from now, you will not be healthier, wealthier, or wiser. This is because of entropy. Things wind down over time. However, as humans, we’re actually smart enough to slow the impact of time on our bodies. In fact, in five years, you can be healthier and fitter than you are now. You may be chronologically older, but, theoretically, you will biologically younger because your body will be more flexible, stronger, and healthier.
If you find this process confusing and need a healthcare practitioner to guide you through it, USHealth Group simplifies the process of finding a primary care physician by giving a list of physicians in your zip code, a convenience which is important to get your annual checkups from the same physician.