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Your Health Matters, and Fitness Can Help

By July 19, 2017Motivation, Move

If you hang out with other fitness-minded people, you’re probably used to a frequent exchange of killer workouts and green juice recipes. If you get into that health bubble enough, it can even be hard to remember that not everyone lives that lifestyle. In fact, if I listen around campus, I hear people joke all the time about their unhealthy lifestyles.

“I’m 22. I know I should be in the best shape of my life, but I can’t stop smoking, drinking, and eating Easy Mac.”

“Same, honestly.”

No judgment from me. Really. Processed foods are designed to taste good, and for many, smoking and drinking are social activities. Friends are important to your health, too, and I’m not suggesting you ditch them exclusively for people who go spinning at 5am and eat bowl after bowl of roasted veggies. But maybe take your Easy Mac and add some carrots on the side.

fitness fit in Maybe you go for a drink with your friends after you take a yoga class together. Maybe you go for a walk instead of taking the subway every time. It’s not about overhauling every area of your life. No, it’s about finding little ways to make the life you love healthier.

And you’re never in too ‘bad’ of a place to start.

“Wow. I just got winded taking a shower because it was more activity than I’ve done in weeks.”

“Do you want to go to the gym with me?”

“Nah, I’m too out of shape.”

It can be hard to change your routine. And if you think everyone else knows what they’re doing, you’re dead wrong. Going to the gym can be scary.

You also don’t have to go. If you feel too out of place there, go for a walk. Go rock climbing if that sounds more fun. Or, ask some fit friends to help you out. Even if they aren’t experts, they have a little experience and will probably be happy to help you on your health journey.

You don’t want to go it alone; health can be intimidating. If you aren’t the person who hits the gym regularly and meal preps religiously, you might feel put off because it seems like a lot of work. I get it. Even though I am that person, sometimes it still gets to be overwhelming. That’s what happens when you try to do it all.

But here’s the thing: You do not have to do it all. You don’t even have to do a lot. Well, really, you don’t have to do anything. Still, I hope you do. Not for me, but for you – and your future self.

Confused?

We don’t always do a good job of emphasizing why fitness actually matters. A lot of the time it seems like we are blindly chasing #bodygoals or the next PR. We want to run faster, lift heavier, and get leaner. 

health matters battle ropesWhat if you could forget all that? I want you to try. Not because being fast or crazy strong are bad goals; sometimes they’re great.

Rather because at the most basic level, fitness is about health. It’s about making your quality of life better – and speed, super strength, or a low body fat percentage can’t really accomplish that.

But the extra steps you take to live a healthier life might. Strength training a few times a week might make moving out of your apartment that much easier. Eating fresher food might make your skin clearer or boost your energy. Going for a walk might just make it more enjoyable to run around with your dog.

health run with dog

Your health is not a joke and it matters way more than your physique – and you don’t have to make huge changes to improve it. A little fitness goes a long way.

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Author Ellen Slater

Ellen is a second year economics major at the University of Chicago, and she is originally from Columbus, Ohio. Her favorite things include writing, hockey, Ohio State football, tea, Diet Coke, photography, cooking and baking, yoga and running, and food and fitness in general. She talks a lot about all of these things on her blog, My Uncommon Everyday. She considers herself a connoisseur of pizza, nut butter, and dark chocolate.

More posts by Ellen Slater