It should come as no surprise to you that health is among our top priorities and motivators. From seeing the affects of stress and working for most of your life to discovering the many health issues that runs in our family. We have come to realize, even more so in the past few months, that our health is nothing to take for granted. It’s something we need to be proactive about now while we are still fairly young and before it’s too late. We wanted to go over some of the key aspects of the importance of health and why it is so important to us.
The Importance of Health
Health is one of those things that can be shoved down your throat. Want to lose weight? Try this new keto, paleo or Atkins diet. OR try this new skin patch, along with a slew of other things to put into or on your body. Want to look 10 years younger? Try this new face mask along with a witches brew of tea. It can be as complicated as a Rubik’s cube, or as simple as tying your shoes.
A person’s weight is typically seen as a determining factor of health. If someone is overweight, the assumption is that they are not holding their health to a high importance. If a person is rail-thin, they are seen as a healthy. However, most of the time, that’s not an accurate judge of health. You cannot assume a person’s health by just their weight. Yes, it can be a contributing factor to their overall health, but not their whole picture of health. An overweight person can be actively losing weight and be in the best health of their life, but it may not appear that way because people are so quick to judge by appearances.
Weight is something we are careful to keep an eye on. Not to the point of being obsessive or having a disorder, but it’s one of our measurements of health. We have both been in periods of ‘bulking season’ and being lean, so we know how our bodies feel in different weight phases. When we have been at our highest weights, we felt like shit. Our bodies were carrying around more weight than our bodies were used to. So there was more of a strain on our legs and ankles. Our heart and organs were having to work harder to keep our bodies going. It’s not just about appearances for us, it’s a concern for our overall health because it affects every part of the body.
Exercising a Healthy Weight
Our weight is controlled not only through our diet, but also through exercise. We exercise and stay active to maintain our weight but also for our general health. We can easily say that we spend frivolously on gym memberships and occasionally supplements. While we love getting in a good workout, we also like to walk whenever possible. Walking has so many benefits like improving balance, increasing endurance, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease, and so many more. The walkability of Cyprus has been something we have really enjoyed. Most everything is within walking distance, and it’s an easy way for us to be active, while also spending quality time together without distractions. Biking is also an easy way that we love to stay active and get places faster, but we haven’t biked since we’ve been to Cyprus…yet.
My grandmother is extremely overweight. It has been a culmination of a number of things over the years. Her inactivity and diet led to weight gain, which leads to further inactivity and weight gain. It is a vicious cycle that’s hard to watch. This cycle has led her to confinement in a wheelchair in her kitchen, where she spends every moment of her day, except the bathroom, and the bedroom only to sleep. Seeing the life she lives has been a motivation to keep being active, eating well, and living a healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t mean yo-yo dieting down to some “goal weight” only to gain it all back. Create a lifestyle, and stick with it.
Brain health is another major area of importance when it comes to health. The brain is potentially the most important organ. It holds memories, tells the body what to do, and the driving force behind you and your daily actions. My grandfather has developed dementia over the past few years, and it has been really difficult to witness. It is a motivation and wake up call to take action now to preserve, protect, and stimulate brain health. Below are some ways we practice mind health on a daily basis:
- Mind to muscle connection or hand eye coordination – This occurs every time we exercise. We are making the mind to muscle connection through every exercise we do in the gym. Hand eye coordination is stimulated through certain exercises as well. It can be practiced through boxing, burpees, or even bringing a wine glass to your lips. We’re getting plenty of reps of the wine glasses, but only red wine…because it’s heart-healthy. We’ve been doing a little more hiking than we normally do here in Cyprus, and that has tested my eye-foot coordination to keep from hurting myself.
- Memory – Our memory is improved every day by doing something that is intellectually stimulating. We have conversations that revolve around what we did the day before or a few weeks ago. We are also trying to get in brain-healthy foods like dark chocolate, healthy fats, whole grains, berries, and cruciferous vegetables.
- Learn new things every day or testing things you’ve learned before – One of my daily goals now that I’m no longer working is to keep learning new things. While I don’t have a job to constantly keep my brain occupied (and stressed), it’s important to keep my brain active by learning new things every day. If there is not an opportunity to learn something new, it’s the perfect chance to test something I have already learned. For example, when learning a new language, practice words that you have already learned, along with new words you might learn.
One Day at a Time
This is a reminder that health is not a one and done thing. It takes time and dedication, much like the path to FI, but it’s also shown through every decision that is made. Healthy does not look the same for everyone. When it comes to health, it can be overwhelming with all of the information and details out there. Take it one day at a time, and know that the same things don’t work for every person. The importance of health should not be taken granted because we only have one life. Why not make it the healthiest and longest life possible, while also feeling as good as possible. If you’re interested in converging health and finances, check out our article on 9 Fitness Side-Hustles.