-By James Kettle
When talking about health and lifestyle, I like to begin with an analogy of hypocrisy.
When I was very young, my father gave me a very expensive car. He had one condition: that I maintain it myself. Over the next several years, I went against my father’s demand and used the cheapest fuel on it, overused it, never cleaned it, and never took it to the mechanic. Obviously, the once-beautiful vehicle quickly turned into a damaged, practically useless hunch of metal.
Does this story make you mad? Does it make you cringe? Does it make you think about how stupid I am for not taking care of my car? The thing is, I was never given a car. Instead, I was given a body. A car is a car, and it can be replaced. Your body is irreplaceable; you get just one shot with it. Every action you do has its consequences. The food and drinks you consume, the activities you engage in, the tobacco you inhale… everything will catch up to you.
As college students, we think we are invincible. We believe we are able to go on intense drinking benders all throughout the weekend and then proceed to deprive ourselves of sleep for several days on end doing countless readings. We eat processed food out of convenience, we do not move enough, we do not get our vitamins, and ultimately neglect our health in its entirety. It might feel as though you are doing fine regardless… but you will not be 20 forever. How you age is dependent on your habits and lifestyle.
This may sound as though there are too many rules to being healthy. This is far from the truth. This is an opportunity to take control, as you are the only being who decides what to do to your body.
After reading this, don’t feel pressured to revamp your entire life. Just focus on the habitual actions, the small things you can do to improve your body. Go on longer walks, drink more water, smoke less… The changes can be small, but they are changes nonetheless. Don’t go on fad diets, don’t set a 10-mile run as the objective of your first jog session, and just try to incorporate small changes in your life. Your future will thank you.