Living LifeWise is a regular column provided by LifeWise Ambassadors – LifeWise employees whose healthy choices are helping them live better lives. Today’s column is provided by LifeWise Ambassador Aaron Reid.
In a perfect world, none of us would need any convincing to work out and stay healthy. The big reasons to be healthy are ones we all know: If you’re healthy, you’re likely to live longer. You’ll feel better, both physically and mentally. And you’ll feel better about yourself overall. However, this isn’t a perfect world, and those big-picture considerations often aren’t enough to keep us motivated. I find my desire to live a long life trumped by my desire to fill my mouth with reconstituted meats of dubious origin and my desire to feel better about myself gang-tackled by my desire to play video games until 2 a.m.
Instead of trying to find motivation through long-term thinking, perhaps it is better to look at more immediate considerations. What are the “right now” reasons to stay healthy? I thought of a few.
Everybody needs to open a jar now and then. Occasionally, somebody might even ask you to open it for them. Maybe it’s because they really can’t open it, or maybe they just want to give you a chance to feel good about yourself. Either way, you want to be sure you can open that jar easily, with minimal grunting. The best way to do that is by surrounding your arm bones with beefy, corded musculature.
Stopping Criminal Activity
Nobody thanks you for the half-block you chased after a purse snatcher before you had to let him go to stop and catch your breath. Just sayin’.
Unfortunate Wilderness Events
Ever had to run from a bear? Fight off a cougar? Those are the kinds of situations you may encounter when you live in the Pacific Northwest, where a picturesque but potentially life-threatening hike is only a short drive away. In those situations, you don’t want to find yourself wondering if a few more hours on the treadmill could have helped you put some distance between yourself and a grizzly, or if a few more preacher curls at the gym might have given you the strength to keep that cougar’s slobbery mouth from descending onto your face.
A run-in with a swarm of mosquitos is a more common, but no less extreme, example. After all, they want nothing less than to suck the blood right out of you. You might think it’s enough to walk more quickly or break out into a leisurely trot, but it isn’t enough. The only way to elude a swarm of mosquitoes is through a sustained, full-on sprint of at least 1 mile. That takes serious cardio. If you have small children with you, you’ll also need the physical strength to carry them for the duration.
These are just a few things you and I should consider when deciding how to spend our spare time. Staying healthy isn’t just about what might happen to you in the next 10 to 20 years. It’s about what might happen to you in the next 10 to 20 minutes too.
Aaron Reid is a lifelong non-athlete, husband, and father of two. Aaron lives in Tukwila near a nice running trail with rabbits, most of whom have never seen him. He began running in 2012 and ran his first 5K that same year. However, his most impressive fitness accomplishment is that he has been sucking in his stomach from the age of 12 to the age of 38. Living LifeWise is a part of Aaron’s quest to one day enjoy running and have washboard abs. Meet Aaron and hear more about what Living LifeWise means to him on the LifeWise Health Plan of Washington YouTube channel.