When people choose to pursue a healthy lifestyle, it’s often for the reasons you expect. A sexier body, better health, and longer life are all common goals that people pursue. They’re the most obvious benefits you get from making sacrifices in diet, exercise, and personal habits.
But while these are the most obvious perks, they’re not all you get. Below, we’ll list some additional benefits you gain from leading a healthy lifestyle, and discuss some ways you can use them to your advantage.
You Become a Role Model for Other People:
Never underestimate the level of influence you can have on someone’s life, and how your actions can inspire the actions of others.
A study by the Behavioral Insights Team proved just how much power a role model can have. They studied 11,000 low-income and less-privileged high school students nearing university age who weren’t likely to attend university. They sent two letters of encouragement from university students who came from the same background to a portion of that 11,000. Three times more students from the group who received letters submitted applications to universities than the group that didn’t.
By leading a healthy lifestyle, you can be a living testament that inspires others to get healthy. This is particularly true for your children, who Psychology Today said model their behavior after their parents in 63% of cases where they admitting to having a role model.
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It Could Lead to a New Career:
Through your healthy living, you’ve no doubt picked up plenty of great tips about exercise, dieting, and building mental resilience that allowed you to succeed. Why not put that expertise to work for others and make some money at the same time?
There’s plenty of career options you could choose from. Minq.com reported that the best jobs for health expertise include:
- Dietician or Nutritionist
- Yoga Instructor
- Massage Therapist
- Personal Fitness Trainer
If a normal office job isn’t your thing, you could also consider doing some private consulting or blogging to share your health expertise. Either option would yield you a decent wage, and neither is hard to get started in. You just need set up a domain, build your website, upload your credentials, and you’re ready to start making a difference.
An Improved Memory:
We live in a world that’s constantly on the go, and when your livelihood depends on your ability to recall information quickly, you can’t afford to let your mind slip. Whether you realized it or not, your healthy lifestyle actually has the ability to improve both your long- and short-term memory.
Why is This the Case?
The Harvard Medical School explains that memory is based on three separate processes: encoding, recording, and retrieval. You receive information during the encoding phase, store it during the recording phase, and then pull from your memory banks during the retrieval phase.
Most memory loss is the result of chemical imbalances that occur when we hit our 50s. These imbalances impede the three processes at varying degrees. A healthy diet and exercise can help to slow and prevent these chemical imbalances and improve our cognitive function.
You Can Recover from Injury and Illness Faster
Though you may not have known about it, a healthy lifestyle actually encourages faster healing than an unhealthy lifestyle. There are several causes for this.
Bone and Muscle Density
When you exercise even as little as little as 180 minutes per week, you can have a huge impact on the rate that bone and muscle regenerate after injury. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in a study group of women, two sessions of resistance strength training a week over the course of a year not only prevented bone loss but actually helped to improve bone density.
It Decreases Swelling and Inflammation
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help you heal faster by reducing the amount of swelling you experience. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the UltraWellness Center, inflammation is the underlying cause of nearly all long-term ailments.
Inflammation can be measured in a build-up of C-reactive proteins (CRP). When your body reacts to an injury, it begins to generate a higher degree of CRP in order to overcome attributes like poor diet and a lack of exercise.
People who maintain an active, healthy lifestyle typically experience smaller build-ups of CRP. This results in less swelling, faster healing, and even less pain.
It’s Always the Right Decision to Make
These are just a few examples of some of the hidden benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I could name more, but you get the idea. The most important thing that you understand is that leading a healthy lifestyle is always the right decision, for all of these reasons and more.
For the chance to inspire others, grow a marketable skill set, and recover quickly from injuries, a regime of diet and exercise is always worth the sacrifice. You can’t put a price on health, and you can substitute it with money, a nice house, or a great marriage. It really is the safest investment that you can make.