Updated: Oct 20
While understanding the benefits of a healthy lifestyle is straightforward, embodying these principles daily is where the challenge often lies. The crux of this challenge? Motivation!
It's simple to acknowledge the virtues of good choices, but it's the motivation to act upon them that tends to waver. Let's face it, life is bustling with work, errands, household tasks, and familial duties. Amid these demands, making the healthiest decisions can sometimes fall by the wayside. For instance, amidst a hectic day, we might find ourselves reaching for that convenience store snack rather than the nutritious meal we initially intended.
Exhaustion too plays its role. After a taxing day, the allure of a cozy couch often outweighs the thought of a rejuvenating jog or bike ride. And while it's completely natural to feel this way, the key lies in balance and gradual change.
I'll be honest – I struggle with these choices daily. Perfection isn't the goal, but consistent effort is. Instead of being overly critical, we should become aware of our patterns and strategically plan. Incorporating small, gradual changes can make a world of difference. If regular exercise isn’t your forte, aim for short sessions twice a week. If fast food is your Achilles heel, prep with an array of healthy snacks. Contrary to popular belief, healthful choices can be both delightful and tasty.
It's also essential to dispel the myth that everyone else seems to have it all together. You're not alone in your struggles or your quest for better choices. Celebrate each small victory, and soon enough, making healthier choices will become second nature.
The merits of a healthy lifestyle are profound, offering resilience against many ailments. Our daily choices, compounded over time, shape our overall well-being. So, as you reflect on your journey towards healthier living, remember: it's never too early, never too late to refine and reorient your decisions for a more vibrant and wholesome life.
Cherish your body, treasure your mind, and honor your choices.
Domenico Praticò, MD, holds the position of the Scott Richards North Star Charitable Foundation Chair for Alzheimer’s Research and serves as a Professor and the Director at the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple, as well as a Professor of Pharmacology at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.