A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

Sit mens sana in corpore sano./

One often overlooked asset that you badly need in order to be productive (or sometimes just to be) is your body. If you get ill or die, your performance may drop dramatically.

Maybe one of the reasons so many people neglect their health is because it takes quite a long time to collect enough damage and notice that something is wrong. One can lead a sedentary life, eat too much bad food or overeat, smoke cigarettes, and nothing bad happens overnight. Now, imagine that you are 20 years old and in rather good shape. Add 15 more years and the very next day your teeth and skin are bad, you can’t breath after climbing the stairs up to the 3rd floor, and you find it difficult to bend and tie your shoe laces. I’m sure anyone would panic in this situation. Usually, this happens very gradually. It would take, let say, ten or twenty years and every day you lose just a tiny bit from your health.

The care for your health is definitely a Q2 activity. It is important, but it doesn’t seem urgent.

With reference to evolution, humans need to move a lot. It’s not natural to be sedentary for long periods of time. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent diseases such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. It also improves mental health and helps prevent depression and insomnia. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive functioning.

At the same time, excessive body weight is associated with various cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. As a result, it reduces life expectancy.

It is not only the matter of life expectancy that is at stake here but also the quality of life. It feels great to have your full range of motion, to be able to climb a flight of stairs, or to run to catch the bus with ease. These are some of the things that most of us were able to do at some time in our lives. Personally, I’ve found that it’s so much easier to learn to ski, to ice skate, or to discover a new skill once you are in good shape. Being physically fit also allows me to enjoy some outdoor sports like mountain biking for example. Some people may think that the flexibility and the joy of movement and sports is a childhood hallmark, but that’s not true. Sports are not only for professionals either.

If nutrition and physical activity have profound effects on human health, then, why are they so often overlooked? I mean, what is more important that you and your health?

Now, go and put some physical activity on your calendar. Thirty minutes of brisk walking, 5 days a week is a good start. You can also go to work on foot or by riding a bicycle. There are lots of physical activities that you can do aside from what I have already mentioned. 🙂 I’ll cover some of my workouts and results in a future post so stay tuned.

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