Most of you know how to keep your body healthy. We’ve been told since childhood to eat right, brush our teeth, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Knowing these is not enough, however. Simply knowing what to do rarely motivates us.
What does help is understanding the consequences of not following these pieces of advice? In other words, when we understand what negative lifestyle choices can do to us and our bodies, we’ll be more motivated to make a change.
Negative Lifestyle Choices and the Factor Affecting Your Health
Imagine a person — let’s call her Sally — who knows how to take care of her health, but decides not to. She eats whatever sounds good in the moment, without any regard for eating a balanced diet or watching her sugar or fat intake. She doesn’t exercise, never takes the stairs or walks to the park, and feels that portion control is overrated. Though she has many friends, her main form of entertainment consists of staying our late and binge drinking. She rarely gets a good night’s sleep. How does Sally feel on most days?
She likely feels tired, sluggish, and easily frustrated. Though she has many feel-good-right-now moments, Sally probably notices that she is tired and weak most of the day. She probably misses more days of work than is good for her career. And because she pings between the two extremes of being over-tired and partying all night, she never makes deep connections with her friends or leaves time for self-improvement activities, such as reading. Pretty soon, her life seems stuck in a rut.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
By contrast, imagine what would happen if Sally started making some healthier lifestyle choices:
- A balanced diet and proper portion control would help her feel more energy during the day, fights colds and infection, and help her control her weight.
- A regular exercise routine would slowly increase her strength and stamina, not to mention make her feel more alert and productive. Simple physical tasks would no longer seem so demanding.
- With her overly social lifestyle traded in for an early bedtime on a quality mattress, Sally would feel more refreshed and renewed each day instead of tired and frustrated. She would likely connect with her friends and family on a deeper level, leading to more intimate relationships.
- With more energy and less time spent “recovering,” Sally can take a few minutes each day to work on herself. She reads more, learns more, and takes break here and there to enjoy the little things in life.
At this point, Sally has missed less work, and her time at the office has been more productive. Together with her reading, she becomes successful at her job and finally earns that promotion. She also celebrates — in moderation — with friends and family who truly care about her.
As we can see, there is no one bad decision Sally makes that causes all of the stress in her life. There is a series of bad choices, and each one reinforces the others, making it more likely that Sally will make more bad choices. On the other hand, were she to make good choices, those choices would likely reinforce each other, making further good choices easier.
Stress, Sleep, and Your Health
So, where does one begin? Making any healthy choices is a good start...but you may need to begin with habits that are easy to change and that have far-reaching consequences.
Sleep is one of these areas. Getting to bed an hour earlier each night, without the distraction of TV or games, can seriously help you feeling alert and well-rested. What you “lose” in awake time, you will more than make up for in increased productivity during the day. Good sleep also helps you handle stress better. Because stress can have serious effects on your health, you’ll find yourself feeling better and making fewer trips to the doctor’s office.
Besides time spent sleeping, quality of sleep is important. This is where a high-quality mattress can be a big help. It's a simple investment that can have many long-term ramifications for your health. At Banner Mattress, we care about your quality sleep and put a lot of emphasis on the quality of your mattress. We've taken the hard work out of mattress shopping for you. Download this eBook to learn the ins and outs of mattress shopping: