We all know that we are supposed to be healthy. How many times have you been told to eat more vegetables, cut back on processed foods, and hit the gym five times a week? Even though this seems to be common knowledge, many of us struggle to make our health our priority. It can often feel like a waste of time to food prep or make time for exercise every day. After all, there are more things to do that will bring us success, right?
It turns out that that kind of thinking might not be correct. Between scientific research and real-world examples, we are finding that taking the time to be healthy is the key to success. Instead of always burning the midnight oil, we should be turning out the light and sleeping! That's because living a healthy lifestyle can actually lead to more success. And yes, that includes sleeping and eating your vegetables. Here is why being healthy helps you succeed.
What does "Healthy" Mean?
Before we begin, let's define what we mean by "healthy." A healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be going vegan or spending 2 hours in the gym every day. Instead, a healthy lifestyle means that you eat a nutrient-rich diet that is mostly made of whole foods, you get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night, and you exercise 3 – 5 times a week. Now that we know what our goals are, let's talk about how they'll help you succeed.
Gives You Energy
One of the critical features of a successful person is their high energy. They have the drive to accomplish their goals. And that is not going to happen if they are sleepy all the time. When you eat healthy foods, exercise, and get plenty of sleep, you actually have the energy to do things! You may think of people who get up at 4 am every morning to work out and assume they don't sleep. But the truth is that they can get up at 4 am because they go to bed at 7 pm! So, find what works best for you. You may not be a morning person, and that is okay. Lock into a sleep schedule that works with your lifestyle and goals and stick with it. This will do wonders for your "get up and go" mentality.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
If you want to work at your absolute peak, then you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Our brain relies on the fuel we provide to function at its best. It also must rest to recharge and prepare for the next day. When we don't eat healthy foods or sleep at night, then we're forcing our brains to work on nothing. It will need something to work, so we crave sugary foods and eat those for a boost of energy. This leads to weight gain, high blood sugar, and only temporary energy. Eventually, we'll feel sluggish and have to nap or decrease our productivity. The good news is that we break this cycle easily. Start eating more veggies and healthy fat, this fuel will give you mental clarity. Start sleeping more, and you'll see your focus and memory improve. Eventually, you'll be able to think clearly and make tough decisions easily.
Saves You Money
Yes, healthy foods cost more than fast foods. It's true. You can save money by buying prepackaged, processed foods in the short term. However, these fast foods have been proven to cause health problems. They can lead to type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. This will only lead to substantial medical bills for doctor's visits, medication, or worse, hospital visits. So, take the time to research your gym or invest in gym equipment for your home. Having quality gear will also help motivate you to exercise. The same goes for the food you eat. Eating whole, unprocessed foods will cost you a little more at the store, but if you stick to preparing your meals at home, you’ll save money in the long run.
Saves You Time
The same principle applies to the concept of time. When you take the time to prepare healthy foods, you're investing in your future. Look at your meal prep time as a chance to take a break from the grind. It's actually a necessary form of self-care. When you go to the gym, you aren't wasting an hour. You are investing in many more productive hours later in life. Finally, many of us view sleep as something for the weak. However, getting plenty of sleep is essential to good health. It keeps you from gaining weight, regulates your hormones, and keeps your blood sugar levels stable. All things that are essential for you to live a long, healthy, productive life.
Real World Examples
If you're still not convinced that these healthy habits will help you succeed, let's look at some famous people who have healthy habits.
• Richard Branson credits working out for giving him an extra four hours per day of productivity. It's his number one tip for productivity.
• Both Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, and Mark Wahlberg get up at 4 am to hit the gym. They're both more than actors now, they produce movies and own businesses.
• Oprah Winfrey takes the time to meditate for 20 minutes at a time – twice a day! She also works out seven days a week.
• Barack Obama made sure to work out for 45 minutes every day before going to the Oval office. Bill Clinton jogged for 45 minutes at least three times a week.
• Jennifer Lopez acts, sings, and dances and has her own fashion and makeup lines. She works out daily and abstains from all alcohol, drugs, and smoking.
• Bill Gates insists on getting seven hours of sleep per night. He claims he could not be creative without it.
Living a healthy lifestyle is the key to becoming successful in whatever you choose to do. It's worth it to take the time to overhaul your habits so that you'll eat better, sleep more, and exercise regularly. You'll feel better (and look better!) and be able to perform to the best of your abilities. Not only will you find yourself ready to give your all when you work, but you'll have energy left over to pursue your hobbies and spend time with friends and family. It's a win-win. So, make some changes, starting today. You won't regret it!