Are we getting less healthy?
More and more studies are showing that the generation of Americans under 40 is not as healthy as past generations. This is not only counter-intuitive but downright unhealthy. How can we reverse the trend? We don’t move enough at work. The reality is that many of us sit behind a desk all day. This is still a fairly new phenomenon. What we call “white-collar jobs” are an invention primarily of the 20th century, and our bodies are still in rebellion. The only real answer if you are a desk jockey? Get up! Perhaps make sure you walk for 5 minutes every hour, or maybe your boss will provide you with a standing desk. Whatever you do, commit to it! It may even make you a more energized and better employee.
We don’t move enough at home. The internet (now replacing the TV) is largely to thank for this one. We’re obsessed with the magical world that lives in the computer and all of its news, games, entertainments, and yes, even work. Make an effort to close the laptop and open the door!
We are afraid of the doctor. This one’s tricky. The main reason why young people don’t see the doctor enough? We can’t afford it. With so many Americans uninsured or under-insured, the thought of getting a check-up can be terrifying. The fix? It depends on where you live but most places have clinic options for those who don’t qualify for insurance and some even offer financing plans.
We don’t sleep enough. A lot of this comes back to that computer again. Turn it off. Don’t consume alcohol or caffeine before bed, and try to relax.
We work out for the wrong reasons. It can feel like exercise has become more about prepping for bikini season than building a strong heart and body. Wanting to rock a swimsuit isn't a bad thing, but it can lead to body image issues, and it can actually make work outs harder. Having finite goals at the gym are helpful for some people to maintain a routine, but they can backfire. As an experiment, try forgetting the scale or the tape measure and just work out for fun.
We aren't having enough fun. When we were kids, we didn't have to “work out” for exercise We played sports, games, and just ran around. Let’s get back to that. Let the time you set aside for exercise or relaxation be a time when you swing open the front door and say “let’s play!”