Now Is the Time to Appreciate Healthy Habits

As a high school student, it may seem like you don’t have much responsibility beyond getting good grades. Of course, you already know that it’s important to get regular exercise and eat healthy. However, it might seem like you’ll have plenty of time to figure out those responsibilities when you get older.

Not quite. Believe it or not, the choices you make in high school are laying the foundation for the rest of your life. If you have trouble motivating yourself to be active now, it won’t get easier when you’re in college. And once you’re out of college, balancing the early years of your career and financial independence, it will seem impossible to cut out time for workouts at all!person jumping

If you hate running more than a short stretch and think “healthy” food tastes like cardboard, you might be thinking about leaving the rest of this article unread. It’s never fun to face the fact that you won’t be young forever. But keep reading, because there’s good news: Even though you can’t avoid getting older, with the right nutrition and exercise, you can keep feeling young. Choose bicycling over video games, and in 20 years when your friends who sit around all day are complaining about aches and pains from daily inactivity, you’ll be wondering which obstacle course challenge to run.

It’s easier to pick up healthy habits if you look at your body from a new angle. Imagine you’re an engine. You can either consume the right fuel and run at peak efficiency for years and years, or you can consume sugar and gum up the works. At first, approaching food as fuel might leave your taste buds feeling bereft. However, you’ll soon be very satisfied with how much better you feel in general. It won’t be long until you can’t imagine eating junk food more than once every couple weeks.

Sticking with the engine metaphor¾if you don’t drive a vehicle regularly, it’s much less likely to run well. Lubricant congeals and important parts get stuck in place. You don’t need to overwork yourself, just start with a solid 40 minutes of heart-pumping cardio three times a week. Don’t worry about “making progress.” That’s a good way to get discouraged. Just focus on sticking to a routine and putting in a serious effort. Before long, it won’t take any energy to motivate yourself because you’ll have developed a habit!