Prioritize health in your life

Exercise, sleep, relax, hydrate, and avoid skipping meals

I pulled my back over winter break. It was one of those moments I would’ve forgotten if it hadn’t happened; I was just passing my break like usual. I had been sitting at the dining table, with my knees pulled up to my chest, just relaxing and talking to my family. But this put me in pain for a week. I couldn’t walk—each step sent a jolt up my cardboard back. I couldn’t sit or stand in one position for too long—I would start cramping up more than when I moved. I couldn’t focus—I was taking pain relievers like a 40-year-old. For that matter, I had to take them to sleep; otherwise I would roll around, uncomfortable in every position. When it was all over, I was finally able to walk away, though with a greatly shifted perspective.

Growing up, I felt like I would live for eternity. When I was only a few years old, days passed one at a time, and my parents were easily my age many times over—they were dinosaurs. But they were invincible dinosaurs… or so I thought. The combination of past years, watching my parents grow more wary (avoiding the best foods on the planet, exercising, more frequent doctor’s visits), and pulling my back disillusioned me. Now, it is very clear to me that the quality and span of your life is reliant on your health.

Consequently, I find it upsetting when people don’t pay more mind to it. I wouldn’t quite say I’m disappointed in our generation, but we should take health more seriously. Say whatever you want: #yolo, #newyearnewme, or #treatyoself. Your body stays with you your whole life, and if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. A word of caution to my peers: we may be young, but health is a privilege. If you were born without any health conditions, you’re one of the lucky ones. And, I don’t know about you, but I plan to keep it that way.

If you’re with me, here’s a list of my personal health goals: intake three meals/liters of water a day; sleep at least eight hours a night; get enough sunlight and fresh air to feel refreshed; exercise to keep your muscles strong enough to avoid injury; de-stress by listening to music, watching TV, or doing whatever you love; and seek logical, artistic, emotional, social, and vocal stimulation as you feel necessary. It may be a bit late for a resolution-esque notebook, but here’s to a healthy, and therefore happy, 2017!