It is difficult to know what is most important in life. I find myself trying to re-arrange my priorities often and trying to figure out what is really the best use of my time. Some people put work, family, religion, or helping others first on their list. Honestly, it makes sense that everyone has a different thing at the top of their list because we all want different things from life. But I think we should all start moving health closer to the top of that list, because it will help us achieve everything else we want in our lives, whether it’s massive financial success or just being their with your children for as long as possible. Hear me out.
No matter what you do, you are putting some amount of strain on your body in some way every day. If at work you are required to spend any amount of time doing something physically straining, or even just standing or walking for hours every day, that will start to put some wear on your body. Maybe you have a desk job where you sit for hours, this will start to put massive amount of strain on your back and neck even if you have the nicest chair and perfect desk. Even in photography where it appears we do not exert much physical effort, at the end of a long wedding day or travel shoot, we are often sore. We also have a tendency to edit for several hours on end which can leave us with sore necks and backs unless we do something about it. On top of these physical problems, there are tons of emotional and psychological problems we develop from work that do not just go away by ignoring them.
We tend to keep ignoring them, because life is busy. Eventually we have sore backs that make us want to just sit around, weak muscles that make seeing the great outdoors or even hanging out with friends exhausting, and foggy minds that make being happy and thinking clearly difficult. But for some reason instead of treating these problems we just drink more coffee and take some pain medications so we do not have to think about them. Eventually these medications will cause side effects from overuse, and our bodies will fall apart from not being taken care of. Then the next time you want to go for a hike with a friend, you keep putting it off because you know you are not as agile as you used to be. One day your family member may need your help moving or maybe even a more dire situation, but you no longer feel able to come and help. Walking up the stairs to your office becomes almost impossible, you start to hate the way you look in the mirror, and eventually only The Bachelor re-runs and ice cream make life worth living. This is no way to live, obviously, and it is not the route you have to choose.
I know for younger people like myself it may be hard to imagine a time when their bodies gave out on them or let them down at any time. Younger bodies appear to be able to compensate for almost any amount of lost sleep, bad diets, and consumption of questionable substances. However, older readers will know much better that your body won’t always be able to just make it work with whatever we provide them.
Through simple things like stretching, going for walks, and playing your favorite sports, you can give yourself a lot more energy that will not only make life more fun, but it’ll make you feel like yourself again. In my blog posts after this I am going to talk a lot about keeping up with fitness physically and mentally in ways that anyone can do, because I had to figure out how to do it with a tiny bit of money and a little bit of time. – Christian