Are you a runner? Have you ever fallen out of running and then gotten back into it? Have you recently started running for the first time? No matter who you are or where your level of cardio is at, that first mile you run SUCKS… whether it’s the first time ever or the first time since last year’s New Year resolution! Your lungs burn, your legs gripe with aches, wondering what you are doing to them, maybe you are sore the next morning. . . But then you go out for another mile the next day. And by the next week you can run a couple miles. And you notice it’s easier – Your lungs fill more easily, you are no longer sore. Soon you are doubling or tripling your distances. One afternoon you find your stride; you feel like you could go on forever. You start coming back home from runs in a great mood – the world is your limit. Runner’s high!
But what if you had stopped after the first day because it hurt or you didn’t feel great right away? You would have missed out on all the exercise, health benefit and pride that developed over the following weeks and months. Would you look back to that person months back and encourage them to make that first mile run… or would you say nah, it wasn’t worth it? I’d put money on you encouraging them. And it all started with one decision and that first step.
After that it was just time and repetition that led your body to a better place.
Our health is the same. In each moment, you have the opportunity to improve your health by moving in a positive direction, or hurt your health by moving in a negative direction. Our lives and our health are the sum of a series of decisions: Should I eat this milky way? Should I skip the broccoli? Should I drink more water? Should I get adjusted? Should I cook at home or go out? Organic or regular? Sit on the couch or go on a walk? Each time you come to a health crossroads, think of which direction you are headed. In this moment, are you going to move somewhere positive or somewhere negative?
The awesome part about building healthy habits and choices: It gets EASIER the more you do it! The salads you used to choke down you now crave, the water you added painstakingly into your diet, you now love and look forward to! That Chiropractic adjustment you once feared now brightens your day, that run you took this morning elevates your mood despite that stressful afternoon meeting.
It all begins with that first step, followed by smart decisions. Just like your running habit, healthy eating and lifestyle choices can elevate you to a new “high”, where making more and more healthy habits becomes not only easier, but something you look forward to, can be proud of, and love. Make a good choice for breakfast, and the domino effect of other good choices will help you maintain the energy to sustain you through your evening workout. So the next time you are at the store and want to throw a bag of snickers or soda in your cart, think about trading it out for a bag of apples or ingredients for homemade bruschetta. Or the next time you complain about a stiff neck or trouble sleeping and you reach for the medicine cabinet, think about calling that Chiropractor your wife keeps nagging you to visit. It starts with just one step… but you’ll be glad you took it!