NutritionIt seems like anywhere you turn now of these days there is some type of health warning. This could be hazardous to your health or excessive exposure to that could be detrimental. It’s almost as if living is dangerous in itself, and the warnings are so cumbersome that they may sometimes leave one feeling defeated and helpless. “What’s the use of trying?,” some people think, while others may decide that they are going to do whatever they want since everything seems to have an associated risk anyways. Many people give up before they even begin to live. They possess a defeated mindset and may not find the purpose in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yet, taking care of our health is one of the most important challenges with which we are faced. Just because some people may not see the point in engaging in healthy practices does not mean they should not try to take care of their bodies. Nothing in life, other than its eventual termination on Earth, is guaranteed but the way in which we perceive life could very well contribute to our longevity. There are some practices that may lead us to the grave more quickly than others. We have a say in how we conduct our lives, and we have choices to make. Two paths lead to a destination: one is burdened with obstacles that can already be foreseen before traveling and that will surely have to be overcome before they become overpowering, while another may have unforeseen obstacles but from the onset appears to be more picturesque and less stressful. Which path should be taken? It would seem more likely that a sojourner would choose the path that is more serene. This can be likened unto life. It is clear that there is more than one way to get to a destination, and, while neither way is fail proof, the journey on one path may be less haphazard than another. We are in control of our journeys and have a say in the decisions we make to get to our destinations. Decisions that we make contributing to our health can either present roadblocks that will ultimately have to be confronted or they can present us with a less stressful way to enjoy our journeys. One important contributor that may assist us in maintaining overall well-being is the decision to eat healthily as proper nutrition can aid the body in functioning effectively. We must be conscientious of what we consume and assure that our meals are well-balanced and meet the recommended daily allowances. We must also understand that nutrition goes hand-in-hand with exercise and that, to reap maximum health benefits, we should employ regimens that incorporate nourishment and fitness. Just as eating at fast-food restaurants without any thought towards caloric or fat intake, choosing to take a nap after large meals rather than take a walk outside, and spending a majority of free time sitting rather than exercising can become habitual practices that form a lifestyle which puts people at a greater risk of developing illnesses, contrary activities can also become habitual and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. It may be challenging to start forming healthy practices, especially if one has become accustomed to living a certain way, but where there is a will, there is always a way, and, though the struggle may be initially lofty, within time, it will become increasingly easier. In a large part, the decision to engage in positive activities that will promote well-being is a battle of the mind. We must visualize the desired results and train ourselves to achieve the results, even when it means being willing to put forth the extra effort. Some decisions will require more effort than others, but all decisions require the willingness to make healthy changes. For example, it may be just as easy to order the grilled chicken salad as a burger from a fast-food restaurant, but there still needs to be the willingness to order the healthier option. It will require more effort to go the gym and workout rather than to go home and relax, and there still needs to be the willingness to engage in the healthier practice. The good news is that people who engage in healthy practices and form them into a positive lifestyle often report feeling more fit, energetic, and happier; they also tend to experience higher levels of self-esteem. There are definite benefits to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, some of which are listed below.

Proper Nutrition Can…
Nourish the body by providing sufficient vitamins and minerals
Urge the body to recover more efficiently and effectively
Tackle feelings of lethargy as it provides the body with energy

Reduce the risk of some illnesses such as coronary complications
Increase the ability for the body to ward off disease
Trim LDL cholesterol levels in the body that can contribute to blocked arteries
Improve brain activity such as memory
Offer assistance in maintaining the balance of systems within the body such as hormones
Nurture overall well-being

I have one body that houses my heart, my mind, and my soul.
I have one body to make me feel whole.
I have one body that need not fall.
I have one body, and that is all.
So, I must make the right decisions to take care of it.
I must form healthy lifestyle practices lest I forget
That this life on Earth is a gift to cherish,
And my decisions could help me thrive or perish.
I am too valuable to leave my health to fate.
My body I must learn to appreciate,
And make the wise choices that will give me strength and energy
That will contribute to my well-being and help me live life fully.