With all of the products, programs, professionals, and technology available our society is still struggling with obesity and adopting a healthy lifestyle. All of these advances need to be utilized to make healthy living truly a lifestyle. While financial health has a bearing on physical health, the correlation is a complicated one. Culture, gender, education, biology, and even politics play a role.
Many experts predict that health and wellness will be a trillion dollar industry by 2017, yet childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2013 the adult obesity rate in the United States is 27.2 percent, which is the highest the obesity rate has ever been a year since Gallup-Healthways started tracking it.
Here are four observations I’ve made as to why a healthy lifestyle continues to be a struggle in our society.
1. Lack of Motivation-Many desire to be healthier and look better, but do not want to do the work necessary. The thought of changing their eating habits and having to exercise consistently is draining. Procrastination occurs for a variety of reasons including feeling overwhelmed, being depressed, feeling anxious or fearing failure among others. When procrastination becomes a habit, it may appear that a person is not motivated in succeeding.
2. Stress-It takes up a significant amount of cognitive and emotional bandwidth. Some people cope with stress and feeling overwhelmed by avoiding starting to change their habits or finding triggers to engage in bad habits. Lack of sleep due to stress can make it difficult to feel motivated even with proper eating and consistent exercise.
3. Time Management- One of the excuses I hear often is, “I don’t have time to exercise or cook my own meals.” Time management requires setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and monitoring where your time actually goes. With the amount of resources available it is becoming more difficult for that to be a legitimate excuse.
4. Dealing With Discomfort- Changing old habits requires getting out of your comfort zone. Changing your diet means your palate will have to adjust and consistent exercise means your body will go through fatigue and soreness that you are not accustomed to.
Exercise, healthy eating and sleeping patterns all help in improving your mood, anxiety and stress. By alleviating some of the roadblocks being motivated can become easier.
For long-term improvement of motivation issues, try to identify the root cause. Addressing this underlying issue is the best and most successful way of improving motivation. If you are unsure of your root cause take the time to attempt to identify it.
Health and Wellness Consultant/Personal Trainer