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BULNES: People should make time for their health, wellness

Opinions Column: Mind, Body, Scarlet

As we begin the Spring 2018 semester with our New Year’s resolutions in tow, our goals and desires will be challenged due to our increasingly busy schedules. Those who have decided to improve their health might start to feel like they no longer have time to exercise or cook healthier meals. In reality, there is time for whatever you want to make time for. Lack of time is no excuse for anything you actually want or need in your life.  

When a person truly wants something and they envision themselves having it, it is only a matter of time before they find a way to get it. Fitness and health goals are no different in the sense that they can only be achieved with full-blown desire. If you have decided to finally lose those 10 pounds, start cooking your meals and drinking more water, you seem to understand that your life will transform as a result of these changes. If you achieve these goals you will look better, feel better and live better. In order to change your life, though, you have to make a life change. That may seem obvious, but there are so many people who want the life-altering experience of finally filling up those jeans again or getting rid of that “eat-until-I’m-so-full-I-can’t-breathe” habit, but they are not willing to disrupt their normal customs. This cannot happen overnight — it takes commitment, practice and time. And if you “don’t have time” now, you need to create it.

Once you are ready to change your daily routine and your deeply ingrained bad habits, time for fitness will appear because you will look for it. Experimenting with variations of workouts that suit your busy schedule is the key. Ride your bike, take the stairs, hit the gym first thing in the morning, get off the bus before your destination and walk. Cook enough for the week, check the menu before going to a restaurant and buy a reusable water bottle. Instead of spending an hour on the treadmill, find healthy habits like these to practice throughout your day. Boost your metabolism in a variety of ways daily and your body will require less time allotted solely for fitness. All of these small tactics actually save you time in the long run, which makes time an invalid excuse for neglecting your health. 

The amount of goals we will set and achieve in our lifetimes can be infinite but our time is not, and somehow, we manage to accomplish many things. More hours will not appear on the clock just because you have new goals. The trick is to prioritize your health above most other tasks. Without our fully functioning muscles, healthy hearts and clear minds, we would be unable to perform any of the tasks that people deem more important than their health. If you were to write down what you did hourly every day for a week, I guarantee you would find at least three hours you could be devoting to physical activity. Instead of watching one more episode on Netflix, playing that addicting game on your phone or taking midday naps, you could be transforming your mind and body. 

Time will act as a deterrent for as long as you let it. It is designed to show us what we truly care about by making us choose, so it is important to choose in favor of your health every day. Neglecting your well-being will only cost you more time later in life and make it harder to undo the months and years you spent letting other trivial things take precedence. As we age, we will feel even more pressured by time than we do now. Time will not be an excuse when we have children who depend on us nor when we have full-time jobs, so it is not an excuse now.

Your overall well-being is a concern that will require your attention incessantly. Playing an active role in its evolution over time should be the objective for every individual — the overweight, the skinny, the in-between, the weak and the muscular. The reason for this being that we all age, but those who assert control over the health of their bones, muscles and joints will experience less complications in old age. Hence, we actually do have time. We are in our prime years to be cultivating positive habits whose benefits will carry themselves into senescence. Not having time to prioritize your health is only a valid excuse when your life has ceased. 

Monica Bulnes is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in economics and minoring in business administration. Her column, "Mind Body Scarlet," runs on alternate Fridays.


*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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