The question may sound rhetorical. “Why live healthy?” Well, of course you want to have a healthy life and a healthy body! And that means having a healthy lifestyle.

But our high-stress, fast-paced, preservative-laden, quick-fix world isn’t exactly supportive of that goal. And when you’re pressed for time, finances and energy, it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons for even caring about living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s also easy to compartmentalize and lose sight of the big picture. Instead of embracing a holistic view of your health and choices, you may get hijacked by the stresses of life and zero in on a couple things, ignoring the rest. I go to the gym three days a week. I don’t look too bad for my age. I eat salmon whenever we go out. I’d say I live a pretty healthy life.

Those are all great, but when trying to answer the broader question of “Why live healthy?” there are other things to consider. Do you go to the gym, then come home and have a couple glasses of wine? Is your assessment of how you look for your age based on medical criteria or visual comparisons from your last high school reunion? Do you smoke? Do you eat fast food for a quick lunch at work? Do you have sleep apnea? Have you ever been advised to change your diet or pick up the exercise pace?

When you pause long enough to ask, “Why live healthy?” and really think about the reasons, you will start to see all those isolated factors in the context of the whole.

In the SprintSet Energizing Weight Loss System, we focus on the whole person, not just a singular lifestyle component. The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social all work synergistically toward a comprehensive vitality that is greater than the sum of its parts.

If feeling better and living longer aren’t reasons enough to live a healthy lifestyle, consider these 4 short-term and long-term reasons:

  1. You look better.
    Healthy on the inside equals glowing on the outside. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s a tattle-tale of all that’s going on inside. If you’re starving your cells with refined carbohydrates or choking them with carcinogenic cigarette smoke, your skin and outer appearance are going to protest.
  1. You have more energy.
    Put sugar into your car’s gas tank and see how far you get on that cross-country road trip. Your body is no different. It is perfectly created with specific fuel sources in mind.
    Why live healthy? Feeding your body healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and clean protein sources and getting regular exercise will optimize its energy production for the long haul. And more energy translates to more enjoyment of life.
  1. Improved mood and brain power.
    Before you reach for that glass of wine to take the edge off a bad day, remember that alcohol is a
    depressant, not a mood elevator. Relying on alcohol and emotional eating to make you feel better actually has the opposite effect. It puts your emotions on a rollercoaster ride, decreases your cognitive function and messes with your sleep cycle. And poor sleep makes one a cranky zombie.
  1. Disease prevention.

It’s amazing how focusing on one lifestyle change like losing excess weight can change your entire life for the better. When you consider all the collateral health issues to obesity, getting to a healthy weight is the most obvious lifestyle goal.

Dropping that dead weight can be the most life-changing gift you give yourself. You will help your heart by decreasing your blood pressure, triglycerides and bad cholesterol. You will increase your immune function and decrease your risk of chronic diseases like cancer. And you will strip away most, if not all, of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Being healthy is a package deal and an inside job. It’s not just about fitting into your skinny jeans or passing the baseline markers at your annual physical.

It’s a comprehensive, holistic attitude toward life. It’s physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social. It touches and connects every aspect of your life.

When you view health in its totality, the question really isn’t “Why live healthy?” but “Why not live healthy?”