When I was 17 one of my first jobs was as a receptionist for a footwear showroom in New York City. It was there that I met Eli, the man that would become my mentor for the next 30 years.
Eli taught me many things in the years that I've known him. He taught me everything I know about the footwear business, and as all good mentors do, he always gave me great life advice.
One of the great pieces of advice Eli gave me was to start saving money. One day he sat me down and explained the importance of compound interest, he said "Maria, if you start saving money today in 20 years you'll find that investment, with compound interest, will continue to grow faster over time."
Start investing in your health today.
One could look at health and fitness in the same way as saving money for the future.
The time and energy you put into your health today, no matter what stage you're in or how old you are, the more you will reap the rewards in the future.
If you start making small but important changes to your health, what will it look like in 3 - 6 months? What will it look like 1- 2 years? How about 5 -10 years?
The small changes you make today will become bigger and greater rewards in the future and have the ability to benefit you in every aspect of your life; mentally, physically and spiritually.
Start with you diet.
If you start by just adding large salads to your lunch and dinner every day you will be adding vitamins and nutrients that will help you fight disease and live longer. And all those healthy ingredients will aid in helping to boost your immune system, combat certain cancers, aid in keeping your gut health strong and improve your skin. Before you know it you're eating your recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables without even trying.
Effective cardio doesn't have to mean running a marathon.
Some people get overwhelmed by the idea that they need to do intense cardio to reap the rewards. Studies show that walking can be just as beneficial as high intensity workouts. If you start walking everyday for 20 - 30 minutes you will be putting in the work to stay active, feel better, burn calories, and improve your mental state. Research also hows that walking may help you sleep better and stay young and fit well into old age. Those 20 - 30 minute walks will turn into 45 -60 minutes walks that will feel like a walk in the park. :-)
Building muscle to fight the aging process.
Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. Therefore weight training is essential to staying fit and lean as we get older. If you start weight training a few times a week with light weights you can see how you feel after a few weeks and slowly increase your weight to make it more challenging. Before you know it you could be using 20 - 30 pound dumbbells effortlessly and building muscle to continuously burn fat, get strong and reverse the aging process.
The 1-2-3 combo punch.
And if you combine all of the above - plant based diet, cardio, and weight training - you will be on the road to living your best life, knowing that you are drastically reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure; the most common diseases today.
Small steps big rewards.
When we take small steps each day to get us closer to our goals, after a while we look back on how much we've done to change our habits and realize that it really wasn't that difficult.
But we all need a plan. What's your goal?
Do you want to eat more fruits and vegetables?
Do you want to lose weight?
Do you want to exercise more?
Do you want to start incorporating weight training into your exercise routine?
Do you want to improve your gut health?
Do you want to sleep better?
Do you want to reduce stress?
Do you want a sexy body in time for summer? (there's no shame in vanity!)
Invest in your health. Let the power of compound interest work for you.
Whatever your health and fitness goals, taking small steps every day will ensure that these changes will become big accomplishments over time. Before you know it you'll look back and see the changes that you've made and feel proud of how far you've come. The power of compound interest.
You are the person who can accomplish the goals you set for yourself. You are the person who can look back and see how far you've come and what you have been able to accomplish. Do it for your future self. And your future self will thank your for it.
Eli was right, do a little every day and it will pay off in spades in the long run. Unfortunately Eli passed last Spring and I miss him. But it's the lessons he's taught me along the way that I will treasure always.