As a physician, I have many conversations with patients about their lifestyle and health habits. I’ve realized that there are various reasons why people don’t want to work out these days. But one of the main culprits is social media. As the reach of the social media grows exponentially, we as a society have been brainwashed into believing the facade that’s on Facebook as reality. When they are bombarded by the perfected angled, filtered and photo-shopped pictures of the Instagram models, they become discouraged, convinced that they can’t ever achieve that kind of body or look. I have to remind them that most of these models are paid to look a certain “look.” We as healthcare providers need to remind our patients more than ever that healthy eating and exercise is not so you can post a nice picture on Instagram or Facebook but for improved overall health and wellbeing.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been there myself. After a stressful day at work, the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. I want to drive straight home to watch an episode of the Game of Thrones (no spoilers please; I’m only on season 2!) and veg out. But I cannot motivate others to prioritize their health when I do not; so I drag my gluteus maximus to the gym. Even though I may not have the perfect body for an Instagram feed, I can squat over 400 pounds, deadlift over 400, bench press about 300, and can run around the court for 60 minutes. I’ve gotten to where I am because I know the importance of healthy eating and training. It’s all about priorities. You just have to prioritize your health over the other superfluous things in your life that take up hours of your day (like browsing through Facebook). I have recently had a life changing event – the birth of my first baby boy – that will stretch every minute of my already busy schedule, but I will commit to prioritizing my health because I want to be there for my wife and my child, which is not possible when my health starts to fail. So, do it for yourself; do it for your loved ones. Go out there, break a sweat, and get stronger!