Everyone loves a hero – from what that person represents, to what they did, and how they inspire others. Popular heroes from recent history include Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Neil Armstrong, and our beloved Lauren Hill. While their acts of perseverance, humility, and strength are outright amazing, we need not think this privilege is only reserved for a select few of us. It also does not mean one needs to suffer a tremendous setback to be seen as a hero or have an audience of a million to qualify as one. Many of us fail to realize that within each of us lies the ability to be a hero, too. Our audience does not need to be the masses but only the ability to impact the life of one.
It is no secret that the state of our health in the U.S. is far from the ideal. Yet, it is also not surprising either. Technological advances coupled with modern day conveniences have led us down the path of increasing obesity rates, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Gone are the days where physical exertion was required to put a meal on the table or clean clothes on our back. We simply push a button or open a box. However, the time couldn’t be better for each of us to be that hero who changes our course to a more healthy lifestyle.
We, too, can inspire change through perseverance and strength. The fundamental difference is that our heroism may impact only a single person, and that is okay, for it only takes one to create change. We can make a choice every day to “be the change you want to see in the world” (Ghandi) to improve the health of our families and our communities. Simple changes like:
- Choosing vegetables over chips when snacking.
- Signing up for a 5K as a family.
- Walking together after dinner.
- Eating fast food less.
- Cooking a healthy meal at home more often.
- Supporting your local farmers market.
- Limiting screen time.
- Getting more sleep each night.
Believe it or not, someone is always watching you. Whether it’s your significant other, your child, your neighbor, your co-worker, the person behind you in the grocery check out, or the mailman. You never know who you might inspire, who you might cause to change for the better. It only takes one domino to fall to cause the others to do the same. We needn’t focus on those big changes to make a difference, only the impact of our actions on others, one day at a time.
Start being a positive influence on someone today. Teach others through your better choices for a healthier lifestyle. It all starts with one. Be a change hero!