In today’s health-conscious society, there is a whole wealth of information regarding diets and exercise: in books, magazines, on the internet and television, and there’s really no excuse not to know at least the basic principles of healthy living. Yet knowing something doesn’t always equate to actually doing it, and the information is usually so long and exhaustive that nothing really registers properly. That’s where this list of twenty catchy quotes and saying comes into play. They are short and memorable, and will provide instant motivation when you need it most:
Table of Contents
- 1. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
- 2. “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”
- 3. “If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution.”
- 4. “They are sick that sufeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.” – William Shakespeare
- 5. “One should eat to live, not live to eat.” – Cicero
- 6. “Take twice as long to eat half as much.”
- 7. “You are what you eat.”
- 8. “He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.” – Arabian proverb
- 9. “Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.”
- 10. “Prevention is better than cure.”
- 11. “Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”
- 12. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
- 13. “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
- 14. “What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?” – Randy Glasbergen
- 15. “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” – Edward Smith Stanley
- 16. “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.” – Joseph Pilate
- 17. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
- 18. “To avoid sickness eat less; to prolong life worry less.” – Chu Hui Weng
- 19. “There’s lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven’t the time to enjoy it.” – Josh Billings
- 20. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
1. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Whilst not to be taken literally, this saying encompasses one of the most fundamental facets of healthy eating, that being: fruit. Fruits are a vital source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are usually low in fat. Apples in particular are extremely good for your health. Studies have long since recognised their cancer-fighting abilities, and people who eat apples regularly generally have lower cholesterol. Moreover, fruit tastes good due to the natural sugars, so it’s a really easy way to stay healthy.
2. “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”
This is always a good one to remember. It basically reminds you of the transient pleasure of eating your favourite snack, such as chocolate, and urges you to think of the long-term repercussions of consuming such foods. Eating a single chocolate bar lasts for five minutes, and the pleasure usually disappears alongside the flavour in your mouth. Now add up all the time you spend worrying about said chocolate bar, and ask yourself: was it really worth it?
3. “If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution.”
This quotation perfectly encapsulates the way many people tend to gorge themselves when they are feeling emotional. When faced with a problem or hardship, they turn to food as a source of comfort. However, this extremely destructive, and food should never be used as a substitute for a solution. The only problem that eating should ever solve is hunger.
4. “They are sick that sufeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.” – William Shakespeare
This quote, taken from Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice, basically means that having too much of something can be just as bad as having too little of it. This can be applied to many different things, including money and material wealth, yet it also is very true of food. Whist our bodies need food to survive, over-eating is just as bad for you as starvation. Eat in moderation, and your health will remain stable.
5. “One should eat to live, not live to eat.” – Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher, reminds us that we, humans, are just animals ourselves, and whilst we have evolved to become more evolutionarily advanced, the same principles bind us to everyone else in the animal kingdom. Food is a source of nourishment, and should be eaten as and when required. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your meals, but it should make you reconsider when going in for seconds. Are you really hungry? You never see lions in the savannah gorging themselves unnecessarily, so why should we?
6. “Take twice as long to eat half as much.”
It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to register that it is full, and by eating quickly, you could actually be over-eating without even realising it. Chewing your food more means you slow down, and give your brain time to realise when you have had enough food. You are therefore less likely to overeat, and consume no unnecessary calories. Chewing more also aides digestion, and will prevent that bloated feeling after eating a whole meal.
7. “You are what you eat.”
Quite a simple one really, but no less potent. If you eat foods that contain a lot of fat, and fail to burn it all off, then you yourself will become fat. Conversely, if you eat foods rich in minerals and vitamins, then your skin, hair and nails will also be rich in vitamins, and remain healthy and luxuriant. It makes perfect sense, although people still seem to convince themselves that as long as they eat the right amount of calories, whether it be in vegetables or chocolate, then they will stay healthy. This is not true.
8. “He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.” – Arabian proverb
This is a great inspirational quote to motivate yourself. It is true that life can throw all sorts of problems our way, and sometimes, we loose faith and courage. However, so long as you are fit and healthy, then you are guaranteed to have a future ahead of you, even if you don’t always see it at first. There is no better feeling than waking up able-bodied and strong, ready to face the day.
9. “Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.”
This is sadly the case for many people. For example, a smoker may be complacent about the health risks of cigarettes, and convince themselves that because they enjoy it, it’s somehow excusable. However, the risk of developing lung cancer amongst smokers is twenty to thirty times higher than those who don’t smoke, and most of them regret that they smoked only after they are diagnosed with this illness. Once their health has gone, only then do they see the value in healthy living.
10. “Prevention is better than cure.”
Following on from this idea, it is always better to prevent something from happening in the first place than to try and cure the outcome. In smokers, this may be lung cancer, and in people who don’t stick to a healthy diet, this may be high cholesterol or diabetes. For the latter, diabetes, the prevention may have been as simple as eating less fatty or sugary foods, and more vegetables. This is easy enough. The cure, unfortunately, does not yet exist.
11. “Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”
This is a great one to remember if you are feeling complacent about your unhealthy habits. Whilst many smokers don’t actually have lung cancer, their lung function is still significantly less than a non-smoker’s. Likewise, a person who eats fatty foods may not have diabetes or have suffered a stroke, but the pressure on their heart and vessels is still immense, and they are still unhealthy, despite not actually having any diagnosable sicknesses.
12. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
The American entrepreneur is considered a forerunner is personal development, and with quotes like these, it’s not difficult to see why. Technically speaking, many of us own houses, so we actually have somewhere physical to live. However, houses are not guaranteed- in fact, this can be applied to all material things we own- and the only thing that will truly stay with us for the rest of our lives is our bodies. All the more reason to take care of them.
13. “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
There is a direct link between the foods we consume and the functioning of the brain. Vegetables contain antioxidants that kill harmful free-radicals in the brain, whilst foods high in fat actually hinder mental performance, as more blood is directed towards the gut, and away from the brain, to aide digestion. It explains that groggy, slow feeling you get after a high-calorie binge, therefore the teachings of Buddha are scientifically accurate: a healthy body does equal a healthy mind.
14. “What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?” – Randy Glasbergen
Whilst Randy Glasbergen is known primarily for his humour, there is a harrowing truth beneath this seemingly light-hearted quotation. It strikes a chord with many people who simply ‘do not have enough time to exercise’, be it because of their busy work schedule or demanding family. However, is an hour a day really a huge ordeal? You can incorporate exercise into your daily routine so easily, by walking to work as opposed to driving, or even just taking the stairs over a lift.
15. “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” – Edward Smith Stanley
This is another quotation that ramifies the aforementioned idea, that the excuse of not having enough time to exercise is redundant. Sacrificing an hour each day is nothing compared to all the time you will have to take off work for doctor and hospital appointments, for illnesses such as diabetes, high cholesterol and arthritis. Ironically, you may end up having too much time in your day, as you might not even be able to continue employment.
16. “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.” – Joseph Pilate
This is the man who invented Pilates, a fitness system that is endorsed by almost every gym all over the world. And he is right. Simply telling yourself that you will exercise is pointless without following through with actions, no matter how much you meant it at the time. Similarly, there is no way to cheat and buy fitness- sure, you can buy the fancy equipment and DVD’s, but you will still have to put in physical effort to reap the results, much the same as if you simply went for a run outdoors.
17. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
Often, the biggest hurdles when facing a diet or lifestyle change is actually getting started. It can seem very daunting, and many people just end up procrastinating. However, once you have taken the initial first step, then the rest doesn’t seem so bad. This quotation by the famous American author sums up this idea perfectly, that the first step is definitely the hardest.
18. “To avoid sickness eat less; to prolong life worry less.” – Chu Hui Weng
It is obvious that people have known the value of healthy eating for thousands of years, from the reign of the Chinese king in 490 BC. This should only augment the shame we feel that as a nation, we are generally overweight. If the ancient Chinese knew how to curb their eating, then we, as a modern and scientifically more advanced society, should also be able to do the same. However, the ancient Chinese also apparently knew that worrying is detrimental to health, so before you go and beat yourself up about your eating habits, then just remember the latter part of the quotation.
19. “There’s lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven’t the time to enjoy it.” – Josh Billings
This brings us nicely onto the penultimate saying. Whilst this article has been very focused towards healthy eating and regular exercise, it’s also a good idea to keep in mind the idea that there is more to life than simply counting calories and measuring every inch of your body. Yes, it’s important to stay healthy, but do not forgo the things you enjoy doing, like spending time with friends and family, in the name if dieting. Studies have also shown that stress can induce many negative side effects, like nausea, insomnia and a generally weakened immune system, so it’s best to stay positive at all times.
20. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
And finally, a classic saying to round things off. This never-give-up attitude can be applied to all walks of life, including healthy eating and exercise. Making lifestyle changes is never easy- if it were, then surely we would all be thin and healthy? So whenever you are feeling unmotivated or uninspired, just run your eyes over this list of quotations (or better yet, commit them to memory) and you will instantly feel driven to pursue the healthy lifestyle of your dreams.