Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

In his essay for “Getting There,” Warren Buffett elaborates on a message that he thinks “is very important to get across”: Take care of your mind and body. Buffett takes it a step further by offering an analogy: “Let’s say that I offer to buy you the car of your dreams. You can pick out any car that you want, and then when you get out of work this evening, that car will be waiting for you.”

As with most things in life, Buffett says there’s just one catch: It’s the only car you’re ever going to get…in your entire life.

“You’re probably going to read the owner’s manual four times before you drive it; you’re going to keep it in the garage, protect it at all times, change the oil twice as often as necessary. If there’s the least little bit of rust, you’re going to get that fixed immediately so it doesn’t spread — because you know it has to last you as long as you live.”

And then, like a bag of bricks, Buffett hits us with a brilliant realization: The position you’re in with your car is exactly the position you’re in concerning your mind and body.

In other words, the way you treat your car should be no different than the way you treat your body.

You have only one mind and one body for the rest of your life. If you aren’t taking care of them when you’re young, it’s like leaving that car out in hailstorms and letting rust eat away at it. If you don’t take care of your mind and body now, by the time you’re 50 or 60, you’ll be like a car that can’t go anywhere.

Warren Buffett, Getting There

It Starts With Exercise

According to Dr. Pollock of American Alliance for Health, physical fitness can be divided into three major categories: cardiovascular-respiratory fitness, physique, and motor function.

Exercise programs should focus on increasing strength, endurance, flexibility, power, agility, and balance. When focusing on strength and muscular endurance, you are able to maintain proper muscle tone, which protects against injury or lower back pain, and can improve the detriment that eventual hunching at your desk can cause. 

You don’t always need the right gear and equipment to exercise, stretching and body-weight workouts accomplish the necessary goals. Flexibility exercises are also necessary and reduce the risks of poor posture, fatigue, and injury that are often associated with working at a desk

In our industry (travel and honeymoons), we often see busy travelers take advantage of body-weight and flexibility exercises. Here are some simple ones to try:

  1. Stretch.
  2. Do yoga.
  3. Mediate.
  4. Leverage fitness apps.
  5. Move at your desk.
  6. Stop reading this list and stand up! Walk around!

The effects of sitting all day pose a risk factor for cardio-metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease, musculoskeletal disorders, some types of cancer, and premature death.

The use of active workstations decreases sitting time and its adverse effects, and poses demonstrated benefits for remote workers.

Exercise also improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods.

You only have one body. Make sure you take care of it.