Your body is a temple.
This idea sometimes sounds odd to me, but it’s true. Our bodies are what houses all of the important parts of us physically, emotionally, and mentally. Taking good care of our bodies is not only the right thing to do for our health, but it is the right thing to do to honor God. He has entrusted us with these amazing, resilient bodies to take care of, and often we don’t do it well. However, taking care of our health can be easier than we think.
I’ve written on healthy living before, it is something that I feel strongly about. Not so much in the sense you may think though. I’m not into specific diet fads, exercising until you drop, or eating all organic. I believe healthy living is a more holistic approach. By being mindful of what you’re eating, allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you eat, exercising moderately, and making time to do things you love you can achieve whole health. Annual check-ups are an important part of this too!
Full disclosure, I am not perfect when it comes to eating healthy. Diet fads come and go, trying to track carbs and macrobiotics would give anybody a headache, and totally cutting out sugar? Forget it! This girl needs her chocolate. What I try to do instead of eat perfectly is eat mindfully. Basically, I listen to what my body craves and try to meet those needs. Yes, I have to make a conscious effort to get my fruits and veggies in each day, but I leave room for dessert also. I know if I deprive myself too much I will go on a total binger and pig out, leaving myself feeling guilty and totally crummy. Allowing myself this lee-way keeps me balanced, and prevents me from beating myself up when I don’t do so good.
Putting the right food into our bodies affects us in so many ways. If you don’t put the right kind of fuel in the tank it’s not going to run properly. Physically, eating the right foods helps our organs function correctly to process energy efficiently. The right foods help our brains run effectively and think clearly. God has provided us with all sorts of delicious food on this earth to nourish our bodies with. There are endless ways to make delicious foods that our bodies crave. Just remember it’s ok to nourish your soul with a slice of chocolate cake once in a while too!
Maybe it is because growing up I was in sports year-round and I ended up burnt out on exercise, but exercise is not my favorite thing. Especially for women it seems so time-consuming. By the time you drive to the gym, get your workout done, drive home, shower, re-do your hair and make-up it has been about 2 hours! That’s a big chunk of the day. So rather than killing myself at the gym everyday I try to get in just a little bit of exercise each day. If I get in 20 minutes then I’m happy. This is just enough to get my heart rate up, boost my mood, and increase my energy levels. Studies show that 20 minutes a day is enough to reap the benefits of exercise.
If our bodies are not strong physically we can’t perform the important work God has in store for us. When we feel sluggish, we feel unmotivated. We are unable to think clearly, and tend to under-perform in many aspects of our lives. God wants us to keep our bodies physically healthy so we are ready to go to work for Him.
Check-In With Your Doc
An important part of our health that I think many people neglect is getting regular check-ups. We may think we are doing the right things: we’re not overweight, we exercise a few times a week., we don’t have any real diagnosis of a health issue. However, these things tend to sneak up on us. Before we know it our pants are too tight, walking up a flight of stairs takes our breath away, and we suffer from low energy levels. Regular check-ups with the doctor can give us some tangible feedback on our health that can be the wake-up call we need to whip ourselves back into shape.
You can be within a healthy weight-range and have high cholesterol, a rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure. You would not know these things unless you went to the doctor to get them checked out. It would be like not getting a tune-up for your car once in a while. Everything is running fine for a while, and before you know it the transmission goes and what could have been an easy fix ends up costing you hundred of dollars. It’s easier to make small adjustments with our health along the way rather than back-tracking and trying to manage a major health issue.
God has important work for us.
By caring for our bodies we will be ready for the important work God has in store for us. Feeding our body what it needs to run effectively, training our muscles to carry us throughout the day’s work, and checking in with a professional to make sure everything is tip-top shape are all important ways to care for our bodies. Lastly, if our bodies aren’t feeling good then it’s likely our souls won’t feel good. When we feel physically crummy, typically our emotional health takes a toll as well. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to feel good. Our bodies are incredibly resilient and can recover from a lot of hardship, but He has entrusted us with these amazing temples to house our hearts and souls and expects us to care for them well.
I know sometimes getting on the right path of better health feels overwhelming. Sometimes it seems we have to make all of these major lifestyle changes, and it just sounds like too much work. I would encourage you to choose one aspect of your health that you would like to work on: doing more cardio, cutting out pop, scheduling that annual physical you keep forgetting about. Choose just one thing and tackle it. Give yourself a solid month of committing yourself to this one change, and it should feel more like a habit by the end of the month. Before you know it you’re on your way to better health, and feeling ready for the work God has in store for you.