Optimal Health Requires Daily Movement

Optimal Health Requires Daily Movement Devotional Reading and Podcast

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” –3 John 1:2

Happy Sabbath! This morning during worship the devotional spoke about God’s original plan for us to have daily physical exercise. I got dressed and went for a walk. Truthfully, it has been one week, since I walked long enough for it to be beneficial to my internal organs. I prayed and thanked God for a sound mind and relatively healthy body. And yes, I feel great!

“Inactivity is the greatest curse that could come upon most invalids. When invalids have nothing to occupy their time and attention, their thoughts become centered upon themselves, and they grow morbid and irritable.” EGW

This quote uses strong words to emphasize the negative impact of living daily without physical exercise. God created our bodies to have an anatomy–structure without excessive weight and muscular definition so the physiology–function of our cardiovascular [heart] and respiratory [lungs] systems function properly and nourish our internal organs for the duration of our lives.

Advanced technology has resulted in a sedentary society of individuals plagued with an increase in mental health issues, out-of-control emotions, and declining physical health. Screen time has decreased our ability to cope with life’s normal issues. The work-life balance is tilted to the side of overworking.

Most people are so stressed their lives are not enjoyable. We are pushing ourselves beyond God’s limits for the human body. If you are exhausted by the end of the day you cannot wait to get home to relax, engage in screen time and fall asleep then your lifestyle is unhealthy.

The cycle of inactivity is detrimental. One false belief is that a person who is at their normal weight does not need to exercise. Whether our weight is normal or abnormal, every person needs daily exercise for at least 20 minutes. Without sustained movement, eventually, the body becomes deconditioned resulting in a decline in one’s health.

We cannot change the non-modifiable factors including hereditary diseases such as High Blood Pressure and Diabetes. Some individuals have maintained healthy lifestyles and still end up with chronic diseases. Changing our lifestyle is a modifiable factor that we can accomplish.

There is a major difference between a person whose diagnosis is uncontrolled because of their counterproductive lifestyle choices and one who has the same diagnosis that is controlled due to a healthy lifestyle. Reaching and sustaining optimal health requires daily exercise which is just as important as eating nutritious foods and taking prescribed medications.

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

God created the mind and body to maintain a harmonious relationship. What exactly does that mean? Healthy minds require healthy bodies! Compromised physical health results in a domino effect–a person’s spiritual health declines as well as their mental and emotional health.

We cannot maintain a relationship with Christ when we are sluggish. Falling asleep when studying the Bible or listening to a sermon in the church whether in-house or virtual indicates that our minds and bodies are not in balance, known as homeostasis.

Getting started. If you have chronic diseases consult your physician first. Stay hydrated with water and avoid intense sunlight. Dehydration requires medical intervention! Walking outdoors in nature in the early morning hours is best. If you live in the concrete jungle, rearrange your schedule to walk in the park. God gave us nature to remind us of His love and goodness.

Psychologists and Naturopathic practitioners agree that nature nurtures our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Even if you have a gym membership or treadmill at home incorporate nature walks unless wintry conditions prevent outdoor exercise. Can’t exercise outdoors until spring? Watch a nature documentary while you exercise. Even when not exercising, incorporating nature documentaries into your screen time still provides a boost to our mental health. Our earth still has many beautiful places that we can explore virtually.

Daily physical movement for at least 20 to 30 minutes in nature enables the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to function at an optimal level, stabilizes one’s emotions, is the cure for laziness, and enables us to have a greater appreciation of God who created our wonderfully made minds and bodies. Get moving!

Prayer: God, we thank You for creating our wonderful minds and bodies in your image. Give us the strength and wisdom to change our sedentary lifestyles and improve our overall health by exercising and embracing our gift of nature.

© 2023 Steps2yourspiritualsolutions

2023: Invest in Your Health

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

Today I researched holistic health strategies as related to achieving the wellness of optimal health. Did you know that home cooking your food is the number one preventative against poor health?

For many, cooking involves the use of air fryers and microwaves. Yet, cooking on a stove and using a conventional oven allows one to receive the highest level of nutrients for digestion and assimilation on a cellular level in the human body.

What are the guidelines for choosing healthy foods? Moderate in calories, low salt, low fat, and no processed sugars. 2,000 calories per day should provide necessary nutrients for the average adult.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the building blocks for maintaining a Be Ready Stay Ready Immune System. The colors green, orange, red, yellow, and purple should be consumed daily. Complex carbohydrates along with adequate protein from legumes, fish, and poultry will leave you energetic and change your perception of life in general.

Be creative. Personally, I do not care for one pot meals. Who says our plate has to be limited to only three varieties of food?

Healthy eating is part of having a healthy lifestyle. It is not a diet. Your mind and tastebuds require retraining to achieve optimal health.

Change is intentional. A healthy lifestyle requires an alteration in our thought processes along with strategic planning. Because our choice of food is from learned behaviors, we require Divine Intervention to change from eating foods that supply little nutrients.

Our health is of the utmost concern to God. Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He healed many who had mental, emotional, and physical illnesses. When we consume foods based on taste or habits our bodies will fail us by succumbing to chronic diseases. We were created in God’s image to live long, productive, joyous lives.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

Involve God in your desire to take care of your temple. Pray for help! Develop your goals. Purchase a journal. Eliminate time-consuming distractions. Learn your body’s rhythm. When are you hungry? Consider taking a mid-afternoon snack to work to prevent raging hunger that results in ordering fast food on the way home.

Be intentional with your food choices. Purchase your food weaknesses in smaller sizes–one pint of ice cream instead of a half gallon. Consider making your own ice cream with fruit. Shop for food on a full stomach–the junk stuff will be less appealing.

The most exciting part of pursuing optimal health is the body’s response–high energy, weight loss, mood stability, increase in mental acuity, and the overall feeling that comes from your accomplishment of loving you.

The only way for us to achieve optimal health is to lovingly care for the fearfully and wonderfully made minds and bodies gifted by our Heavenly Father.

I have achieved and maintained optimal health for two years. Go ahead! It’s a great way to live!


The Load is Heavy!

I have two very good friends both named Barbara. They are unaware of the other’s existence because they live 1600 miles apart from one another. But today, God used both of my BFFs as rams in the bush to provide encouragement. Throughout the Apostle Paul’s writings, he emphasizes the importance of the body of believers staying connected to each other. If you have not heard from friends or family, please reach out to them. Sometimes the load is too heavy for them to lift a finger to text or call.

Love God, Love others, and Love yourself. 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

Photo credit: Barbara, Albany

The Courage to Achieve Optimal Health

Disclaimer: The content that you are reading may be offensive to your current mindset.

During my nursing career, I worked in various areas, but Behavioral Health was my favorite. Performing the Intake interview, which included medical and psychosocial history, never ceased to amaze me. The two factors that all patients shared:

    1. “I know my situation is bad, but what can I do, I cannot change my circumstances.”
    2. Their past or background held them captive, and they repeated the same counterproductive habits every day with consistency.

An interesting fact that has me perplexed: Most individuals take care of their plants and animals better than they care for themselves. I have a neighbor with a beautiful pedigree dog with chocolate brown hair that shines like the sun. His first love (Puppy) is well-taken care of with toys, several walks a day, swimming in the river 2-3 times a week, and from the description of the food that Puppy eats, the cost of his food is my monthly food budget. One more fact, Puppy has a night-time dog sitter while his owner is at work. What a life!

Now let’s compare the lifestyle of Puppy’s owner: He is a chain smoker, drinks every day, eats from fast-food restaurants three times a day, never exercises, and works the night shift [research shows shorter life spans]. Since my neighbor lives alone without family in Florida, I often wonder what would happen to Puppy, who lives the rich and famous lifestyle, when his owner collapses from poor health.

I live in a glasshouse, so I am not throwing stones. Even so, at some point in life, I had to face the facts that I would have a premature death if I did not change my bad habits. My academic achievements and RN nursing license meant absolutely nothing regarding my addiction to self-gratification. I was not an emotional eater. I simply loved the great taste of food. And it was not the cheap fast food that is the craze of our nation. No, no, no, this was the high-fat, high-cholesterol meats like pastrami, corned beef, beef bacon, and lamb. Never really cared for steak, but I loved veal [the baby animals]. And the desserts, especially the variety of cheesecake, if it was created, then I had eaten it.

In 2017, my physician told me that he was very concerned about my health because of my non-modifiable risk factors and abnormal lab work [Diabetes and High Cholesterol]. When I heard that I was certain to have a heart attack sooner than later that I may not survive, the reality of my “do what makes you feel happy” lifestyle had to cease and desist.

There are two concepts that I was totally unaware of, and I did not learn until recently:

    1. Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
    2. “Without the desire to change, the courage to change, and a plan for change, we will not change.” (Johnson, 2021)

I could not apply the learned theories of anatomy and physiology and health principles that I learned throughout my lifespan because I did not possess the “desire to change.” When I desired to eat healthier, I did not have the courage or plan to change destructive habits. And for whatever reason, even with studying the Bible, I was unaware of 1 Corinthians 10:31. Where are the sermons on keeping our minds and bodies healthy?

Fact: Our bodies were created in the image of God to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.

We have discarded healthy behaviors for doing what makes us feel good and tastes great. And BIG PHARMA–pharmaceutical companies accommodate and feed our desires by developing and promoting their never-ending supply of pills. If we have the diagnosis, they have the drugs. We must stop our uncontrollable behaviors!

Identify the behaviors that are the root of your diagnosis of an unhealthy mind and body. Yes, we have the choice to live healthy by loving and taking care of ourselves. Begin today! Our past should not cripple our future! Pursue optimal health at all costs.

Our taste buds can be retrained. Discover fruits, vegetables, legumes, and the joy of cooking. Leave the cell phone, gaming, television, and laptop alone. Get outside. Take a walk, use your five senses to see the beauty of nature around you. If you live in the concrete jungle, find a scenic park. Do what is necessary to boost your endorphins and serotonin [research these hormones]. It takes exercise and bright light to make our mind and bodies thrive. Take control today!  

It’s still a beautiful world!

Prayer: God, we need to change our mindset. We realize that our behaviors are destroying our health. We ask you for the strength and wisdom to develop a life-altering plan to achieve optimal health. As we use courage and knowledge to change our lifestyles, please give us the desire to include you as our Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson (Edited version)