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.
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