I watched an online video outlining several factors that are key to living an active, healthy life. One of the points was to compare the effects of sitting for long hours to the effects of smoking.
This issue got me thinking seriously about my daily schedule. Because of my work and online studies, I have to sit at a desk for long periods of time. I wanted to change that, so I decided to set a goal to lessen my sedentary hours.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit,1 and God has commissioned us to care for them well and faithfully. Jesus paid the ultimate price to make us His own, so we should show our gratitude by investing in our health. Taking good care of our bodies and health is a natural outgrowth of loving ourselves and appreciating the gift of life that God has given to us.
Sometimes we get sick, but most of the time we can stay healthy in spite of constantly being under attack from a myriad of harmful viruses and bacteria. For that daily miracle, we can thank God, who created our immune system.
A few years ago it dawned on me that I was seriously out of shape. My work had become more sedentary, and I hadn’t made up for that. I enjoyed exercise but never seemed to find the time or motivation to stick with it, day after day. Part of the problem was that I put accomplishments in my work ahead of my health.
Years back, I began what has been a decade-long and running interest in fitness. Having been a rather sickly and non-athletic child and teenager, I was excited to realize I could train my body to run several miles, lift weights, and even do a few “guy pushups.” The one thing I really wanted to do, but didn’t think I would be able to, was a chin-up. As in, the pull-up with a reverse grip. I had tried a few times and barely moved upward, let alone to where my chin touched the bar. I was fairly convinced I just did not have that upper-body strength.
Recently, I had the uneasy feeling that I needed a change, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I had a nagging feeling, but I didn’t make much effort to do something about it.
Then my daughter Joanna invited me to a special exercise program that covers a variety of routines like toning, stretching, concentration, and meditation. I’m generally not very fond of group calisthenics and initially decided that I didn’t really want to try this out. I preferred to do my exercises alone in nature or at home, to ride my stationary bike, or work out with my tailor-made aerobic program.
Staying healthy doesn’t happen automatically. It takes effort, and also usually involves some sacrifice, some reordering of priorities and forgoing certain things that would be enjoyable but not good for us. Long-term health is a lifelong investment, but it’s a wise one. Better to invest a little each day in strengthening our bodies than to neglect them and suffer serious health problems.