Photo by www.localfitness.com.au
Every time I exercise, I feel soâ€”spiritual. Not what you were expecting me to say, is it? But itâ€™s true. The older I get, the less I can rely on my body to do what itâ€™s supposed to do. Now, when I was younger, I didnâ€™t have this problem. I could depend on it to do whatever I needed it to do, in spite of how I treated my body. In fact, itâ€™s probably safe to say that I abused my body. Every day.
I didnâ€™t give two thoughts to what I was using as fuelâ€”or food. I stayed up late with no regard for getting eight hours of sleep, or how it would affect me in the morning. Then there was that period in graduate school where I ate a Dairy Queen Blizzard for dinner. Every night. For about four months.
Part of the problem was that I didnâ€™t experience any direct negative consequences from my decisions. Now that Iâ€™m past 40, I canâ€™t get away with such brash choices. Itâ€™s been that way for awhile. Now, I have the benefit of immediate effects from eating a McDonaldâ€™s meal or foregoing exercise.
Some may think Iâ€™m veering on the edge of sacrilege here, likening physical activity and my â€śdietâ€ť to spiritual activities. But in the Hebrew culture, the mind-body split as we know it in the Western world simply didnâ€™t exist. You see, we tend to think of spiritual activities as the things we do on Sundays, or in our prayer closet. This isnâ€™t how our biblical relatives â€śdid life.â€ť Instead, the two were essentially one. What you did in one area affected the other, and vice versa.
Iâ€™m learning how important it is to marry the two. How I treat my body not only affects what I can accomplish in the day, how much energy I have, and even how well I can think or serve my family. It also carries overâ€”directlyâ€”into my spiritual walk. If Iâ€™m not giving my body the activity and key nutrients it needs for its daily functions, and to ensure good health as I grow older, will I be able to give all of myself for service to the Lord and His people?
I may not be reading Godâ€™s word or talking directly to Him while Iâ€™m chugging along on the elliptical or practicing Pilates to increase my flexibility, but Iâ€™m surely treating my temple as God designed.
Staying active. Eating right. Teaching my children these habits. Theyâ€™re all just part of my daily walk with God.
Wonâ€™t you join me on a spiritual â€śwalkâ€ť and make being fit and healthy one of this yearâ€™s goals?
BIO: Anita Alvarez is a full-time freelance writer. Her work includes writing about developing a healthy lifestyle, getting and staying fit, and eating a healthy diet of whole foods. You can find her articles on Angieâ€™s List, Stack.com, and the Examiner, or her website: Plantified.
(Photo by www.localfitness.com.au)
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