Building a stronger body is a beautiful and healthy way to value yourself. When we neglect taking care of our bodies because all our time and effort is spent elsewhere, we are either under the delusion that we are invincible or we are showing by our actions that (at least subconsciously) we really don’t believe how valuable we are.
As you read this today, I encourage you to think about the many ways a strong body benefits you personally. What motivates you most to build a stronger body?
If you missed the introduction, go back and read it here. Then follow the link at the bottom to come back here. I’ll still be here when you get back! Don’t worry!
Over the next couple of days, we will also examine how keeping yourself strong and healthy impacts those around you and even your relationship with your Creator. But for today, we’re just going to focus on you.
First of all, you owe it to yourself. You’re worth the time and effort it takes to nourish and exercise your body. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. It’s necessary. It’s not a burden either. It’s a privilege. As much as you may dislike certain aspects of your body, I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there who would give anything to have the amount of health you enjoy. Never take your health for granted. It is a gift of grace that can evaporate very quickly in this fallen world in which we live.
As much as you may dislike certain aspects of your body, I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there who would give anything to have the amount of health you enjoy. Never take your health for granted. It is a gift of grace that can evaporate very quickly in this fallen world in which we live.[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#stronger”]You’re worth the time and effort it takes to nourish and exercise your body.[/tweetthis]
There are at least three important ways a stronger body benefits you. It not only improves your physical health and your mental/emotional health, but keeping your body strong also benefits your spiritual life as well.
It’s not really about living longer. It’s about living better. It’s about being healthy enough to enjoy the life you have right now. It’s about being able to keep up with friends and family and enjoy activities with them.
Soon after I buckled down and started building a stronger body, my family went skiing. For the first time, I was able to keep up with my husband and older sons. I even skied my first double black diamond EVER! At 42!!
I’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt that day. I knew that even 3 months earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to even attempt such an activity much less survive it without injuring myself. But the best part about the whole day was being with my favorite boys and actively participating with them instead of just hearing about their adventures afterward. I would have missed out on the whole thing if I hadn’t been working towards getting my body in shape.
You can also avoid lots of other health problems by taking better care of yourself in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it’s a lot cheaper too. Stop your disease before it starts. (Of course I realize that’s not always possible, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your part to stay healthy. Don’t use the fact that you can’t control everything as an excuse not to do anything.)[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#stronger”]It’s not really about living longer. It’s about living better. [/tweetthis]
Usually, when we talk about the benefits of exercise and smart nutrition, we discuss its impact on the physical body and leave it there. However, we must acknowledge that our physical bodies are inextricably linked to our thoughts and emotions.
Our brains hold our knowledge, memories, ideas, feelings and more. But never forget that your brain is also a physical organ. It’s not an immaterial entity entirely separate from your physical body. What goes on in your head is affected and influenced by the complex orchestra of chemicals, hormones, and electrical impulses that interact with the rest of your body. The reverse is also true. What you think and feel also affects how your body responds.
My own personal journey toward better health fitness began as a means to combat my depression and deflate my anxiety. I was desperate for relief and decided to attack my tormentors on all four fronts: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. They have all played a significant role in my healing and coping. I am emphasizing the physical aspects here because I believe they are most often overlooked.
When I was run down, exhausted, stressed out, and weak, it was near impossible for me to actively seek God. The miserable way I felt about everything else darkened and marred the way I felt about God.
The linkage of physical exercise and spirituality need not be left only to Eastern disciplines like Yoga and Tai Chi. We are spiritual beings. God created us that way. Our relationship with God through Christ is intended to influence every aspect of our lives—even the parts we normally consider “nonspiritual”. For a Christian, nothing can truly be nonspiritual. It is not odd at all for Christians to focus on the spiritual aspect of physical activity.
We will look at specific ways to connect with the spiritual aspect of physical exercise in week 4, but for now, I just want you to acknowledge that your spirit, mind, and body are interconnected.
In the next post, we will look at why you need to build a stronger body for the people you care about. It will be a much shorter post. I promise!
Elizabeth is a military spouse, veteran, and mother of eight. Above and beyond caring for her family, her mission is to offer words that sustain weary moms and to empower and equip them to live and parent with purpose.