Sometimes we micro-manage what our families eat, use and do, to our own detriment. Healthy living becomes a dark cloud over our heads, motivated by fear.
Other times we feel that healthy-living is too far out of reach. It’s a lofty, impossible goal, and it’s not doable. We over-complicate it, and since we’re busy people, we never get around to it.
But healthy living can be pretty simple. God wants us to care about this. He says,
“…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
If we’re not healthy, we won’t be available to God in all the ways He wants to use us. He made these bodies, and it is our responsibility to care for them. It is also our responsibility to keep them from sin.
But we’re not to obsess about healthy living either. We will die. And while a long life is a blessings, it’s hardly different from a tragically short life when placed on the scale of eternity.
So, I’m not coaching you up to go lose 10 pounds. Rather, I’m encouraging you to make a few simple changes to be more healthy and whole TODAY. It’s not about changing your body necessarily, but about reclaiming that energy and healthful glow.
A Simple Guide to Healthy Living
…in no particular order.
Exercise 10 minutes per day
You may not be in a place to go to the gym or train for a marathon, but you can take a walk or find another way to get intentional exercise each day.
Ten minutes may not sound like much, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. You’ll be surprised what 10 minutes per day can mean over time. Start here.
Get to know God more
Did you know stress and anxiety are major detriments to your health? And did you know that many times the antidote to these things is simply trusting God?
If that’s hard for you… maybe it’s because you don’t know Him very well. Knowing leads to deepening trust.
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
It can be easy for us to learn all about God without ever bridging the gap to bring Him in close, to know Him as our Abba, Friend and Lord.
And while cultivating this trust does wonderful things for our health and quality of life today, the best part is that the value is eternal.
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)
Buy fresh meats and produce.
The “eating battle” is won (or lost) at the grocery store. I can’t even remember the last time we bought a bag of chips. We no longer keep sweets around regularly. We made a decision to choose healthier options and never looked back.
If you buy a nutritious, whole-grain bread, that’s what your family will eat all week. It’s as simple as that.
Skip the sugars and uber-processed foods. Those won’t do you any favors. Make sure your shopping cart is full of plenty of produce and fresh meats and cheeses –food the way God originally created it.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
Most of us do not get enough sunlight. Vitamin D deficiencies are rampant, which contributes to emotional lows, low energy, and long-term bone weakness. I know because I’m one of the many women who struggle with low Vitamin D.
The fresh air and sunlight are life-giving! They’re mood-lifting! They’re health-inducing! It’s a beautiful time of year (at least around here), so make a point to spend time outside daily.
Laugh and have fun.
Laughter is undervalued medicine in the health conversation. Enjoy the good gifts God has given you!
“A joyful heart is good medicine” Proverbs 17:22a (ESV)
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” Psalm 32:11 (ESV)
Get together with the friends and family regularly. Look at your children and take delight! Plan fun outings and girls’ nights out. Keep a jovial tone. Love as you have been loved.
…like maybe plan an ugly sweater Christmas party! There was a lot of laughter that night
Sleep well and plenty
God created the rhythm of night and day, summer and winter. We should pay attention to that.
Before the invention of the light bulb, people slept at night. What a notion! Now we stay up ’til all hours watching Netflix.
But that’s not how our bodies were created to function. So let me encourage you to reevaluate whether you’re getting enough sleep.
Do you wake up feeling refreshed or tired? if you’re tired, consider scooting back your bedtime. Becoming disciplined and routine here will allow you to fall asleep faster and feel better. Your daily health will absolutely improve.
Don’t say your body won’t do it until you’ve given it several days to adjust to that new schedule!
Drink plenty of water.
The benefits of drinking water are many. Drinking lots of water is such a simple way to add health to our bodies! Perhaps it’s time to purchase a fun water bottle to keep with you? It’s worth the investment to stay motivated. This one is my favorite!
If you knowingly continue sinning with your body, perhaps through substance abuse or sexual activity, through your words or through your eyes, none of the other suggestions in this post will truly honor God. If He dwells in you as His temple, you must first disentangle your body from sin.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8 (ESV)
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16a (NIV)
Your task? Take that sin to God in prayer, ask for His help, and then surround yourself with people who will champion you as you walk away.
I know this list is non-traditional, but I believe it holds many simple, yet profound keys to healthfulness today.