It’s a fact…the majority of people, in some way, to some degree, want to improve their overall health. We want to improve our eating habits, sleeping habits, stress reducing habits, _____ habits (you fill in the blank). The options are endless – which creates a bit of a dilemma. By the time we consider all the available choices, we’re too overwhelmed and confused to decide which will work best. The result leaves us floundering in our poor health rut as we continue to worry about our state of wellness. A friend recently needed a “health improvement boost” so my husband came up with a simple plan. He called it P.E.N. – Prayer. Exercise. Nutrition.
Prayer is simply connecting with Almighty God. If even Jesus found it important to pray, then we must trust prayer to be an avenue of positive influence for us as well. Prayer relieves stress by giving us an outlet for our concerns, gives us the assurance that we are not alone, and often inspires a creative solution to a health issue we have. Dr. Harold G. Koening summed it up by saying that when we pray, “we feel less helpless”. He added that “as our mental health improves so does our physical health”. Prayer changes things. Most times it doesn’t happen overnight, but in some instances it does. Are you confused about how to improve your health? Don’t discount having a discussion with the One who created your body in the first place. He knows you inside out and is eager to aid in restoring a stronger you.
Exercise is simply moving. When you move your body (as opposed to sitting a majority of the day) many physical processes burst into motion. Moving, naming only a few positives, builds muscles, transports lymph (which creates inflammation) out of your body, and carries more oxygen to your brain and other organs thereby making you able to work more efficiently. It gives you a better mental outlook and relieves stress. You even sleep better at night if you have exercised during the day. Even fifteen minutes a day will do a body good. It isn’t necessary to be a marathon runner to benefit from exercise. You can walk, lift weights, dance, swim, garden, conduct an imaginary orchestra with large arm movements, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking a dog is a wonderful reason to get out, exercise, and enjoy some (hopefully) fresh air.
Good nutrition is like using the best fuel in your Lamborghini. The better the fuel, the better your car performs. When you eat foods that are as close to the way God provided them as possible, you are getting the best nutrition. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is low quality fuel for your body. It is dead food and has no life in itself to promote quality life in your body. Choose raw when possible. Take advantage of beans and a rainbow of colors in your food choices. All your body functions will thank you.
Talk to God. Get moving. Eat right. Simple!
When will you make your first effort? Today is the best answer. What benefits do you hope to see? Write them down and start your 3 simple steps (P.E.N.) to a healthier you.