Our culture is pounded daily with advertisements, pictures, and slogans to “stay in shape.” The goal of these ads is to get society to feel inadequate about some aspect of their lives and to purchase products that will remedy the problem.
Is this the true meaning of being “in shape?”
In Western culture, we compartmentalize ourselves into body, mind, and soul as if somehow these three aspects are not all connected. It is impossible to reach our potential if we do not “staying in shape” in all arenas of life.
The cultural meaning of staying in shape according to forums.wordreference.com is to “not gain weight” and “retain a good figure.” Let’s not forget the real benefit of exercise, which is decreased risk of heart-related illness and improved cardiovascular health. It would be amazing if we could all look like Kelly Ripa (I actually read a book on the alkaline diet she follows), but heart health is the most important outcome. Having a good fitness level and a little cellulite may not meet society’s definition, but an aerobic exercise base leads to a strong heart.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
According to research, the amount people forget widely varies, from 0-94%.
Engaging your mind in learning keeps you mentally in shape. Doing puzzles helps to encourage neurons to fire. Getting sleep and exercise can also be beneficial for mental agility. As we age, part of staying in shape is mental.
Attending to the soul can range from meditating on Scripture to appreciating nature. God calls us to connect with Him in a substantial way in order to receive sustenance. We need to focus on growing our relationship with God through reading, prayer, fellowship, worship, and listening.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4).
We cannot hope to reach our dreams, be successful, or persevere through tough times if we don’t take care of our entire person. As you head out into your day, remember to try to go for a walk or hit the gym for some physical movement, challenge your brain with a mental activity, and take some time out for God.
Oh, and sleep, laugh, and smile.
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