It might be a stretch to connect our physical health to scripture, though I am sure it has and can be done. I would softly whisper that as followers of Jesus, doesn’t it just make good, common sense to be in the best place physically, mentally, spiritually as we possibly can? Not just for our benefit or the benefit of our loved ones; but as an act of worship and service to the Master? Doesn’t it make sense to prioritize your physical self-care as much as your soul care? I am not suggesting that we all need to be svelte as if we were trying to emulate the most beautiful people in the world – not at all. But to be the very best version of ourselves for the glory of God.
As you know, your physical health impacts your mental, emotional and spiritual development. Of course, the other areas are as important; but as a society we’ve relegated our physical health further and further down the list of personal disciplines. And so goes our spiritual and emotional health. Here are some important statistics that Health and Wellness Coach, Gina Reinecke shares with her clients:
Obesity is one of the most pressing health issues of our time
- Over 70% of adults in the United States (US) are overweight or obese, with nearly 40% having obesity.
- Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing many related, often serious conditions (e.g. heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer) and has a substantial economic impact.
- The US spends an estimated $190 billion on obesity related medical conditions, and the average annual medical costs for those with obesity are over $1,400 higher compared to people in a normal weight range.
- Other countries are also experiencing growing rates of obesity and, worldwide, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
- Weight loss can help to reduce both the medical and economic impact of obesity by decreasing the risk of developing associated chronic diseases.
©2019 Medifast Clinical Studies Overview
Reasons we struggle to make physical health a priority
Some people are really good at keeping commitments to themselves in this arena. Others struggle. Here are some reason people struggle to make their physical health a priority:
- Negative experiences
This is a very simple tool that was introduced by Dr.Wayne Scott Andersen the co-Founder of OptaVia (that I have modified for our purposes). Apply these to your physical well-being:
STOP: What do you need to stop doing?
CHALLENGE: What specific actions can you take to achieve different results?
CHOOSE: What new behavior, technique, or mindset changes will you adopt immediately?
Used with permission from Dr. A’s Habits of Health (pgs. 133-137) by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen
5 ways to break the cycle and make health a priority
I’ve always been a believer in starting wherever you are at on your health journey. What I often hear about are friends who have been sedentary for a decade or more and after seeing a YouTube video of an Adventure Race – got the idea that they should begin training for a marathon. That is not a good idea. Most likely, that person is going to get injured. Assess where you are and start there!
- Find activities you enjoy
- Take baby steps like walking your block and then increase gradually over time
- Take a health assessment with a health coach
- Find a buddy to do activities you both love to do together
- Remove one thing in your diet that you are confident is causing you trouble
7 coaching questions to help guide a physical health journey:
It is one thing to tell a person what they need to do – it is quite another to help them discover it for themselves. Here are some coaching questions that can help:
- Can you describe “why” it is important for you to focus on your physical health? It could be:
- play with your grandchildren
- go on a hike
- outlive a parent that died prematurely
- In what ways are your “why” compelling?
- What does success in your health look like?
- Identify your greatest challenges?
- What changes do you need to make to reach your goal?
- Who do you know that can help you on your journey?
- What is one simple thing you can do that will help you get started?
It’s time to up your game!
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