Take Care of Your Body
By Rudy Mallari
There are a lot of three-word sayings that remind us of how to live life. Here are someof them: Believe in yourself. Live the moment. Keep it simple. Live, laugh, love. Nothing is impossible. See, hear, speak (no evil). And the last is what I like the most:Stop, look, listen.
Three-word sayings are easy to remember. It’s easy to follow. That’s why we take that formula and apply it to improve our bodily health.
When we mention our body, we think of the physical one, and that’s correct. But our humanity has another side. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created us in His own image.” In John 2:24, it is written: “God is a spirit.” So if we are made according to God’s image, then it follows that we have spirit as well. We live in physical body with spirit.
We are made by God as a complex, fully integrated and interdependent being. The common mistake in today’s conventional medicine is healing the physical aspect only. It does not address our whole being: body, soul and spirit.
When you buy a new car, there’s a manual with a detailed maintenance schedule. Violate what the manufacturer recommends and your car won’t last long.
It’s the same way with our body.
And the basic, three-word formula in caring for our body is this: Rest, fast and exercise.
Let’s take a look at each point.
As defined by Webster, rest means “repose, sleep; specifically a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities, a state of motionless and inactivity, peace of mind and spirit, free of anxieties.”
Even God rested on the seventh day. All of us need to rest, too. We all need a Sabbath.
History teaches us what lack of rest can do. During the French revolution, the French experimented with a 10-day work cycle. Before long, horses and mules died at an alarming rate. They investigated it and decided to return to a seven-day work cycle. The seven-day concept was God’s principle to obtain physical welfare, health and good life.
God created night and day, and evenings are made for us to rest. Sleep is an absolute and undeniable necessity of life. Sleep disturbances set up a vicious cycle of pain, fatigue and emotional distress that make sleep even more unlikely. Inadequate sleep leads to bowel disorders. It can also increase skin and muscle sensitivity to stimuli which causes more pain and distress.
Some researchers believe that one minute of sleep before midnight is equivalent to four minutes of sleep after midnight. Sleep does wonders for your digestion and overall health.
But rest is not only about getting a good night’s sleep. You can also spend some regular quality time in silence every day or go on a vacation (even a staycation) once in a while.
And of course, the best rest is when we pray and surrender to God everything that keeps us busy and makes us tired.
Our digestive system works all the time, even when we are sleeping. When we eat a lot during dinner, our digestive system works overtime. It also needs rest. The Bible calls it fasting. Fasting is the Creator’s high-powered spiritual tool for receiving breakthrough in our body, soul and spirit. Just like our computer and cell phone, our body needs to reboot as well and fasting accomplishes this.
Fasting is one’s willingness to abstain from or reduce taking food or drinks for a certain period. We usually hear this term during Lent, when believers are invited to fast in communion with Christ’s suffering.
Here are some biblically-based fasts:
1. Esther Fast. It is a form of fasting from all foods and liquid for three days as stated in Esther 4:16.
2. Daniel 10-Day Fast. Daniel 1:12 introduces a fasting from meat and wine for 10 days. Only vegetables and water are eaten and taken during this period.
3. Daniel 21-Day Water Fasting. In Daniel 10, Daniel shared that he fasted from any savory food, meat and wine for three weeks. In medical version, only water is recommended while doing this fast.
4. Moses and Jesus 40-Day Fast. This is an absolute fasting for 40 days — which means refraining from drinking water, too. That’s what Moses and Jesus did, as written in Exodus 34:28 and Luke 4:2, respectively.
Today, we need to consult our doctor before we go into extended fasting.
Check out the following recommended ways to fast for a healthier you.
• Drink water only. Eliminate caffeine, alcohol and carbonated sodas.
• Refrain from eating junk food, fast food meals, pasteurized dairy products, commercial breakfast and pork.
• Practice “monofasting,” or eating one type of food only.
• One-day partial fasting from dinner to dinner.
While some people think that fasting is only another form of dieting, it has more benefits than just slimming one’s body.
Fasting produces the following results:
1. The body feels much better after once-a-week fasting and/or partial-day fasting.
2. The body heals while it fasts. It undergoes an important regenerative process during our nightly break from activity and eating.
3. Fasting speeds up metabolism. Since fasting allows our digestive system to rest, it can do its metabolic function more efficiently.
4. Fasting helps ward off acne and can clear the skin. Since the body takes a break from the digestion process, it focuses on other actions such as detoxification.
5. Aside from the physical benefits, fasting also gives us the opportunity to detoxify our spirit. We can devote more of our attention and energy to God since we are not occupied with our bodily needs.
After fasting, our stomach literally shrinks. We need to eat gradually to let it adjust. To break a longer fast, start eating broths and non-acidic liquids such as raw vegetables juices, vegetables, fruits and raw cultured dairy on the first day. Then slowly work your way back to regular diet over a period of two to four days, depending on the length of your fast.
Fasting doesn’t have to be a Lenten practice only. Since our digestive system is one of the most energy-consuming systems in our body, let’s help our body rest and recover by fasting once in a while, or even regularly.
Perhaps our spirit needs it, too.
God created us to move. He never created us to just sit around and wait to die. He wants us to live joyfully, overcome obstacle, play and work.
What happens when we don’t exercise? Our body will accumulate fat and our muscles, joints and internal organs will break down.
The Bible shows that those who walk everywhere, trailed their animals and herds, live in tent or rugged shelters, hunt wild animal for food, daily cultivate their land and take only intermittent period of rest live longer than our modern day man.
What can you do if you haven’t started an exercise regimen?
Moderate exercise. Walking is an ancient activity of the human race. Adam and Eve just walked in the garden.
1. Brisk two-kilometer walk, with long stride and vigorous arm movement. Everyday walking increases enzymes and metabolic activity of the body. It also increases calorie burning for up to 12 hours after you exercise.
• Park away from your office. This will force you to walk.
• Take the stairs.
• Ride a bicycle.
2. Functional Fitness
Functional fitness is a holistic exercise. Functional training focuses on improving the strength of the body core — your abdomen and lower back, which houses many of most important organs.
3. Deep-Breathing Exercise
• Deep breathing increases the fat-burning metabolism of our body and boosts our brain with doses of oxygen.
• Breathing exercise expands and strengthens your lungs. Deep breathing massages and moves the soft internal organs inside your rib cage, allowing your lymph system to rid itself of collected toxins and prevents it from collecting even more.
Don’t wait until your body complains.
Rest, fast and exercise.
It does not take much to maintain the body that God gave us.
*This article originally appeared in Kerygma magazine September 2016 issue.
Kerygma. A Greek word meaning “Proclamation of the Gospel.” It is a Catholic inspirational magazine known for having changed thousands of lives, and has been hailed as the “Publishing Miracle of Asia”. It chronicles real miracles experienced by real people. It features testimonies of God’s unfailing love. Kerygma magazine has been in circulation for more than 25 years, and it will continue to do so for the next 25 more… and beyond.
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