Living in Health

Since the COVID19 Lockdown in 2020, I have observed many more people taking exercise, with running, walking and cycling popular. Perhaps this is one aspect of the isolation of the last 4-months that has accrued to our benefit. Thankfully the lockdown has been in the spring – summer period when the weather was conducive to these activities.

Coronavirus has, however, raised the question of how we take care of our general well-being, both mental and physical. Each of these categories breaks down into 3 – subsections: Eating habits, sleep and exercise (pertaining to physical health); meditation, social interaction and control of ones thought life (pertaining to mental health).

If we want to slow-down the aging process we need to take account of each of these. Our eating habits and exercise are both important to maintain a healthy weight. The amount that we eat, measured in calories, needs careful control, as does what we eat. Consuming high-fat, high-sugar processed food has a counterproductive effect in accelerating the aging process. More healthy foods are highly recommended, but usually more expensive. Daily fasting, such as missing a meal, is a useful means of diet control. Time-restricted eating, as a means of long-term calorie reduction, is another useful strategy. For example, fasting between 8 pm and noon the next day.

For adults just passed middle age, a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicated that walking 3km per day (about 4,000 steps) could improve capacity to concentrate, information processing and cognitive function.

Sleep quality is significant. Fragmented sleep is connected with chronic inflammation through-out the bloodstream, and linked with higher amounts of plaques in coronary arteries. This connection may not be limited to heart disease, but could include mental health and neurological disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Other studies suggest that meditation slows down the wear on particles of DNA (known as telomeres) which protect our chromosomes from deterioration. This can give rise to wrinkling of the skin, greying hair and sagging muscles. Meditation is also good practice for mental health, since it should include positive thought processes. Optimists live longer, according to a study at Boston University of more than 70,000 people in 2019. They found that optimists have a 70% better chance of reaching 85 than severe pessimists. A recent study at University College, London, found that having negative thoughts over a long period of time may be linked to the deposit of harmful proteins in the brain, which, in turn, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Limited social interaction has clearly been a mental health hazard during the coronavirus emergency. Periods of self-isolation and family lockdown have taken their toll. Psychologists and psychiatrists alike have expressed concern about the mental health of people who must stay at home, especially those who live alone. Loneliness has become a much more acute problem than before the advent of COVID19.

When it comes to our personal health, our heart attitude also needs to be taken into account. Joy and happiness are not simply a matter of taking responsibility for applying all of the suggestions already featured in this blog. For that will not, of itself, bring joy and satisfaction into our lives. I propose having a heart attitude of joy, happiness and thanksgiving is more important than the sum of all of the anti-aging, physical and mental health suggestions we may take onboard. Having love in our lives, both for ourselves, our family and others gives us an outward look and leads us to care about others. So warmth, generosity and good-naturedness arise as a consequence of happiness in our own heart and mind. When we espouse these virtues as our “normal”, the gain is most desirable, and is too often under-stated. I believe our enjoyment of life depends on it.

Being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't. Margaret Thatcher
The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but God will make us good because he loves us. C S Lewis
Fear is misplaced faith. Kris Vallotton
God has already seen every mistake, every failure and every weakness, and the good news is he's already forgiven you. He is not holding it against you. Joel Osteen
God is not nearly so interested in changing your circumstances as he is in changing you. Joyce Meyer
Pray, and let God worry Martin Luther
Those who never change their mind never change anything. Winston Churchill
What you do (for a living) is not who you are.  Celia Apeagyei-Collins 
 People who write you off when you fail know nothing about history and even less about life. No person ever fully succeeds until they fully fail. Lance Wallnau 
There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.  C S Lewis
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot
You never know how much you really believe anything until it's truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you. C S Lewis
If you know you are loved, faith is easy. It's easy to trust someone you know loves you. David Forster
Every moment that you spend upset, despaired, anguished, angry, afraid or hurt, because of the behaviour of someone else in your life, is a moment in which you have given up control of your life. Unknown
Remember, you do not have to live today by how you feel, nor by what you think about yourself, nor by what someone else thinks about you. The person who created you thinks you are wonderful, and he waits with open arms for you to agree with him. David Forster
Shift gears from doing something in God's presence to simply being in God's presence. Lance Wallnau
Your future doesn't depend on what is in front of you, it depends on who is in you. Lance Wallnau
Did you know that you are utterly and completely loved by God, without doing a single thing, good or bad. David Forster
no one knows how bad they are until they have tried very hard to be good.. C S Lewis
If we are living daily by faith, we will be constantly over our head; Beyond our ability to do this our that. We should all be in that place in some area of our life. If we are not, we will be like an old wineskin; too rigid and inflexible to receive the Lord's new wine. Rick Joyner
For a believer intimacy with God is not an option, it's a necessity. Guidance and direction depend on this intimacy and sensitivity to Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for the latter. Graham Cooke
Jesus reveals the Father to us. He gives us peace and rest. He is not a hard taskmaster. David Forster
The God who creates everything, pursues you. Don't let anyone tell you you're are worth less than that. Louie Giglio
In the kingdom, physical obedience brings spiritual release. Bill Johnson
Don't be surprised if you pray for nearness to God and he sends a trial. Nearness always requires dependence. Desiringgod.org
Our corporate worship doesn't meet a need in God, it meets a need in us. Sam Storms
How you feel is not who you are. Feelings are great servants and terrible masters. Kris Vallotton
There is a lot that is good in your life. Don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggle that you mis the gift of today. Joel Osteen
The enemy commits identity theft when you believe you must earn what God freely gives. Alison Brown
If you agree with your creator and receive what he freely gives, you will have serenity in your identity and confidence in your countenance. David Forster
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. David Forster
A satisfying and exciting life organises around an identity focused on Jesus, not the church..  Graham Cooke
Satan cannot impose his will on anyone, he has to have our agreement.  Graham Cooke
Every day adjust yourself to where God is taking you, that is, toward the prophetic vision he has given you. Lance Wallnau
Real faith is not faith in an outcome (of a particular situation or circumstance), it's faith in a person. David Forster
Be in no doubt that God will redeem the losses and mistakes of your past life. David Forster
God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because there is simply no such thing. C S Lewis
Wealth, women and status; these are the major temptations that can draw a man away from God. Each is morally neutral; yet given the appropriate significance, each can control us. David Forster
The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist. Anon
Fear is the enemy of love. The two cannot exist together. We have to choose daily: Fear or Love. David Forster
You are not saved because of the quality of your faith. You are saved because of the object of your faith; The Redeemer! Tim Keller
Revival goes from the bottom up; Reformation goes from the top down. Therefore reformation is institutional and revival is personal. Lance Wallnau
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
Inner peace is key to experiencing God's presence. Rest is a weapon against the enemy Graham Cooke
Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. G K Chesterton
When you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with yourself and with other people. David Forster
You can believe in Christianity in the same way you believe that the sun has risen; Firstly, because you see it and secondly because by it you see everything else. C S Lewis
A little while ago I became old enough to start believing in fairy tales again. This means there are far better things ahead of me then what I have left behind. C S Lewis
Your unfinished destiny is your most potent argument with death. Graham Cooke
I am not focused on what I am not, I am focused on what he is for me. David Forster
Reaching the Heights