Honor Your Body, Honor Your Creator
We should all treat our bodies as the gifts that they are, even when parts are not working as well as originally designed.
Here’s something everyone can agree on: caring for the body improves well-being. This observational fact is not controversial. It seems that only humans have to be told how to care for their bodies, and need frequent reminders and motivations. That’s because humans have the power of choice, and the ability to set goals and strive for things beyond mere survival. Let these science news stories be the latest reminders to get off the couch and stay active.
Get moving to get happier, study finds (Science Daily). A research project at the University of Michigan found that “exercise increased positive mental health in the same way it reduced negative mental health.” In other words, force yourself to exercise; you’ll be glad you did.
Two thirds of young children do not do enough physical activity (Medical Xpress). Kids naturally thrive on activity outdoors, but the lure of electronic devices has short-circuited their natural curiosity about reality. Physical fitness is not just about the body; it affects the brain and emotions, too, and benefits social development. Dr. Hayley Christian of the University of Western Australia is concerned that so many children don’t measure up to national fitness guidelines. The solution? “It is about having fun – moving and playing every day.”
Exercise could outsmart genetics when it comes to heart disease (Medical Xpress). Blaming genes for your low fitness? This article from the American Heart Association says that genes don’t determine destiny. “Exercise, especially cardio fitness, could outweigh genetics when it comes to heart disease, according to new research” at Stanford. Individuals at genetic risk of heart disease should always consult their physicians, of course, before undertaking an exercise program. See also a related article on Medical Xpress about this.
Living near green space may make for a healthier you (Medical Xpress). Something about being outdoors near trees and nature makes exercise more pleasurable.
Planning a move in the future? You might want to make sure there are parks nearby.
Research suggests that people who live near parks and green space are happier and healthier.
For Senior Citizens
Regular stretching shown to improve muscles in elderly (Medical Xpress). It’s a sad fact that “elderly people with reduced mobility and weak muscles are often less likely to take part in exercise.” But that’s no excuse for inactivity. Even for those with reduced mobility, “Daily muscle stretching could bring health benefits,” this article says. It’s a low-intensity way to get some improvement in physical fitness; “even very old individuals can perform muscle stretching with minimal risk of injury.”
Older adults grow just as many new brain cells as young people (Science Daily). Scientists have long told us that the brain cells you were born with are all you get. Maybe you have used that as an excuse to curl up and die once you pass your prime. No; this article shows research results that “many senior citizens remain more cognitively and emotionally intact than commonly believed.” Use it or lose it!
Research shows we’re stronger than we think, especially as we age (Medical Xpress). Research at the College of William and Mary shows that nerves, when pushed too hard, stop pushing muscles, so as to protect themselves—even though the muscles remain capable of more exertion.
The researchers found that young tired muscle produces the same amount of force as old tired muscle after continual stimulation or exercise.
“That whole aging thing disappears when the muscle gets tired. It’s no longer a factor,” Deschenes said. “After looking at all of this evidence, we find that when a young muscle gets tired it’s no better than old muscle. It’s the same. So if you’re older, you don’t have an excuse not to exercise. Our research demonstrates that.”
The Present Is a Gift
Listen while you exercise. A good way to get motivated for personal health is to realize just how marvelous the body is. On ID the Future, Dr. Howard Glicksman has a fantastic series of podcasts about body systems called “The Designed Body,” and he’s really good at communicating how things work (Note: written versions in the series can also be found at Evolution News & Science Today, if you search on Glicksman). Listen to these examples to get a glimpse into what a fantastic gift you have in your body:
- Glucose Systems in the Body — Another Instance of Irreducible Complexity (ID the Future)
- Our Irreducibly Complex Blood Pressure Control System (ID the Future)
- A Doc Looks at Why Water is Important for Human Life (ID the Future)
Natural locomotion based on a reduced set of inertial sensors: Decoupling body and head directions indoors (PLoS One). This secular paper gives a glimpse in how the brain keeps track of body motion and head motion. These can be confused with Virtual Reality headsets. When it comes to body systems, nothing is taken for granted.
New book by Nancy Pearcey encourages proper Christian view of the body. The word “Thy” in the title of Nancy Pearcey’s latest book, Love Thy Body, suggests there will be something righteous in what otherwise would sound like another self-love book. Pearcey challenges the transgender and homosexual communities (and their counselors) with Biblical principles that work better than shaming. She says that they don’t love their bodies enough! They don’t understand the gift that God has given them in their bodies and sex roles. In the process, she helps all readers gain a higher, Biblical view of the body, and encourages us all to realize why we obeying God’s principles is the best option for our health and happiness.
No matter where you are in age or ability, there is something you can do to get stronger. Don’t measure yourself by others; just try to get beyond where you are now. If nothing else, stretch while sitting at the computer, or breathe deeply three times in a row, several times a day. And if you can do more, by all means, do it. It’s like an investment that yields interest in happiness. And while you do it, give thanks to the Creator of all these things you have. Paul admonished: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).