As Seventh-day Adventists, we have a unique message of leading a holistic lifestyle that can be more than passively part of our identity—it can be actively lived out.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength.” The word for strength here translates more accurately as “very” or “much.”
Basically, we should love God with all our being, using every possibility, capacity and opportunity we have to serve and honor Him.
To me, the pursuit of optimal health is important in helping serve God and loving others as effectively and responsibly as I can, with a fullness of energy and vigor.
Health has always been a big passion of mine. I was blessed to grow up in a home where healthy eating and physical activity were valued and prioritized. Like most of us, though, I often take my health for granted. It’s easy to forget that millions of people in the world live without access to clean water, adequate nutrition and proper health education. Not only that. Our society’s standards of beauty and strength often distract us from nurturing the health of our minds and souls as much as our bodies.
I want to share some practical tips with you that I’ve found helpful in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. There are massive amounts of advice and opinions out there. I encourage you to not be afraid of trying things and putting ideas to the test! I believe that when it comes to health, there is a lot we can do to get back to the basics:
Water: Drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. Preload meals with water instead of drinking during meals. Drink water instead of snacking.
Whole foods: Eat foods in their unprocessed and unrefined forms (e.g. an apple instead of apple juice, or oatmeal instead of dry cereal).
Keep moving: In addition to a specified exercise time, find creative ways to keep moving throughout the day (e.g. squats in the bathroom, push-ups or jumping jacks as a study break, parking farther away or standing up while studying).
Front-load your calories: You’ve probably heard the phrase “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” Calories eaten in the morning burn more easily than calories eaten at night. Not only that, but a light dinner will help you sleep better.
Eat mindfully: This means putting away the screens and being intentional about enjoying meals and people you’re with.
Walking: Low intensity exercise helps the body burn more fat at rest. Fifteen minutes of walking or any exercise is better than nothing at all!
Laughter. It’s a sign that you aren’t taking life too seriously.
I hope this has inspired you to keep walking towards the healthiest version of yourself!
Written by: Alexandra Lang