Discover The Missing Key to Improving Your Health

Do you know the top ten causes for death? You will recognize them all.

Here they are?

1. Heart disease

2. Cancer

3. Stroke

4. Lower-respiratory diseases

5. Injury (mostly car accidents)

6. Diabetes

7. Flu and pneumonia

8. Alzheimer's disease

9. Kidney disease

10. Infection

Source: 1999-2001 mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Most of us want to live long, productive, pain free lives.

So, then, why are so many people dying from heart disease, cancer and strokes - most of which can be prevented through lifestyle changes?

***Health Is More Than Just Physical***

Health is defined in Webster's dictionary as "sound physical or mental condition". Did you notice this definition only includes physical health and mental health? What about emotional health and spiritual health? So many times I separate my life into different "file folders".

I have a folder for exercise and diet, a folder for my relationship with God, a folder for my social life, and another folder for my emotions?.can anyone else relate? I try to fix my exercise and diet without addressing my emotions. Or I try to overcome a difficult relationship in my "social folder" without addressing my relationship with God.

I try to separate myself -- my emotions, my mind, my spirit and my body into different parts. And it just doesn't work.

***Water, Ice & Steam - The Same Substance In Different Forms***

Let's take the example of water. It has different functions as water, ice and steam, but it is still the same basic molecular substance. H2O.

Similarly, I believe each one of us has different parts - our emotions, mind, spirit and body, but they all interrelate to one another. They can't be separated. Picture three circles. Now picture them all overlapping. I believe the three circles are your emotions, mind and body and where they all overlap - the core of your being - is your spirit. Your deepest beliefs and desires.

Have you ever noticed that when you feel depressed it is harder to exercise? Or if you suffer from physical pain it is harder to concentrate mentally on your work?

***Fitness Trends - Yoga, Pilates & Wellness***

I believe one reason Yoga & Pilates have become popular fitness trends is because they try to incorporate some form of spirituality. They realize the "key" to improved health is not just physical.

There's another popular trend called "wellness". Instead of only addressing exercise, wellness also addresses other aspects of our life, such as emotional and mental health.

"The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually." -- Greg Anderson

***Unlock Your Potential With This Key - Spirituality!***

Our bodies "were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies?. Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which belongs to Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!.... Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:13, 15,19-20 (NIV)

What is the key to improving your physical health? Honor God with your body. It is as simple as that.

But, just because it is simple, does not mean it is always easy. How can you honor God with the foods you eat and the physical energy you have (or don't have)? You can honor God with your body with the choices you make each day. One of the main reasons I exercise is to have more physical energy for my daily tasks and to not feel so tired in the mornings.

Honor God with your body.

In closing, remember that "physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

Written by Shelley Hitz, Licensed Physical Therapist and Certified NASM Personal Trainer.
Sign up for her free Exercise Advice journal at http://www.abs-exercise-advice.com/journal.ht ml or read more of her articles at http://www.abs-exercise-advice.com. Get your free unbelievable abs ball workout here!

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