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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Church is Good for You

April 22nd, 2013 No comments

Not long ago, I blogged the news that it’s better to give than to receive. Now comes the news that going to church is good for you. It’s almost like there was some kind of supernatural agency that wanted us to know how we could have better lives. (I blogged this on the web site at my church, but the original article was in the NY Times.)

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More on Thanksgiving

November 30th, 2011 No comments

I wrote about thankfulness a while back, but I hadn’t seen this piece from the New York Times about the health benefits associated with gratitude:

Compared with a control group, the people keeping the gratitude journal were more optimistic and felt happier. They reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out.

Further benefits were observed in a study of polio survivors and other people with neuromuscular problems. The ones who kept a gratitude journal reported feeling happier and more optimistic than those in a control group, and these reports were corroborated by observations from their spouses. These grateful people also fell asleep more quickly at night, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.

Think about that: the Bible tells you to do something that will make you more optimistic and feel happier, that will help you get to sleep quicker, sleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed!

That’s in the Bible! It’s not just about drudgery imposed on us by a mean-spirited cosmic killjoy. In fact, it’s almost like our heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts.

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How to Boost Your Memory

February 1st, 2011 No comments

This is interesting: aging adults can boost their memory just by taking a walk.

“With a limited investment of time and effort you can produce fairly dramatic improvements in memory and brain health,” senior researcher Arthur Kramer, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told LiveScience. “You can roll back the clock about two years.”

Physical exercise — it doesn’t have to be aerobic — seems to grow a structure in the brain called the hippocampus at a time when it normally decreases.

Maybe that’s why the Scriptures describe our life as a “walk.”

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Second-Chance God

November 1st, 2009 No comments

He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

I began to put on a little weight a couple of years ago. This, without any obvious changes in my diet or exercise. My doctor told me, “Well, that’s middle age for you.” (She put it a little more politely than that, but that’s the message that came through.) So I’ve been watching my diet and trying to get more exercise. I’ve also begun to notice health and fitness articles in the news more than I used to.

A recent survey suggests that even the oldest people benefit from exercise. The 3-year survival rate for active 85-year olds is three times as high as the rate for sedentary ones. (“Active,” in this study, is four hours’ exercise a week, and the “exercise” didn’t have to be lifting weights or running marathons: it could be as simple as taking a couple of 15-minute walks a day.)

That’s encouraging to me. But another finding was even more interesting: It’s never too late to start. Even 85-year olds who became more active after a lifetime of sedentary living still had double the survival rate of their inactive counterparts!

There are so many things in our culture that tell us the opposite message. It’s too late to change. The die is cast. We’ve made our beds and now we have to lie in them. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Our faith teaches us that’s a lie. It’s never too late to change, because our God is a God of second chances. “Remember me when you come into your kingdom,” the thief said, and Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)

But it’s not just about eternal life. Or, rather, eternal life isn’t just about life after death. Eternal life is a new kind of life that we experience in Christ now, and will continue to enjoy after death. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

Where are you experiencing that newness in your own life?

Maybe you could take up a new pastime.

Maybe you can let bygones be bygones, and forgive an old enemy.

Maybe you can invest in a new relationship.

Or perhaps you’re like one of those people in the study who has been living a sedentary life, and you could become more active.

I’d love to hear ways you’re experiencing newness in your life. And until next time, be a blessing!

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