Back in the day, diet and exercise weren’t such a big deal because people had manual labor jobs, mostly walked everywhere, and ate whole foods. Then came the industrial revolution and technology. Now we mostly sit around working, and our diets comprise more processed and fast foods. Exercise has benefits for your body, but also for your brain health.
exercise for brain health and your body
Enter the exercise and diet programs. I have to say, my girlfriend and I really rocked out leggings and headbands while doing our Jane Fonda video workouts in the 80s! Unfortunately, exercise, like other human activities, can have an obsessive dark side. (No, I’m not talking about Richard Simmons, just kidding!) A new diet craze seems to happen every few weeks, vilifying and eliminating entire food groups.
Throughout the Illuminate Series, I am emphasizing balance, moderation, and a Biblical perspective. These are key to a healthy mental relationship with exercise and food. Both are essential for our bodies and our brains. They sustain us. Exercise and a whole food diet stimulate the growth of brain cells, improve our memories, can slow the aging process and the development of depression. But you don’t have to train like an Olympic athlete, or eat like a bird, to enjoy these results.
1 Timothy 4:3-9 says, “They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.
If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.”
Healthy Body, Healthy Brain
Again, the emphasis is on healthy self-care. Find an activity you love. Get your blood pumping. Walk, garden, dance, hike, run, stairs, bike, swim, whatever! Add some stretches (you will appreciate this part when you get older.) A couple of things for your muscles, like those stretchy bands or squats and push-ups. Done! Exercise is to benefit you, not take over your life. Just 30 minutes a day will keep you healthy.
Eat the foods you love. Trends change and it always seems like the latest evil food comes back around to be okay. Fat was the big enemy in the 80s and now they have discovered that the brain needs a certain amount of fat to operate properly. Forget fads, think moderation, like portion size, variety, and balance.
So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.Ecclesiastes 8:15