Growing spiritually means becoming more loving; we work to give more love not only to others, but to ourselves.
Give Your Body Love
As humans, our body and spirit are intertwined. We cannot be our most loving self without extending love to our body.
We love the body by taking good care of it:
- eating well,
- drinking water,
- getting enough rest,
- avoiding too much caffeine,
- and harmful substances,
- and of course, through exercise.
The human body was made to move. It craves movement, and neglecting the body will take a toll not only on our physical health, but on our mind and spirit.
Physical movement is a big part of spirituality and contributes to rebalancing the body. The repetitive motion of a walk, a jog, a swim, a bike ride, or a hike allows us to connect with our bodies and feel the movement.
Movement Helps You Hear the Messages from Your Body
Consider using exercise as a time to meditate. If you normally walk for 30 minutes, try devoting just five minutes of this time to become mindful of your body and the experience of the movement.
Notice your breathing. Notice the sensations. Pull your mind back when it starts to wander.
So many people spend their lives in their head, too busy to notice their body. It is easier to become more aware of your body when you are in motion compared to when you are sitting still. And as you become more aware of your body while engaged in activity, you will learn to start checking in with your body at other times.
For example, checking in with your body regularly can help you become more aware of your hunger and fullness cues. You will learn to honor your body’s needs in the moment.
You Only Need to Give 1.5 Percent
Notice how your body reacts to physical activity. If you aren’t in a regular practice of moving your body, it might be painful and difficult to get started. If this is the case for you, start out slow, with just five to ten minutes of activity. Then gradually build up.
In order for the body to be optimally healthy, people need 150 to 300+ minutes of activity per week. Less than half of all Americans meet the physical activity guidelines of just 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
I really believe that with commitment, getting 150 minutes of activity a week is possible for almost everyone. Just how much activity is this? Given there are 10,080 total minutes in a week, this is just 1.5% of your total time in a week. Can you give 1.5% of your life to engage in movement?
If so, how do you think it would benefit you, not only physically and mentally, but also, spiritually?
Holly Alastra is a registered dietitian and licensed mental health counselor who has helped thousands of people lose weight over the past 20 years. She wishes you peace and joy with your body, the magnificent vessel of your spirit.