Joggen am Morgen

Embracing the Gift of Life and Living Healthfully

Popular culture all over the world spells it out. We should aspire to live a healthy lifestyle. And we surely do. In the spirit of living healthfully, gym memberships will soar with the beginning of the new year. Roughly half of us will resolve to lose weight or improve our fitness.

It’s a big business. Gym memberships are growing year after year, setting new records. Whether or not we have time to work out, we want to give that appearance, so athleisure togs are becoming a half-trillion-dollar industry worldwide. For yoga pants alone, we’re spending a billion dollars a year.

Personal Responsibility for Health

All of this flows from a perfectly reasonable proposition. People should take personal responsibility for their health. That means we need healthy habits – a healthful, balanced diet, plenty of sleep, and healthy physical activity.

However, personal responsibility offers no guarantees. Jobs and schoolwork keep us glued to our seats and computer screens. Even if we make it to the gym for a workout, it doesn’t cancel out the effects of eight daily hours of sedentary desk work. Convenience and taste appeal often win out when people choose what to eat. Let’s face it. We tell ourselves that we’re eating healthy. But mostly we’re eating what’s at hand.

Bodies Beautiful and Frail

Our bodies are a beautiful gift. But they are also frail and diverse. Some people enjoy the good fortune of a near perfect gene pool that gives them great odds of a long life mostly free from chronic diseases. Others find themselves contending with serious health issues early in life or throughout their lives. You might find a reason for those health issues. Nobody has perfect health habits. But the truth is that few people choose bad health. It chooses them.

Each of us can enjoy a pure gift of grace in our lives and our health. At the same time, we will all have to face the limits of mortality. Sooner or later our health will fail in some way. We might heal and come back for many more years of good health. We can take action to improve our odds. Or we might struggle regardless.

Mortal Lives

In the end, all the personal responsibility in the world will not free us from the limits of this mortal life. For that, we may turn to our spiritual lives.

So, resolutions for living a healthier lifestyle might best be viewed as a response to the gift of life. They can help us to make the most of the lives we’ve inherited. But we still need help to live gracefully within the limits of this mortal life.

Joggen am Morgen, photograph © Christian Kothe / flickr

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January 1, 2019

One Response to “Embracing the Gift of Life and Living Healthfully”

  1. January 01, 2019 at 10:21 am, Stephen Phillips said:

    Thanks Ted
    For the contribution that ConscienHealth continues to make to our daily health and happiness

    With Gratitude

    Stephen Phillips