Analysis: ISAAC MACHISA
ARE you still looking for the secrets to becoming successful in life?
It all starts with how healthy you are. A quote attributed to one of the world’s renowned leaders, Mahatma Gandhi, is that health is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. In agreement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the most influential writers in the United States, says the first wealth you should acquire is health.
Therefore, a truly successful life is only packaged in a healthy body and a sound mind. Hence the apostle Paul in the Bible was quick to point out that God’s intention for his people is to be in vibrant health. Being healthy and living a long happy life is important for each of us. Health practitioners, policy makers and scholars defined health as a resource for everyday life. The Ottawa Charter for Health promotion further states that health is a concept that emphasises social and personal resources as well as physical capacities.
This means that good health is a major source of support for personal development and supports an individual to function in a wider society. Think of your body as a BMW or Ferrari. After all, your body functions like a car.
Let’s look at why your body, like a car, needs servicing for it to function at its full potential.
(1) You only have one body
There is one thing owning a car will teach you – care. People who own vehicles have a special way of looking after them. You can see the care even when they drive on the roads. When the vehicle makes a funny noise, they are quick to rush to the garage and make the necessary repairs by using the needed replacement parts. They are extra careful how they drive their vehicles on bumpy roads. They look after a car like a baby.
As you care for your vehicle you must realise that your body is more important than any vehicle you could ever own. God has blessed you with only one body that must last you a lifetime. The body is the most valuable asset you have.
Unlike your vehicle, your body is not replaceable. You cannot run to the garage to have your brain, legs, ears or feet replaced.
It is therefore important that you nourish it with healthy foods and exercise your body regularly for you to stay physically active. Whether it’s a daily walk or a gym workout, fit some exercise into each day. Put your body first on your list of priorities.
(2) Your body is designed to make movements.
The car is the mode of transportation. It was built to be driven and not to be immobile. When a car is left at one point for a longer period of time, it may not start or run, and it becomes unsafe to drive. You will eventually notice countless problems with the car after long periods of inactivity.
One of the things that easily break down in an unused car are fuel pumps and gas tanks. Once the tank rusts, the entire tank, including the fuel pumps and other valves and pipes surrounding the gas tank, will need replacing. The battery can also die. Additionally, plugs can also malfunction.
Your body, in the same way, works best when it’s active because it was designed for movements like running, jumping, dancing, climbing and walking. That’s why our ancestors lived longer. They had a highly active hunter-gatherer lifestyle. But with the coming in of technology, people have become sedentary. They spend far more time sitting or lying down than standing or walking. Even children have deserted their old-fashioned hobby activities like playing in the streets or in the playground and replaced them with video games.
With our current tendencies towards less active lifestyles, we need to be thinking about exercise as a potentially important intervention. We need to integrate activity into our daily lives because a sedentary lifestyle is a killer.
(3) Your body needs to be attended to regularly.
Anything you leave unattended to will start to deteriorate and eventually die. A quick example is a car battery, one of the most important parts of a car. When it fails, it can cause a lot of problems for you and your car.
Luckily, there are some early warning signs which you should never ignore. This means that any part of your body is important and you should not neglect it, no matter how insignificant you think it may be to your overall health. When one part is unwell, the whole body is unwell.
It is important that you do your part to give each and every piece of your body the attention and care it needs. Taking care of your body is a necessity that your body needs, rather than wants. That is why eating well and exercising must be a priority.
Winston Churchill said healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.
The author is a pastor, mentor and fitness trainer.