Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies -
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
1971. This was a year of contrast for the Sadler family. This was the year that my parents purchased their first and only home. It was also the year that my father, at age 31, was prescribed high blood pressure medication. Part of the reason was because of the stress of his job, but the other part revolved around eating habits and exercise. I will never forget how taking his medication became a part of his daily regimen. I discussed in an earlier blog post about how my uncles on my mother's side of the family died at an early age that was attributed in large part to their eating habits and lack of exercise. As a result of these two factors, my uncles left behind families that missed their smiles and their unique way of touching people because they chose not to practice healthy eating habits along with adopting an exercise regimen.
The irony of my age when I started to work out is not lost on me. I started at the age of 31, which happened to coincide with the age of my father when he started to take high blood pressure medication. I often wonder why did I walk into that gym that day to begin what has become an important way of life for me for the last 2 decades. In all honesty, I just wanted to bulk up because I wanted to look better when I wore my suits. I unexpectedly stumbled upon additional benefits, namely cardiovascular health, increased energy level among other positive results. Another byproduct is that my wife and children are now incorporating fitness as a part of their everyday life. As a matter of fact, there are times that all 4 of us when will go into the local gym to work out as a family. We have purchased an extractor and are now purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables to use on a daily basis to ensure that we are getting the proper nutrition (I'm from the South, so I still have my fried foods, just in moderation). When I am visiting family during the holidays, I pause and reflect on the loved ones that died at an early age from health issues that were largely preventable. In some ways, their absence provides the impetus for me to make informed choices in regard to exercise and diet and serve as a role model for my family. The experience that I gained from observation of the decisions that I saw others make in regard to their health shaped how I view my body and the manner in the way that I treat it. I truly want to honor God with how I take care of the body that He has provided and draw on the experiences that I saw others go through. 'God Wastes Nothing.'
Men, if you don't have a fitness regimen along with good nutritional habits, please start. If you are doing something in each of these areas, I applaud you and encourage you to continue because you are laying the foundation to pass these habits along to the next generation.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.