We need to develop an elevated approach to how we care for our physical body—the building that we live in, machinery that we operate, vessel through which we live. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that six out of every ten Americans is living with at least one lifestyle-related chronic disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts globally by 2030, 70% of deaths will result from chronic diseases related to health behaviors, allotting for an average of 10 years of life lost. The leading health behaviors associated with preventing chronic lifestyle-related diseases are not smoking, limited alcohol, optimal feeding, stress management, and physical activity. Our body wants to know—hey, is that too much to ask to keep us in the game? Let’s face it, if our body were a spouse, it would divorce us—a friend would cut ties with someone who treated them so poorly. Might we embrace a perspective shift that includes a deeper connection with our physical self, acknowledging how magnificent this equipment is, and cultivate a hearty respect for how hard our body works to stay alive—despite our current health practices.
The perspective shift could start with a solid round of appreciation for how well our body does function, carrying us everywhere, enduring our stress and strain, toiling, and strife like a real warrior. Each act of care for our being—ingesting fruits and vegetables, physical movement, sleep, meditation, prayer—can be viewed as kindness and love to self. Attending to our self will make us more able to give, love, serve and experience a long, productive, joy-filled life. Partner with your body, take a moment and acknowledge its friendship and dedication—the rewards could be endless.