How do we increase our physical energy? God made our physical bodies – one of the most amazing of his creations. It has been designed for optimum performance IF we look after it and ensure that we take time to renew our physical energy on a regular basis.
When we are sick or unhealthy it is hard to have the energy we need to do what God has called us to. That’s why looking after our physical health must be a priority for us.
Jesus also, in all his busyness of ministry, took time to look after his physical health. Jesus, though completely God, was fully human. He experienced our physical limitations and he had to look after his physical body. This meant adequate sleep, healthy eating and proper exercise.
a. Get a good night’s sleep
Jesus got adequate sleep. When he was tired, he rested. He even took a power nap from time to time. Interestingly, in the Hebrew worldview, the day starts in the evening – “the evening and the morning were the first day.” God intends for us to rest and sleep in order to fill our energy for the coming day of work. We are to work from a place of rest and fullness of energy.
Human energy expert, Tony Schwartz says this, “Sleep is the foundation of physical energy. No single behaviour more fundamentally influences our effectiveness in waking life. Sleep deprivation takes a powerful toll on our health, our emotional well being, and our cognitive functioning … 95% of us require 7-8 hours of sleep a night to be fully rested yet the average person sleeps 6-6.5 hours per night … Sleep is one of the first behaviours we’re willing to sacrifice in order to attempt to get more done. However, numerous studies of great performers suggest that they sleep more not less, than average.”
We need all the sleep we can get. In the old days, people used to go to bed when the sun went down and get up when the sun rises. We do damage when we try to burn the candle both ends of the day. Get a good comfortable mattress, create a dark quiet room, wind down a bit (30-45 minutes) and don’t get to bed too late. What a difference that can make …
b. Eat healthy food
Jesus ate regular meals of healthy food – without all the preservatives, fat and sugars of our “fast food” generation. Interestingly, the healthiest people today are those who live around the Mediterranean Sea who eat very similarly to what Jesus would have done. In contrast, Western civilisation has the greatest amount of disease and much of this is directly related to lifestyle and diet. Food is made very similar to cocaine now – designed to make us eat and eat. A good balanced diet gives you extra energy. What you eat has a profound impact on your health.
Get an annual doctor’s check up, take vitamin supplements if necessary, eat smaller meals more often (5-6 times per day), rather than over-eating 3 times per day. Small frequent meals are much better for us.
c. Exercise regularly
Jesus and his disciples walked everywhere, often miles in a day. Only occasionally, did he catch a donkey. Lots of fresh air and physical exercise is good for you. It contributes to your health and sense of well being and it gives you energy. A little exercise each day makes a big difference and actually increases your energy. Exercise increases the amount of oxygen to the brain, which results in increased thinking and improved creativity. Regular exercise increases our energy – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Our bodies were designed for movement and activity, not for a sedentary lifestyle. Try walking, taking the stairs, stretching, sport, cycling, running, swimming, or join a gym.
Adequate sleep, healthy food and regular exercise give you energy, improve your health and extend you’re the length of your life.
Next up, renewing our Emotional Energy.