Health and Religion

Today is a special post from a very good friend of mine.  We met about 8 years ago in Boulder, Colorado at the start of a new semester at a new school.  Before meeting this friend, I knew little to nothing about her religion.  Over time she taught me about it and now I find it fascinating.  Today she shares a little bit about it with you.  I find it appropriate for this blog because of the focus on achieving wellness and balance:  mind, body, and soul.  You may have read about it in National Geographic magazine in an article about living long, healthy lives.  Read on.  I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do.


Mind, Body, and Soul.

We know it is important to take care of our “mind, body, and soul.” However, we often lose focus on one if not all of these things in our day-to-day lives.  Seventh-Day Adventists is one organization that tries to help people maintain this balance.  It is a Christian denomination that emphasizes the importance of healthy living through eating right, rest, exercise, and fellowship with others.  Back in 2005, National Geographic published an article regarding longevity that focused on Seventh-Day Adventists along with Okinawans and Sardinians.  The video can be found here.


Part of Seventh-Day Adventists’ commitment to healthy living is in its name.  “Seventh-Day” means that we should rest one day a week, specifically the seventh day or Saturday.  It is a day to put aside all your work, chores, and worries, and focus on your spirituality and relationships with others.  Initially, you may feel guilty about that load of laundry waiting for you or not mowing the lawn that looks like a jungle, but once you develop the habit to making time for yourself and loved ones, you will wonder how you survived without it.

Eating habits

When you eat your bowl of cereal in the morning, you can thank the Kellogg brothers.  Both Seventh-Day Adventists and vegetarian, John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg invented corn flakes breakfast cereal, and popularized cereal as an alternative to eggs and meat for breakfast.  Like the Kellogg brothers, many Seventh-Day Adventists are vegetarian, or least minimize their consumption of animal products, to be healthier.  Eating less meat and more vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is simply good for you.

One popular nutritional book is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, which examines how avoiding animal products decreases the development of chronic diseases, such as cancer and coronary heart disease, and increases longevity.

Get going!

If you want help in developing a healthy lifestyle, feel free to contact a local Seventh-Day Adventist church, hospital, or school, and see what it offers.  They likely offer health-related events open to the community, but of course each church and hospital varies in its programs.  For example, the Albuquerque Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church hosts coed fitness classes every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  Also, on October 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., there is a health expo to test for diabetes, take your blood pressure, and provide other health-related screenings.  Some are free, and some are for a nominal fee.  Personally, my favorite events are the cooking classes about how to cook vegetarian meals that are actually tasty.  Last time, I had “cheesecake” that I found out was made from tofu.  Other Seventh-Day Adventist churches in Albuquerque are Heights Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Three Angels Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

 Mind, body, and soul are all interconnected.  Like a three-legged stool, we become unbalanced if one is cut short.  Next time you’re at the gym or trying to beat your personal best time, remember to take time to care for other aspects of your health.  Let’s learn from each other, so we can become healthier and happier people.


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