Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

The Simplest Yet Most Empowering Habit To Transform Your Life

Written by Les Dahl on May 11th, 2016. Posted in Health, Sage's Scroll

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Happened upon an interesting question this week.

If you could give one piece of advice to a very smart but lazy guy, what would it be?”

Graeme Austin’s answer piqued my curiosity.

If you truly want to go from lazy to motivated in all aspects of your life, you should do one thing, and one thing only: Exercise.”

So, I did some research to see if Graeme’s answer has merit.

After wading through substantial evidence, I came up with 4 convincing reasons to support the claim that

 

Exercise is the simplest and most empowering habit

that transforms anyone’s life.

 

1. The Health Benefits

 

Of the many studies done to determine health benefits of exercise, I found these three intriguing.

  • It reduces your risk of the common cold.

    • A brisk, 40-minute walk 4 days a week, can reduce the number of colds you experience by 25 to 50 percent and can shorten the colds you catch by half.

  • It helps prevent and treat Osteoporosis.

    • The impact of your feet hitting the ground as you walk stimulates cells in the bones of your legs, hips, and spine to strengthen and build new bones. Activities such as dancing, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, climbing stairs, or playing tennis stimulate bone growth even more and maintain bone density.

  • It battles chronic fatigue syndrome.

    • A group of chronic fatigue syndrome patients in Britain engaged in 30 minutes of walking or aerobic exercise 5 days a week. After 3 months, these patients found their symptoms improved, but within a year, three-quarters resumed normal daily activities, and some returned to work.

2. The Emotional Benefits

 

Studies show exercise has significant benefit to emotional well-being also.

  • It battles depression without drugs.
    • In a study of patients suffering from depression, one group walked briskly or jogged, a second group took the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), and the third group took the drug plus exercised. After 4 months, all three groups showed similar improvement. At 6 months, however, those who kept up the exercise, had the lowest rates of remission.
  • It reduces stress
    • Working up a sweat with a brisk walk or a workout in the gym increases the release of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain respond positively to stress.
  • It creates feelings of happiness.
    • Exercise releases endorphins, the ‘happy chemicals’ that make us feel euphoria. As little as 10 minutes 3 times per day or 30 minutes 3 days per week will give you a ‘happy buzz’ and help keep you in a positive mood.

 

3. The Convenience Factor

 

The term exercise is sufficiently broad so that anyone can do it. Exercise for some may be a rigid program of strenuous physical training under the guidance of a personal trainer, but for others it may be a recreational sport like tennis or just a brisk 20-minute walk 3 times a week.

I call this the convenience factor. It can easily be incorporated in daily routine by anyone. What other “prescription” costs so little, yet promises so much?

 

Not only is exercise of notable physical and emotional value,

it is convenient.

 

Look for opportunities to walk. Instead of parking as close to the mall entrance as possible, find a space that allows you to walk—it doesn’t have to be the farthest corner, just enough to give you a nice ‘feel good’ walk. It’s a healthy mindset and a healthy habit you are creating.

So you like dancing? Enroll in a dance class.

Gardening? Swimming? Yoga? Rock climbing? The options are endless.

Even at work you can reap the benefits of exercise. A study at Florida State University found that elite performers sustained peak performance by working no more than 90 minutes per session.

Exercise is any physical activity that gets you up and moving (breaking a sweat, if possible and appropriate), gets your heart pumping a little faster and your lungs breathing a little deeper.

 

When you commit to exercising with regularity,

you’re on your way to creating a healthy habit

that will transform your life.

 

4. The Ripple Effect

 

The health benefits, the emotional value and the convenience factor are convincing arguments to the question. The clincher, however, is the ripple effect.

Exercise is a keystone habit. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg identifies certain habits that initiate a chain effect of other good habits. The end result is positive transformation.

Of exercise Duhigg writes,

“When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. It’s not completely clear why …‘Exercise spills over,’ said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher. ‘There’s something about it that makes other good habits easier.'”

 

Are you convinced yet?

I am, and I’m renewing my commitment to exercise. I can think of several enjoyable ways to get up and get moving toward a healthy, well-balanced life.

How about you?

 

Shalom

ps. Here’s Ida Keeling, one more very convincing study.

Her story adds depth and credibility.

 

Image courtesy by Madrolli / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources

Graeme Austin

Readers’ Digest

Sophia Breene

A Healthier Michigan

WebMD

 

 

 

 

3 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOUR FAITH IS AUTHENTIC AND MEANINGFUL

Written by Les Dahl on July 14th, 2015. Posted in Health, Peace, Prosperity, Sage's Scroll

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How do you define your Christian faith? 

Is it by religious performances such as going to church, putting some money in the offering plate, reading your Bible occasionally (or every day), saying your prayers before going to bed? 

Is it by things you don’t do, such as wearing certain fashions and make-up, drinking beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages, attending parties and concerts, engaging in activities deemed “worldly”? 

 

Rules can be helpful and doctrine is important,

but they do not necessarily define

authentic, meaningful faith.

 

My personal faith has come under intense scrutiny. 

With age and experience comes a refined perspective of what really matters in life. KEEP IT SIMPLE…KEEP IT REAL has become a mantra to daily guide me through circumstances and relationships. 

My role model is Abraham, the “friend of God” whose unwavering faith is legendary. So I ask myself, what is the acid test of authentic, meaningful faith?

 

THE ACID TEST OF AUTHENTIC, MEANINGFUL FAITH

 
  1. Am I experiencing a quality of life that is characterized by overflowing joy and abundance?

Jesus said, “I came to give you life to the full, till it overflows with joy and abundance.”

I learned an important lesson from the “old-time country folk” we were privileged to meet in our early years in Jamaica. These were simple rural farmers who had few earthly possessions, but were rich in faith, generous without measure, ever satisfied and grateful, enjoying full and meaningful lives!

 

Abundance is not measured by the amount

of our material possessions,

but by our stewardship of what we have,

whether little or much.

 
  1. Am I experiencing an ever-increasing freedom to be who I was created to be and do what I was created to do?

Jesus also said, “If you live by My Word, you are truly my disciples; you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”

Freedom comes when we are clear about our identity and purpose. But freedom depends on two conditions. 

First, like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, we must stop the busy-ness of our life to listen intently to Jesus’ instruction. 

Second, like the disciples, we must follow closely as Jesus guides us through the day, listening intently to how He applies eternal truth to the situations we encounter. 

We too readily follow what others say we should be and do. Our ear must be attuned to His voice and our live mentored by Him—He is our liberator!

 

Freedom comes when we are true to ourselves

and engaged in our life’s purpose.

 
  1. Am I experiencing transformation from within?

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Christians, “Present all your members and faculties to God. Don’t allow yourself to be pressed into the world’s superficial mold, but be transformed from the inside out by a complete make-over of your mind—new ideals, new attitudes and new paradigms.”

The journey of authentic faith is a process. 

A new-born baby with all the seeds of identity and purpose inherent at birth must pass through the various stages of growth. Through patient nurturing the seeds blossom and in time bear fruit.

So too, as we surrender ourselves to God, we are birthed into new life of authentic faith. Our identity and purpose, like tiny mustard seeds, must be nurtured. 

Holy Spirit activates the eternal Word in us. As we embrace it, the Word challenges our thinking. Our perspective changes, as do our values and our objectives. 

Gradually, we become who we were created to be, engaged in the assignment we were born to fulfill.

 

Under Jesus’ watchful mentorship,

the seeds of greatness within

blossom and bear good fruit.

 

Is overflowing joy and abundance a hallmark of your Christian faith? 

Do you enjoy ever-increasing freedom on your journey of faith? 

Are you noticing transformation of heart and mind as Holy Spirit nurtures identity and purpose in you? 

If so, yours is an authentic and meaningful faith. Not perfect, but nurtured by the Word, mentored by Jesus Himself.

 

If not… 

find a quiet place to sit, like Mary, at Jesus’ feet. Ask Him to speak His words of life. 

Listen intently and then follow His instructions diligently. Trust Him with the details of your life. 

Find a trusted fellow sojourner of faith to walk with you.

 

More than anything else,

Jesus wants you to enjoy

authentic, meaningful faith.

 

Shalom!

 

Image courtesy imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net