Years ago, while studying for a national fitness certification, I visited a health club and took a group exercise class. The instructor had us on the ground, doing push-ups and shouted out, “Let’s work those biceps!” I looked up to see if she was joking, but she wasn’t.

Recently I heard about a guy who decided to get healthy by going on a whole-milk fast. He cut everything out of his diet except whole milk and drank a whole lot of it every single day.

Sometimes we do the right thing but for the wrong reason and wonder why we don’t see results we envisioned. Other times we do the wrong thing, thinking it’s the right thing and we do more harm than good.

Recently on Middays with Susie Larson, I spoke with Dr. Troy Spurrill, founder and CEO of Synapse Center for Health and Healing. We talked about our body’s miraculous ability to adapt to positive changes if we make those changes in a healthy, life-sustaining way. For instance, if you don’t exercise at all but you want to run a 10k, start with a brisk walk. Increase your heart rate to the point that you’re breathing heavy but can still carry on a conversation. From there, take consistent brisk walks multiple times a week.

Don’t forget to drink lots of water. Stretch your muscles. And take recovery days. Over time, gradually pick up the pace, maybe run for a mile here and there. Give your body (and your tendons) time to adapt to the new demands you’re placing upon your body. If you ask nicely, and apply yourself consistently, you can get your body to rise to almost any challenge.

We can all tweak our habits and choices to reflect a positive change in our health. And why wouldn’t we? Scripture says this:

Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary.  You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TPT)

Dr. Troy offered us a practical application:

8 Great Goals for Optimal Health:

  1. Eat Right ~ Cut out or way back on processed foods and sugar intake; eat fresh vegetables, some fruits (preferably organic), and healthy proteins.
  2. Think Right ~ Our destructive thought patterns can damage our brain and impact us at a cellular level. Scripture teaches us the importance of renewing our minds to reflect God’s heart for us and the world He loves.
  3. Poop Right ~ When we don’t eliminate the toxins and waste in our system, we become toxic. What happens in the bathroom is a significant indicator of health. Get plenty of fiber; drink plenty of water; take a healthy fiber supplement if you need the extra help. Making pooping a priority.
  4. Drink Right ~ Best to drink purified water. Drink up to half your body weight in ounces of water. Remember that excess coffee consumption dehydrates you. Water is SO important and impacts practically every system in your body. Get rid of soda. Minimize juice intake (lots of sugar in most juices).
  5. Sleep Right ~ Make sleep an absolute priority. Believe that it’s possible to get the sleep you need. Practice a consistent bedtime. Once you put your head on the pillow, try deep breathing, slowly inhale and exhale and thank God for His gift of sleep. If you have low blood sugar and wake up in the middle of the night, try an apple and a small piece of chicken before you go to bed (the fiber and protein may help you stay asleep).
  6. Talk Right ~ Pay attention to what you say about your life and your health—identifying too much with your illness or your age limits you. Excessive self-deprecating humor or self-contempt is not good for you. Think healthy. Stay hopeful. Speak words that bring life, faith, hope, and love!
  7. Move Right ~ God wired us for movement. If you could see all that happens within your body when you decide to make movement an everyday part of your life, there’d be no stopping you! Exercise pays you back with dividends, reducing stress, increasing strength, and detoxifying your body. Find a mode of exercise that you love and make room for it in your life. You’re created to move.
  8. Love Right ~ More than anything; God wired you for love. He made you in His image, and He is love. When you spend time pondering His love for you, it changes you from the inside out. When you look around and love those who cross your path, it changes them. You’re on the earth to reflect God’s heart. May you grow in your capacity to love.
8 Great goals for optimal health