The union between health and spirituality is found in every one of the major religions, in every part of the world. For divine inspiration in health and fitness, look to the teachings of Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and Hinduism.
HFR founder Samir Becic said this about spirituality and fitness: “Spiritual awareness is one of the key components of healthy lifestyle that impacts the whole body and rejuvenates the spirit. Physical fitness and healthy nutrition allows that spirit to flourish to new dimensions and many people experience a closer relationship to God.”
“Spiritual health is fundamentally important to living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Spirituality is whatever an individual finds personally fulfilling, and encompasses anything that helps a person feel centered.” –Samir Becic
Health Tips From Jesus
Walk, Walk, Walk
Wherever He went, Jesus walked. Throughout the Bible, Jesus was known to travel on foot to his destinations. There were plenty of places Jesus had to go, from praying on a mountain to preaching at the Sea of Galilee, Jesus walked A LOT. According to the Bible, Researchers estimated that Jesus walked over 21,500 miles during his lifetime! (About the distance around the globe at the equator) Now we’re not saying that you need to walk around the world to be fit, but walking just 30 minutes a day is known to have significant health benefits!
We all tend to remember those who have hurt us at some point in our lives. But research shows that holding onto grudges isn’t good for our health. Jesus taught this principle because he understood that we are just human and only God is perfect. So if someone hurts you or makes a mistake, even more than once, He believes it’s best to forgive. Forgiveness brings us an abundant of health benefits like greater psychological well-being, lowered stress levels, and improved relationships. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22
A firm teaching throughout the Bible is about being thankful. Jesus believed that being thankful was a way of honoring God for all that He was doing through Him. Having a grateful heart is known to have great benefits for your mental health. Not only does thankfulness reduce stress, but it has been linked with boosting your immune system, promoting sleep, and helping the heart. So start a gratitude journal today and see the positive effects this has on your health! “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, Father,I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42
Take Care of Your Body
Jesus emphasized how important it is that we take care of ourselves- hence the reason for us making a list of health and fitness tips from Jesus. He stressed that we should honor God with our bodies and treat them as temples. Jesus believed that when we take care and nourish our body, it’s pleasing to God since He created us. This could be abstaining from drugs or alcohol, or exercising daily for healthy bones. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Health Tips From Mohammed
It was narrated from the Prophet Muhammad was a strong advocate of eating slowly to help with the digestion process. It takes about 20 minutes for the body to tell our brain that we are full. Slow eating helps digest our food, because efficiently chewed food aids the digestion process and doesn’t require as much energy and churning in the stomach or intestine.
Play Sports to Strengthen Your Body
In Islam, sports are perceived as important to gain a healthy body. Sports like archery, swimming, horseback riding are especially encouraged. Islam encourages exercise and be in good physical shape. The Prophet said, “A strong believer is better and dearer to God than a weak believer, though in both is good.” The one who is physically stronger is better before God because they are more active and energetic in the performance of worship and taking care of the needs of others.
The Prophet would always brush his teeth before and after bed using a part of a fruitless yet fragrant branch called arak. This small wooden branch was used, and is still used today, as a toothbrush. Muhammad gave special attention to cleanliness and personal hygiene in respect to faith. Research shows that poor dental hygiene were 70% risk of heart diseases according to a study called Scottish Health Survey
Sleep and Salat (prayer)
The Prophet recommended adequate sleep. He never deprived himself of sleep nor overslept. He also advised and practiced to sleep at the early part of the night, and to wake up early in the morning. Science research shows that going to bed early can help maintain a healthy weight, stay more productive, and avoid serious health problems (such as diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases).
Salat is one of the five fundamental requirements that a Muslim is obligated to perform. According to a hadith (authentic narrations from the prophet), the Prophet has reported to have said, “verily there is a cure in salat”. There are some physical benefits in salat, such as : In the beginning of the salat, we move our hand and shoulder muscles therefore increasing the blood flow towards the torso. The heart in the most important organ in our body. Because it supplies fresh blood to all body tissues, the movements during prayer are a crucial source for exercise in our heart. Certain positions makes our hips, elbows, knee and wrist joints, and backbone move in a way that forms a relation in our body.
Health Tips From Moses
Moses’s diet would be strictly all Kosher. This includes restricting meats that contain the flesh, organs, eggs, and milk from animals. Although Meat cannot be eaten with dairy, Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. Grape products made by non-jews may not be eaten. This kosher diet is great for vegetarians starting out or even as a guideline to encourage healthy eating and lifestyle.
Moses showed great leadership and strength by defending his people and acting as a peace monger. Moses’s mindset is mentally in good condition by leading through his acts of justice. A healthy mind and social life can also often need someone to be a good leader.
Moses and his people walked the desert for three days without water. This shows divine strength and determination to lead his flock to a safe haven for the Israelites. Dedication is an important part of any healthy life especially for someone starting ther road to a better life.
Health Tips From Buddha
Practice Proper Breathing
Proper breathing techniques go hand in hand with yoga and meditation. There are many ways to practice proper breathing — one of the health benefits of mindful breathing and meditation include decreased Beta brain waves, which are associated with thinking, problem solving, and stress. With daily practice of proper breathing, you will increase Alpha, Theta, and Gamma brain waves, which are the brain waves associated with relaxed creativity and high mental state. Mindful breathing throughout the day has been shown to have positive effects on stress of the body and mind. In a study published in NeuroImage suggests that mindful attention to breath contributes to increased emotional regulation because of increased amygdala and prefrontal-cortex connectivity.
“O monks, wander! We will go forward for the benefit of many people…out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans.” — Catusparishad Sutra (Buddhist scripture)
“Someone may build a precious reliquary, as high as the world; It is said that training others to generate The altruistic intention is more excellent.” — Aryadeva (monk, 170-260 CE).
Many Buddhist organizations aim to give help and provide warmth and active caring to relieve suffering. The goal of adopting an altruistic approach to life is to extend compassion and loving kindness, or charity to others.
Avoid Intoxicating Substances
Buddha emphasized the importance of avoiding intoxicating substances. Intoxicating substances are to be avoided because they cloud the mind, can be physically and psychologically addictive, and may increase the likelihood of breaking the other rules of Buddhism, according to the Five Moral Precepts.
Karma is a facet of the Hindu belief system. Karma literally means “deed” or “act”, and often refers to the accumulations of your actions and determines each soul’s unique destiny. Karma stands for the belief that an individual experiences the effects of his or her behavior and actions, and that every act or thought has consequences. Negative thoughts and actions can result in commensurate suffering, wherein good thoughts and actions can liberate a person.
Fasting habits depend on a person’s caste, or social ranking, and is usually done during holy days, moon days, and during festivals. It is important to note that intermittent fasting is rarely done continuously for more than one day. According to a study done on mice at The University of Southern California by Valter Longo, published in (Cell Metabolism), the benefits of intermittent fasting included improved immune system, reduction of cancer incidence, and promotion of stem cell regeneration, particularly in the brain.
The Use of Tulsi
Tulsi, or “Holy Basil” is widely used and revered in Hinduism due to its many medicinal and religious purposes. This plant has antimicrobial properties and is known to promote longevity. Tulsi is a very important plant in Ayurveda and can be found in nearly every Hindu household. The plant’s extracts can be used for many common ailments like the common cold, stomach disorders, headaches, inflammation, malaria, and heart disease. Tulsi can even purify or de-pollute the air and acts as a repellant against mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
Strive to Achieve Balance in Health, Body, and Spirit — Dharma
Followers of Hinduism believe that the body is made up of natural elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. It is believed that proper balance of these elements indicates good health, whereas imbalance indicates the opposite. Followers of Hinduism strive to achieve balance throughout their lives using self-control, meditation, yoga, and a clean diet.
Dharma stands for the ultimate moral balance of all things in life and belongs to the universe and the individual as well. The individual is responsible to balancing their own dharma through all areas of life such as religious, social, and familial areas.
Meditation – Hindus believe that through meditation, we have the ability to evolve into higher beings through mental focus. Meditation can help overcome mental blocks, negative thinking, fears, and anxiety if practiced regularly.