Posted 2/9/16 at 1:30 PM | Dale Fletcher
In the Health Section of today's Wall Street Journal, there is an informative article, Stress Raises Cholesterol More Than You Think. I've long understood this and have tried to educate others on this topic so that they might be able to better control their high cholesterol levels.
As the physicians in the article mention, if you have high cholesterol levels, it may not be your diet or lack of physical activity that is the culprit to your high cholesterol - it may likely be the unmanaged chronic stress in your life.
Here's a link to a different website - How Does Stress Contribute to Cholesterol - that offers a handful of medical explanations on how stress impacts the body and contributes to high cholesterol levels. And this quote that follows is taken from this site: FULL POST
Posted 2/1/16 at 4:44 PM | Dale Fletcher
The other day - on a Monday - I felt lousy – physically and mentally.
About three in the afternoon – during a short jog – I ‘connected the dots’ between my physical and mental state with what I had eaten the day before.
Our Carolina Panthers football team were playing in the NFC Championship game against the Phoenix Cardinals in the early evening, and My wife and I had invited a few couples to watch the game and have snacks and dinner. Being in a ‘party’ and ‘tailgate mode, we had a variety of food and beverages for our guests.
I started off the day with a late brunch – a spinach quiche – not all that bad, but it went downhill from there! I snacked much of the afternoon on munchies and enjoyed a flavorful bowl of chili for dinner and some sweet dessert. The munchies included potato chips and onion dip along with some crackers with spinach dip. Chili was followed with a few rich brownies. Yum! Along the way I had a good handful of peanut M & Ms. You get the idea. And oh yes, let’s not forget to add to the list two bottles of my favorite German beer.
The next day, I paid for it. I had brain fog. Nothing really clicked mentally. I was lethargic. I was not energetic as I typically am. I was in a pretty down mood. Finally, I’d had enough and told myself that if I went for a run that it might help. It was about half way through my run that I realized that the food that I ate yesterday was a major culprit in my mood and energy level. And, as it often happens, I felt it would be helpful to crank out a blog post on this issue. FULL POST
Posted 8/5/15 at 2:58 PM | Dale Fletcher
I have a few friends who have a deadly cancer.
So, for these past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the importance of the condition of one’s spirit as it relates to one’s eternal destiny. My hunch is that most people, given a choice, would desire that heaven be their eternal resting place after they die here on this earth.
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:8 (New King James Version)
The above verse could be said this way – ‘Physical exercise and physical fitness – the condition of our body – is important, but spiritual exercise and spiritual fitness – the condition of our soul or spirit – is much more important.’
For more than 15 years, my job responsibilities in corporate and military settings in which I worked had to do with personal fitness and wellness. I especially helped others address the care of their physical health and to be physically fit. FULL POST
Posted 6/18/15 at 11:36 AM | Dale Fletcher
Be physically active. Eat healthy foods. Don't eat sugar. If you drink, drink in moderation. Abstain from using drugs. Drink plenty of water. Sleep at least 7 hours every night. Don't smoke. The list for behaviors that are important to be healthy goes on and on.
But these 'rules' for living a healthy life can be like the written laws - even the 10 Commandments - of the Bible. These lifestyle related behaviors, as well as the laws found in the Bible, are focused on outward behavior. So many of us often fail miserably trying to live according to health-related principles like this….. because we have not been changed on the inside. We can similarly be frustrated when we are not living according to the 'laws' found in the Bible.
"The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6
However, when we become transformed by God's Spirit, and live from a transformed will, heart and mind, by the Holy Spirit's power, these healthy behaviors can become natural to us - because our inner nature has been changed. FULL POST
Posted 6/8/15 at 1:15 PM | Dale Fletcher
"May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23
You may be familiar with this verse. To many, it implies that we are a living spirit which has a soul that lives in a body - three parts that make up our whole being. I happen to agree with this view of how God designed us for spirit, mind, body health.
In this verse, Paul encourages us to attend to all three aspects of who we are. And so we try to do this the best we can, but often in our own strength. And many of us fail miserably at this. The next verse holds the key to being successful at attending to our spirit, mind, body health.
"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." Thessalonians 5:24
This verse is there to remind you that God will do this for you. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, living in and through you is who will see to it that you live a lifestyle that promotes good health in spirit, soul and body. FULL POST
Posted 1/16/15 at 3:07 PM | Dale Fletcher
Stress is a fact of life.
To learn more about the dynamics of stress and fat, read this insightful blog post – How to Prevent Weight Gain Due to Stress and Anxiety. The author addresses 7 steps to beat stress. But she does not, however, address the spiritual dimension of stress management.
So, please see below for some helpful resources on the spiritual dimension to better manage your stress… and perhaps help you with your weight management challenges. FULL POST
Posted 1/6/15 at 10:15 AM | Dale Fletcher
You might say "I can eat anything. The Christian faith, with my freedom from the laws through my relationship with Christ, permits me to eat any food." But all foods, and an overconsumption of foods, may not be good for you.
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13
But, as the same scripture above tells us, our bodies were also meant for the Lord. Further in this sixth chapter of Corinthians, Paul tells us...
"Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?" (Verse 15) and "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, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 12:31 PM | Dale Fletcher
During what is often a busy week, I'd like to encourage you to slow down and take a few minutes to reflect upon the significance of the birth of Christ and to be reminded why Jesus came into the world.
This list is from a whole-person health perspective - spiritual, emotional, relational, mental and physical .health
God sent His only Son, Jesus...
Posted 12/18/14 at 1:33 PM | Dale Fletcher
When I visited the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte a few months ago, Laura Hillenbrand’s book - Unbroken, caught my attention as it was propped up on one of their bookshelves. It recounts the life of Louis Zamperini. I bought it and read it within a week.
As you might know, the movie by the same title releases in theaters on Christmas day.
Unbroken, the book, tells about Zamperini’s struggle to live. First, at sea – after his plane was downed during World War II – and then of his survival after being in several Japanese prison camps.
The book is a testament to the resilience of Zamperini’s mind, body and spirit. It’s also a book about the toll that severe chronic stress and a broken life can have on one’s behavior and overall health.
In the book, Hillenbrand describes, with painstaking detail, aspects of Zamperini’s lengthy time surviving at sea. As well, she writes about the extreme conditions and challenges that Zamperini dealt with in prison camps. The description of the brutality of some of the prison guards was painful to read.
From a mind, body, spirit perspective Hillenbrand writes about the postwar lives of the Pacific POWs. She captured the insidious nature of the emotional injuries that they received. She writes that, 40 years after the war, up to 85% of the POWs were experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Hillenbrand sites about how Zamperini personally coped with the stress of war. He turned to drinking alcohol. He became an alcoholic. His relationship with alcohol almost wrecked his marriage.
Zamperini once shared the following with an interviewer: "The postwar adjustment was really a challenge for me.... I began to take advantage of these parties and I began to overdrink.... pretty soon I found myself fading away, to the point where I realized that I was in serious need of help."
Posted 10/3/14 at 2:18 PM | Dale Fletcher
When a person begins an exercise program to improve their cardiovascular or aerobic fitness level, several things are going on physiologically in the body. The cardiovascular system – the oxygen transport system – has to get used to carrying oxygen in the blood through the blood vessels and deliver it as fuel for the muscles. Once the blood and oxygen arrives at the cellular level, the membranes of the cells must become ‘trained’ to allow the oxygen in so it can be used by the muscles. The more a person exercises, the more efficient this oxygen transport system becomes. As these pathways are used more and more, the person’s cardiovascular fitness will improve.
In a similar way, as we exercise aspects of our faith, we improve our level of spiritual fitness. I’ll give you one example.
Our beliefs shape our attitudes, which shape our thinking patterns, which shape our behaviors. As we read the Bible our beliefs begin to align with the truths we read. If we’re serious about growing in our faith, we’ll be intentional about meditating on these biblical truths. Our repeated thoughts will grow our neural pathways. These repeated thoughts become our attitudes which will permeate our mind and our emotions…. and end up shaping our will and its corresponding choices. This will determine our behaviors. FULL POST