Rich Evans, former Committee on Publication for Arizona
Sedona is a beautiful place to simply be outdoors…the red rock cliffs, secret canyons, twisting waters of Oak Creek, sunrises and sunsets. People come from all over the world to climb and hike this part of the country. Physical activity is the norm.
But physical activity is not the norm for our nation, and this appears to have consequences.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) is cited in a May 2013 CBS news article (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-80-percent-of-american-adults-dont-get-recommended-exercise/) stating that 80% of American adults do not get recommended exercise. And as the article points out, the consequences can be more than physical…. Exercise provides mental health benefits as well as physical.
This was confirmed recently in interviews with two professional fitness trainers. They stated that being fit was a mental decision — a life decision, whether forced due to risk of illness or a natural desire for balance. The trainers find clients are often overcoming a sense of fear and limitation, so they work to help the individuals make the connection between consciousness and body. While not always articulating it to their clients, these trainers find that physical and mental fitness are often tied to a spiritual dimension of thought.
Here is an example: a health club client, dealing with a condition of Parkinson’s disease, was afraid to drive to the gym and had low expectations for herself. The trainer sensed the apprehensions of this client, and focused less on the physical activity and more on the patient’s confidence and trust. This caring attitude put the client at ease and enabled the fitness program to progress. After a few visits the woman was not only gaining confidence in her abilities physically, but had overcome her fear of driving. The client credits this change to the trainer’s loving approach. The trainer credits it to acknowledging a spiritual dimension of life.
This experience proved that a loving attitude and expectation of progress has a fear-diminishing and healing effect. These effects are not confined to CDC percentages or geography but are as consistent in Sedalia as in Sedona, and they lift both the trainer and the trainee. The spiritual dimension of the trainer’s approach may be captured in this Scriptural statement, “Perfect love casts out fear”*. Further thought along these lines can be found in a book by Mary Baker Eddy, a seeker of health from a spiritual standpoint.**
Perhaps an inspired consciousness is as key to fitness as the physical activity we undertake, whether hiking among Anasazi ruins or walking our dog down Maple Avenue. We can all participate in, and benefit from, this fuller form of fitness.
*I John 4:18
**See, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475.
***This article was published in the Sedona Red Rock News, December 13, 2013