Should Christians try to be physically healthy? The answer is an easy, "yes." Paul mentions physical exercise in his letter to Timothy when he says,
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Tim 4:8)
The context of that passage is that we should pursue godliness more than physical health. But even in emphasizing the importance of godliness Paul still highlights the value of physical health. Christian theology presupposes the value of our physical bodies. God created us and so lays claim to our bodies as part of his creation. He came into the world, incarnate, as a man, and so dignifies human bodies. And God redeems us in Christ for a future resurrection, where our bodies will be reunited with our souls to live in the new heavens and new earth forever. Christian theology has a ton to say about what we do with our bodies.
What are two easy ways you can begin to step into a Christian appreciation for physical health?
- Sleep to God's Glory - God made you to sleep. In fact, when Genesis 1 defines a day it defines it as night then day rather than the other way around. God intends us to begin the day sleeping. Even the Harvard Business Review has noted the importance of sleep for fruitful living. If you want to be at your best to glorify God and enjoy him forever you should be getting some sleep (yes, that probably means 8 hours a night or more).
- Eat to God's Glory - God did not make man to live on twinkies alone (or liquid diets from Starbucks). Our bodies were designed to be nourished off of the flora (Genesis 1:9) and fauna (Genesis 9:3) of the earth. How and what we eat have deep theological underpinnings. How has the grace you've experienced in Christ freed you to eat and drink to God's glory? (1 Cor 10:31)
Pursue godliness. But also be grateful to God for the body he's given you. And pursue health so that you can serve God and others in this world.