The Connection Between Spiritual Health and Physical Health

"Is there really a direct connection between being spiritually healthy and physically healthy as well?" Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson asked a family physician on the latest Focus Radio segment.

Studies have consistently revealed that millions of Americans are sleep deprived and lacking exercise in their lifestyles. Dobson spoke with Dr. Paul Reisser, author of Complete Guide to Family Health Nutrition and Fitness, on the unhealthy trends of Americans and how faith can play a critical role in a healthy lifestyle.

"In this fast-paced culture of ours, it's not very easy to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise and a consistent sleep schedule is it?" said best-selling writer Bill Myers.

One of the most pervasive problems seen amid the sleep deprivation and obesity throughout the country is anxiety and depression, commented Reisser.

The hardest age group diagnosed with clinical depression to work with is teenagers. Adolescence, hormonal changes, school pressure and the relationship with their parents are only some of the issues that teens have to juggle and deal with. Reisser linked depression with one's spiritual health.

"And that has a very strong spiritual component," Reisser stated. "There's plenty of evidence to support the value of a solid faith.

"When somebody has a commitment to God and is living in a certain way ... they're probably not going to be involved in riotous living. They’re hopefully going to curtail certain habits of use of drugs or alcohol or tobacco that are harmful to health. ... Hopefully, they will begin to internalize what God has to say about them in a way that affects their emotional life."

Spiritual health, however, is not the only component to good health. Sleeping eight hours, exercising half an hour, eating right and doing quiet times everyday would put Reisser out of practice, as he indicated. Although it sounds simple, it's not easy.

For instance, in the weight loss area alone, there are a countless number of programs, diets and supplements on the market. Reisser warns that looking for that "quick fix" to shed pounds fast "never works." He called those "simple solution(s)" the "biggest single impediment to weight loss."

"The more extreme the diet plan is, the less likely it is to work," he commented.

All in all, a healthy life is linked with a relationship with God.

"The most important step of becoming healthy, ultimately, is to establish our relationship with God who made us for His purposes," said Reisser. "What is health if not a vibrant relationship with God?"