Many people focus on physical fitness. On one of my regular trips to the gym where I exercise, I was struck with the extraordinary effort put forth by some of the members to build up their physique by lifting heavy weights, by using weight machines, and by pushups, squats, and other exercises. Some of the men were showing off their muscular arms, shoulders, and abdomen muscles or simply taking pride in being physically fit. Women were more focused on diet and exercises to trim and shape their bodies to make themselves more slim and attractive.
Our gym also has a nutrition counter for displaying and selling all kinds of drinks, powders, and pills to provide improved nutrition, energy, and antioxidant protection against disease and the problems of aging. Some are also fasting periodically to lose weight.
Much information on healthy lifestyle habits are available online. Not only is proper diet and exercise mentioned in available articles, but suggestions on reducing stress (such as with yoga or tai chi) and getting more and better sleep
We can just as intently pursue spiritual fitness. As I reflected on the time and energy many health enthusiasts place on conditioning their bodies, it occurred to me that if we invested the same level of intensity and consistency in looking after ou r spiritual well-being (our spiritual bodies), we could achieve what we might appropriately call spiritual fitness – which could have a much greater long-term benefit than physical fitness. As Alma taught, “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God…” (Alma34:32)
So what are the elements that would make up our spiritual fitness? We obviously don’t need weights or treadmills, but there are resources that will help, such as the following:
1. For a spiritual diet, “feast upon the words of Christ” (2Nephi 32:3) by reading and pondering the scriptures and teachings of living prophets. We can pray regularly, both alone and with our families.
2. Exercise spiritually by keeping the commandments and by applying the teachings of the prophets. We can serve others, magnify our callings, hold family home evenings, share the gospel, and pray earnestly for guidance and for deliverance from temptations and other challenges to our faith. Fasting, along with earnest prayer, can also help build our testimonies as well as benefit persons we pray for.
3.We can rest by keep the Sabbath day holy, by resting from our labors on Sunday, and by attending our meetings and partaking worthily of the sacrament.
Ideally, we might all seek to be both physically and spiritually fit.