By Greg Hansen

The government has been in hot water lately due to the recent changes with health care insurance. During this time of turmoil, we need to stay focused and remember to insure what is most important—our faith and our fitness.
Insurance is serious stuff and that is why we need to take the time to make sure we are protecting our most valuable assets. Since the business of insurance is all about guarding ourselves against the risks and hazards of life, fitness insurance consists of exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. Part of being healthy means being preventive and taking precautionary steps to eliminate the dangers of being unfit.
REGULAR EXERCISE WILL HELP KEEP YOU HEALTHY
Your home is a significant investment both financially and personally. You work hard to care for your home and maintain it. You insure it to protect that investment. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to invest in and protect your physical home – your body – that dwelling place for God.
1. 3-5 days per week of cardiovascular and/or muscular training will insure that you are staying active. 2. Do activities that you enjoy—this will help prevent exercise from becoming monotonous, dreadful, and cumbersome. 3. It helps - exercise in a group. Find a handful of like-minded people and go hiking, lift weights or train together to run a 5k race or charity event. 4. Set goals and keep the big picture in mind. Goals can be anything—walk for 10 minutes a day, or go to the gym twice a week. The point is that something is better than nothing. 5. Pursue new and challenging activities. Try racquetball, take a step-class, or give cardio kickboxing a whirl. Make memories, challenge yourself, and meet great people.

Like auto insurance, maintaining continuous coverage is critical. “Regular” exercise means you start now and don’t let your exercise policy lapse.

HAVE GOOD NUTRITION
Eating a quick donut and drinking hot coffee while trying to rush to work is distracted driving that puts you at risk for an accident. Nobody wants to wreck his or her car or body. So focus on driving both with thoughtful care and skill.
1. Take a multivitamin daily. If you want an extra boost, take a B-Complex and Fish Oil capsules. 2. Drink plenty of water. H2O transports nutrients to your muscles, gives fluidity to your joints, and helps your vital organs work at full capacity. 3. Consume large amounts of vegetables. Try a new fresh vegetable each time you go to the grocery store. Take a look at spinach, artichokes, peppers, jicama, beets, and kale. Some things you won’t like, others you will love—the point is to try new things and add a healthy variety to your diet. 4. Make sure to get plenty of fiber. Soluble fiber (nuts, whole wheat flours, peas, oats, and apples) and insoluble fiber (cabbage, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower) will help you feel great. 5. Don’t fall for fads or dieting trends. Stick with the tried-and-true combination of lean meat and lots of vegetables.

Many people are very frustrated with all the changes and uncertainty with health insurance. The hope for more and better choices is mixed with new limits and costs. Good nutrition should be an area of your life where you are in control of making good choices.

LIVE A BALANCED LIFESTYLE
Life goes fast for all of us. Your family and friends are important to you. Giving your life to them doesn’t happen by accident. It grows each day, through every rich experience you intentionally create by God’s grace and guidance.
1. Sleep 6-8 hours every day. Be sensible about how much sleep your body needs. Rest leads to recovery and that gives you maximum strength for time with others. 2. Go easy on the fast food, coffee, sugar-drinks, and sweets --- food items that are processed and loaded with excess. 3. Eat small, balanced meals throughout the day. Find a good equilibrium to keep your body running. 4. Monitor your stress and have a healthy balance between work and family. 5. Get outside and enjoy God’s creation—God made it for us to enjoy it.

Life insurance is like the ultimate “what if”. Nobody really wants to “cash in” on this kind of insurance. Living a balanced lifestyle not only reduces your risks for early death, it makes each day of living better as you are obedient to basic principles and provisions God has set in place.

PROTECT YOUR FAITH
The world can be a dark and difficult place. We need to be on guard and defend the greatest gift that God has given us—our faith. Take the time to understand, deepen, and share your faith. When you do it will be fun and more meaningful. In order to insure the most valuable part of your life, your faith, you need to be prepared.

1. Understand the Christian faith and the defining values you embrace. Formulate a personal conviction as to how you believe it. Keep in mind your faith in God isn’t science – it is faith. Read and watch to online video The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. 2. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a pretty simple and easy concept. Insure your faith is a dynamic part of your daily life by fully grabbing this initiative. Read Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and use the accompanying study guide. 3. Understand the rich history of Christianity. Read Great Leaders of the Christian Church by John D. Woodbridge. 4. Study your Bible and pray to God. Read Knowing God by J.I. Packer and use the online study resource. 5. Practice good theology good theology. Read Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. 6. Worship GodWorship God in song, deed, and everything you are, Deuteronomy 10:12. Read Desiring God by John Piper.
Regardless of the turmoil, uncertainty and ongoing changes in the future of health insurance, you can be confident that God is good. He is constant and His love and care for you is consistent and sure. God has blessed us with the provisions of a guiding faith and the capacity for strong physical fitness. Let us insure what we value by taking the steps today to glorify God in all areas of our life and bring honor to His name.
 

Greg Hansen has worked in the fitness industry as a personal trainer for clubs such as Equinox Fitness Club and Life Time Fitness. He is a regular contributor to Faith & Fitness Magazine, along with two book reviews in the academic journal, Areopagus. He has experience working for Fortune 100 companies and is now an insurance agent with Liberty Mutual Insurance. Greg has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Christian Studies, and is currently pursuing his MBA. Greg enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with his wife and children.

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