“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 (l Timothy 4:8. ESV).
The optimal functioning of our entire body can be attained under certain conditions, among which is the constant practice of physical activity. Among the global recommendations on physical activity, the World Health Organization WHO) set out some guidelines with the aim of informing us on the frequency, duration, intensity, type and total amount of physical activity recommended for people of different age groups. It also boosts the development of policies related to health.
After examining distinct scientific researches, the experts from WHO recommend—in the quoted document—that adults should do at least between thirty and sixty minutes of physical activity a day as «strong evidence demonstrates that compared to less active adult men and women, individuals who are more active have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, breast cancer, and depression.» Furthermore, they «exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, have a healthier body mass and composition, and a biomarker profile that is more favorable for preventing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and for enhancing bone health.» (p. 25).
Despite the numerous and important benefits mentioned by the researchers, the Word of God relates that «bodily training is of some value.» Is it «of some value» in preventing cardiovascular diseases which are the main causes of death in the world? Is it «of some value» in reducing depression which is the most widespread mental health problem in the world? Or is it «of some value» in preventing diseases that cause more than 60% of deaths of the global population?
To the apostle Paul, physical activity is «of some value” if it is compared to godliness as such quality characterized by compassion clemency and mercy toward others words, if you only take care of your body, the benefit you can gain small. On the contrary, if you take care of your physical, mental and spiritual health, developing those habits that strengthen them, then you will reap the benefits in this life and in the one to come. The same Paul reminds us, «For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s» (l Cor. 6:20).