“A strong body makes the mind strong.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Whoever will preserve the spirit must also take care of the body to which the spirit is bound.” – Albert Einstein

Life as we know it requires a physical body. It is through our body’s senses that we interpret and interact with the world, and when the body dies, our separate sense of self dies with it. That means that taking care of the body is just about the most important thing we can do.

The more we look after our bodies, the better our lives will be. It’s as simple as that.

It’s also not a secret. I know it. You know it. The most successful people across all industries and all time have known it. “Check out the Forbes 400 richest men and women in the U.S. Look at our current and past Presidents,” suggests Live Your Legend founder Scott Dinsmore. “The people who do well (by whatever measure) have realized that the more they respect their body, the better it will perform for them.”1

Your Body is Your Foundation

While learning how to read and write Chinese using Shaolan Hsueh’s book, Chineasy, I stumbled across a powerful metaphor. In Chinese, the character that represents “body” is made up of a combination of the characters for “person” and “foundation.” Person + Foundation = Body.

As Hsueh explains, “A person’s foundation is their body.” It’s such a fundamental idea that it’s woven into the language itself.

Body

In the same way that a building’s foundation is the base upon which the entire structure is constructed, our bodies are the base upon which we create ourselves. If a building is to reach great heights, it must have a foundation that is dug deep and built strong. If we are to reach great heights, we need the same thing.

Build a Strong Foundation

As Michael J. Gelb suggests in Brain Power, “If you look after your body and nurture it, it remains flexible, resilient, and strong. If you neglect it, it becomes rigid, stagnant, and weak.”

Here are four key ways to look after your body and make your foundation strong:

1. Exercise

Move your body every day. Find something active that you enjoy doing, or if you’re like me, find enough different things that you stay interested and excited. Do yoga, go for a run, box with a heavy bag, go swimming, ride your bike, lift some weights, play a team sport, or throw around a kettle bell. If it’s been a while since the last time you were active, find a friend, start small, and go from there.

2. Eat

Your body is built from the food that you eat. Make sure your foundation is created from strong materials by eating high quality, nutrient dense, real foods. “Scientists estimate that the average human body is composed of fifty to seventy-five trillion cells,” explains Michael J. Gelb. “All of those cells, including your one hundred billion neurons, are completely reconstructed more than twice a year. Your diet provides the fuel for this cellular renewal.”

3. Breathe

Your body requires oxygen to function. Breathe slowly and deeply into your belly to give yourself the air you need to thrive. As Dr. Sheldon Saul Handler says, “There are about 75 trillion cells in your body, and they are all breathing—or should be.”

4. Meditate

Among other amazing physiological benefits, spending twelve minutes a day in meditation strengthens your body on a genetic level. As Ken Wilber describes in The Marriage of Sense and Soul, “People in a meditative state display very real and sometimes very dramatic changes in the body’s physiology, including everything from blood chemistry to brain-wave patterns.”

Invest in Your Foundation

So, what is your foundation made of? Give yourself the time to make it strong. As author Darren Varndell writes, “The time spent building a solid foundation will pay for itself ten-fold.”

  1. http://liveyourlegend.net/productivity-guide-how-richard-branson-does-so-much-the-power-of-fitness/ []