When it comes to taking good men and making them better, one may wonder if there is room for Physical Fitness and Health. Freemasonry encourages enlightenment through education and self-improvement via reflection and contemplation – this is all well and good for the spiritual mind, but what about our bodies? Our body is a vessel that carries us through life, we are only given one, why not make the most of this opportunity to improve ourselves herein? We should not only seek to take every opportunity to improve ourselves mentally, and spiritually, but physically as well.
Could the Lodge benefit from programs that would encourage physical activity, health and wellness?
Studies have shown that physical activity (such as exercise) not only improves our overall physical health but can have significant benefits for our mental health as well. Known as the exercise effect, participants in a study found that after physical activity their overall mood had improved and that they were less anxious or depressed when compared to sedentary counterparts. You can read more on this study: American Psychological Association
From my own experience, Running has provided me an opportunity to become more physically fit, with the added bonus of clarity of mind. The 30-60 minutes I have added to my schedule for Running is my time to unwind, unplug, and experience being present in the moment. It has also afforded me time to reflect on my day (whether it be before I start my day, or after). I have also found my mood improves after a few miles!
In addition to physical exercise, meditation can improve your mental health as well. Meditation can help reduce stress and help you focus and become more mindful of your present state. Have you ever had so much on your plate that it feels like your head is going to burst? Taking a few minutes to meditate can help bring balance back to your life, and gives you the opportunity to pause, and hit the reset button on your mind. Want to learn more about meditation and the benefits you’ll unlock by learning how to tune into your inner breath? Check out this article: Self.com as well as Headspace.com
What are you doing to improve your health? Share your story below!
Brother L. K. Bray III is the current Worshipful Master for Lodge No. 43, F. & A.M. of Lancaster, PA. He is a 32° Scottish Rite Mason and a Member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge where he is a Level 2 Scholar. He is also an avid Runner and Member of the LRRC, a local Running Club.