Life without health is not a life. It is only a state of longer suffering~an image of death.
After spending nearly 18 months virtually bedridden I can completely relate to this short but powerful teaching by the Buddha. And since it's been three years since my surgery I have been making strides to get healthy and stay that way.
Although with a limited budget, I am doing my utmost to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Because I know as long as I stay paleo and work out once a day, run or walk in the evenings, I feel wholer, stronger and have greater energy than when I lived off of sugar, grains and refined foods, and sat on my ass all day. It also effects my meditation practice. When I'm eating paleo friendly foods and exercising, getting enough sleep and fresh air, my meditation practice soars. However, when I've eaten a meal heavy with grains, I feel bloated, sluggish and all I want to do is lose consciousness in front of the television.
Despite the heat, my exercise regime hasn't completely dried up, although I whimper a lot while doing it, and take frequent water breaks. Even though the temps have been soaring well over 100 degrees in the past few weeks, I've been able to do some exercise. It's been far too hot to go outside, even in the early morning. And there is no air conditioning in my little shrine room, so I get up at 5 am, do some prostrations and then do the Five Tibetan Rites. I try to get a walk in in the evenings but lately its been too hot to do so.
I keep mainly to a paleo diet, although I admit I cannot always be successful. I do my best to have at least two paleo meals a day. But when I do eat grains I can sure feel the difference. And I notice as well that my meditation practice is also less than optimal. And Im toying with the idea of eating only twice a day.
I'm telling you this to illustrate what the lord Buddha himself knew 2500 years ago. If you're not healthy, if you don't live a healthy lifestyle, then the quality of your life will be less than optimal. I dare say it could even be fatal.
Because of this, I add diet and exercise to my drops of daily Dharma. It's all, of course, part of the journey.