Baylor Faculty Member Shares Spiritual and Physical Wellness Advice for National Wellness Month
As we reach the end of the month and Baylor students wrap up their second week of classes, it’s a good time to remember that August is National Wellness Month. Justin Adeyemi, EdD, Lecturer in the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, highlights five areas of wellness: spiritual, physical, mental, social, and financial.
Spiritual wellness, Adeyemi suggests, is the most important. In addition to being a certified athletic trainer, certified K-12 health and physical education teacher, and college instructor, Adeyemi also has a Master of Arts in Theology and is active in his local church. He points to 3 John 1:2, which says, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.”
“In this passage, the Apostle John is saying that Gaius [the letter recipient] is prospering spiritually because he’s walking in his faith daily. This essentially puts him in a position to prosper in other areas of his life—physically, socially, mentally,” he says. “I think that’s key for us as believers—to keep the spiritual focus first, because with that, everything else will flow.”
For many of the courses Adeyemi teaches at Baylor, he incorporates subject-related devotionals that his students can choose to engage with online. For example, a recent devotional for his Anatomy class illustrated the unique ratio between the elements of our bodies and the ground, highlighting God’s formation of humankind from dust. Through these optional devotional practices, Adeyemi is able to minister to his students and contribute to their spiritual wellbeing.
“I had a student the other day tell me he loved the devotionals, and I don’t always have students tell me they love assignments,” he laughs. “This is my way to gently encourage, and sometimes even introduce students to Jesus.”
As a member of the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation faculty, Adeyemi—not unexpectedly—also has a few tips to offer related to physical wellbeing. He emphasizes one piece of advice in particular—move!
“One of my first lessons for my Anatomy classes is that our cells move. If the smallest parts of our bodies are designed by God to move, then I think, naturally, our whole being should move,” he shares.
Research shows that moving can actually decrease anxiety, Adeyemi notes. It decreases depression and increases brain function. He recommends students get involved with recreational sports and even just put themselves in a position to walk more by parking a little further away than they normally would.
“In my studies for athletic training and physical education, my professors would say, ‘If I catch you on the elevator, we’re going to have a problem!’”
While Adeyemi’s expertise focuses on physical and spiritual wellness, he believes these two aspects can positively influence other areas of wellness—mental, social, financial—and that these additional topics should not be disregarded of their own accord either. He points to a number of wellness resources provided by Baylor University for students, such as the Counseling Center, Care Team Services, and Campus Recreation. Students can learn more about these and other resources through Student Health and Wellness at swh.web.baylor.edu.