Healthy Habits for the New Year Include NFP

My latest post at Amazing Catechists talks about Healthy Habits for the New Year: The beginning of a new year often prompts the making of resolutions regarding lifestyle. Some will decide to exercise more or to eat better.

Nowadays healthier lifestyle choices are encouraged: a diet rich in whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat. Unhealthy habits are discouraged: poor diet, inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking.

An important part of a healthy lifestyle also includes making good choices regarding birth regulation.

Moral considerations aside, Natural Family Planning, or NFP, is very healthy. It is a highly effective method of birth regulation, and it also poses no physical side effects. In my experience, NFP fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of the couple’s natural combined gift of fertility. There are no pills or chemicals to harm a woman’s delicate system. There are no devices or operations for either man or woman.

Other methods, however, are not so health-inducing.

Each prescription for chemical contraception (Pill, patch, vaginal ring, injectables) includes an extensive insert outlining the many physical side effects: an increased risk of weight gain, mood swings, headaches, breast cancer, blood clots, strokes. Vasectomy comes with an increased risk of prostate cancer and dementia. Women who undergo a tubal ligation have a greater risk of chronic pain and hysterectomy.

For those who are especially concerned with the health of the environment, chemical contraception is a likely culprit in contributing to the feminization of male fish. Although chemical contraception isn’t the only cause, the following link includes more detail on chemical contraception’s effect on fish:

A new year can be an opportune time to adopt healthier lifestyle choices. It’s also a great time to learn NFP.

My husband, James, and I are certified NFP teachers and we even teach NFP online. For more information on NFP, check out my previous Amazing Catechists column entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About NFP, But Were Afraid to Ask” or email me at info(at)

Text Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Photo purchased on iStock


5 thoughts on “Healthy Habits for the New Year Include NFP

  1. This is, I think, the biggest and most promising way we have to make an impact on the non-Catholic population. (And the Catholic population, for that matter!) The moral and theological arguments require so much deep thought and heart-changing, but this part makes sense, and leads well into the others.

  2. Keep up the good work, Ellen. Anything that helps people respect their bodies as temples of the Holy Ghost is good, and anything that brings people closer to God in the sacrament of marriage is good. We have to do a better job of helping people realize that our bodies are on loan from God and everything about them is a gift from Him to get us through this life.

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