“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God— this is your true and proper worship.” –Romans 12:1-2 NIV (emphasis added)
Welcome to Day 16, our final week of 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting! Well done thus far, my faithful friends. I’m quite sure God is smiling own on you as always, but He’s got a little extra twinkle in His eye today:) So let’s talk about another way that we can worship our Father in Heaven: exercise. (You knew this was coming at some point!) This IS after all, “RISENfitness.”
So, why is exercise important to God? Well, God created our bodies. Our bodies are quite miraculous, and when you begin to study the science behind His creation, it’s remarkable! From the digestion process, to the healing process, to the muscular and skeletal structure, every cell has a role to play. As a personal trainer, I have a very limited knowledge of kinesiology, or the study of the movement of the human body. With just scratching the surface, it is apparent that God designed our bodies with a requirement for exercise.
According to the Mayo Clinic, American Council for Exercise, Cooper Institute, and several other reputable sources, exercise reduces the risk of diseases such as dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, infertility, and heart disease. Exercise also releases endorphins to ward off depression, increase self-esteem, and promote better sleep. Exercise has been proven to improve your mood, increase your stamina (think more energy), reduce stress, and improve your quality of life. Studies have found that load-bearing exercise, like plyometrics or calisthenics, help strengthen bones as you grow. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which leads your body to function more optimally overall.
When done correctly, exercise can increase your quality of day-to-day life. How, you ask? Well, exercise can increase aerobic capacity: less running out of breath going up those stairs. Cardiovascular exercise can increase metabolism and circulation: reduced blood clots, blood pooling, constipation, and metabolic diseases/issues. Stretching can increase flexibility: think less stiff muscles, less muscle/joint pain, being able to bend over, reach things, and play with your dog/kids/grand-babies. Weight lifting can increase strength: easier lifting of the groceries, moving furniture, and less susceptibility to injury. Muscle mass helps you with daily movements. Muscle maintains your core, the center of your body, so that you remain upright and structurally everything functions more optimally. Toned and strengthened muscles keep the spine, joints, ligaments, and tendons strengthened and in place, so less stress is placed on them. Like with anything, however, too much of a good thing does exist. Click HERE for symptoms of over-training.
So you may be reading this, thinking, “Well, that’s nice, but I feel fine, so I don’t need to exercise.” Well, my friend, as someone who once held that viewpoint… clinically obese, asthmatic, with high cholesterol, high blood-pressure, scoliosis, hypothyroidism, reynaud’s syndrome, and as a former owner of a gall-bladder… who recently lost their young and “perfectly healthy” Father to the silent heart disease killer… can I urge you to reconsider? I can personally attest to the improvement I have seen in my own life by adding exercise. I’m not asking you to become an Olympic athlete, here. I am merely urging you to consider changing your lifestyle to one that involves movement. If not for you, or for your family, do it for God. Because sitting around all day is killing you. Read this article for further information on the detriments of a sedentary lifestyle.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” -1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV
So now you know why exercise is important. Not only for the health of your body, but because you are God’s temple. God only gives us one body here on Earth, and we are held accountable to how we steward this body. So get up and move as an act of worship! Get a pedometer. Set a small goal, like 10,000 steps a day, as recommended by the American Heart Association. For further information on how to implement movement into your lifestyle, check out our Fitness Tips. And when you find yourself planted in front of the TV, or sitting at your desk for several hours, remind yourself to get up and move for Jesus!
Thank you for joining us for Day 16 ‘in the life’ of our fast here at RISENfitness. We are learning how to ‘get up and MOVE’ right beside you:)
Here’s to your Health and 21 Day Fast!