As Christians, our health matters. We are responsible for maintaining our bodies and staying in good physical condition. I Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? Honor God with your bodies.”
As guardians of the body in which the Holy Spirit dwells we should strive to be fit for service, fit for life!
Our bodies are a gift. We are created in His image. In light of that we should with gratitude thank God for our life, health and strength and we should maintain our bodies for His use.
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” We have supernatural power we can tap into within to give us the strength to meet our goals.
Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your actions unto the Lord and your plans will succeed." Give God your best plan, then give your best effort!
It takes hard work to garner the results we want for anything in life. To earn that next step on the corporate ladder we may have to put in more hours. To earn that degree you want you have to burn the candle late into the evening to study for a test or to write papers. It’s good ole fashion “effort”. When we run out of steam, we know that God has promised to be our strength to take us to the next level. Building a healthier body means putting in time to develop muscles, build stamina, tone and tighten our core, to reduce body fat, to plan, prepare and eat balanced and nutritious meals and to get proper rest.
To see results it takes commitment. Commitment that requires perseverance, preparation, patience, being present (no skipping days, sleeping in or blowing off), and being purposeful. Having goals and working towards those goals with determination and sincere effort. When you start to see results don’t get complacent or start to give yourself “rewards”: desserts, extra helpings, or splurging on your favorites as a trophy. Yes, there will be soreness, and some pain to obtain the results you desire but determine it is well worth it. In the past, I didn’t always agree, but “no pain, no gain”! Anything worth having is worth the work it takes to achieve it.
Sometimes we plateau and must step up our exercise regimen to keep striving towards our goals. Life can become boring and so can our exercise routine. “Don’t get weary in well doing, for at the right time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9) This may mean it’s time for re-evaluation. Having a physical assessment done with a fitness expert/trainer may be helpful. As we get stronger and fit, our body may need a more intense or a different regimen to take us to our goal. In other words, we may need to step it up, add more weights, and change your cardio intensity, length or activity. Maybe instead of the treadmill, try the elliptical, or a Shazzy class, or Step class to mix it up and give your body a new activity. Remember to keep challenging yourself, and with supervision, elevate the intensity of your workouts.
Philippians 3:12 “But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." James 1:3, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 2:17, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Remember, be faithful and active -- you can’t sit on the sofa and wish the weight away!
We may not be seeking to participate in the Olympics or the Boston Marathon, but if we are serious about getting fit we should no less have the same attitude to win! I Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?" Athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win the prize!
Don’t allow obstacles to sidetrack you. If you like to walk outdoors and it’s cold or raining, go to the mall or find an indoor walking track at the gym. If you have to change the time because of schedule conflicts, exercise later in the day. If you fall off the meal wagon at a luncheon or party, don’t give up! That does not give you license to start eating unhealthy again with the “intention” of starting again next week. Next week turns into next month or after the holidays or next year! If you fall off, don’t stay off; get back in the saddle, recoup, and begin eating balanced meals again.
Exercise decreases stress, increases energy, clears head, and increases immunity.
Science has proven that exercise and good physical health leads to improved heart health, decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol. If we lose just 10 or 15 pounds of our body weight it makes a tremendous difference in those with diabetes and it helps to ward off the chances of getting diabetes. It also helps with joint pain as weight loss decreases the stress on knees, hips, ankles and feet. Besides giving us more energy and a brighter mood, exercise helps to keep blood sugar in balance. Aim for at least 2-3 hours per week of physical activity as a start to improve your health, to look better and to feel better. Knowing you have to do better is not the same as doing better!
II Corinthians 5:17, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.”
Get After It!
Before starting an exercise program, there must be preparation that includes rest, fueling your body prior to exercise with protein such as smoothies, shakes, eggs, and small portions of meat. Hydration and stretching are also two critical components that must be included in your preparation routine, before and after your workout!
Don’t allow setbacks like injuries or illness keep you from getting back to work after the doctor gives you a thumbs up. Learn from your mistakes and mishaps, and move forward.
Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Steadfastly commit to excellence.