We have talked about how scripture says that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God through them. We have also discussed the importance of nutrition and getting the right fuel for your tank. Now we come to the importance of exercise.
People used to get enough exercise and for the most part stay naturally lean. People used to walk a lot, eat more natural foods, and were physical in their environment. Then came modernization and the resulting stress on our health because of inactivity. So what must we do? We need to make up for this by exercising. Now that might make you groan but when you see a list of benefits of execise you just might get excited to get moving! BENEFITS OF EXERCISE: Improves your mood; combats chronic diseases; helps manage weight; boosts your energy level; promotes better sleep; improves sex life (Mayo clinic).
So, with all these benefits, why aren’t we running to get in shape? It’s because we are prone to laziness and taking the easy road. We would rather take a pill or have surgery than to get into a regiment of discipline. But if we really believe in Inside Out health then we will find we have all we need in Christ to make a lifestyle change and reclaim our health for Him. So where do we begin?
CHRIST: (Phil 4:13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Forget those lame excuses and turn to the Lord for the strength you need to take that first step.
CHOOSE: Now you must choose your form of exercise. Begin by walking around the block. Fix up that bike and ride through the park. Join a gym. Watch exercise videos and work out at home. There are so many choices, but the main thing is to find something that you enjoy.
COMMIT: The big thing about exercise is the commitment it takes after all the fun wears off. You have to stick to your routine and make exercise non-negotiable. Just as you eat, sleep, go to work, attend church, etc., so you must have the same mentality in regard to exercise. Exercise for life!
The Bible speaks a lot about exercise. My favorite is from the apostle Paul: (1 Cor 9:24-27) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Notice how Paul speaks of running and the reward? That’s what you’ll experience when you exercise. Then he talks about discipline and the importance of telling your body what to do instead of always obeying its demands and impulses.
Here’s a good one: (Heb 12:1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Lay aside the weight . . . I love it!
Our goal in exercise isn’t to improve the quality of our bodies to get people to notice. Rather, the goal of exercising should be to improve our physical health, so we will possess more energy to serve the Lord and others. (But do be prepared for compliments for they indeed will come.) Let’s use fitness as a witness!