Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve asked some friends to write something for my blog. I think it makes sense to hear someone else’s voice from time to time, and I hope you’ll appreciate it too. Today, I’m really happy to have a young friend of mine share his thoughts on exercise. Jeff studied sports medicine in college, and now works in the physical therapy field, helping people get themselves in better shape every day. I’ve known Jeff since he was a teenager. He’s getting married next month, and I’m glad he’s going to stay in our area. I hope you take to heart what this great young man of faith wants to share with you.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. – Psalm 139:14
The human body. It can heal and strengthen with a specific and disciplined exercise program. It is so intricate and so awesomely beautiful that it is hard to not see the miracle that is within it; within my body, within your body. Just as your walk with Christ can be renewed and strengthened continuously, your body has the ability to heal and strengthen with the right direction and motivation.
Physical exercise has no negative side-effects. It doesn’t come with a warning label or possibility of not working. Exercise only builds oneself up and improves the body’s efficiency. Here is a quick list of some benefits regular exercise has been proven to do:
– Strengthen bones (reversing osteoporosis)
– Reduce body fat
– Strengthen immune system
– Improve posture
– Regulate sleep patterns
– Improve balance and coordination
– Decrease hypertension
– Reduce depression and anxiety
– Decrease risk of many cancers and diabetes
Specifically for those with diabetes, exercise is a natural way to bring blood-sugars down.
For those with Type I Diabetes, exercise opens up blood vessels and increases circulation to extremities. Exercise also raises HDL(good cholesterol) levels, while lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Exercise aids in providing a healthy balance of both.
For those with Type II Diabetes, exercise works likes a diet. It reduces insulin unresponsiveness, making cells more responsive to insulin. Exercise alone can often replace diabetic medication and helps better manage blood-sugar levels.
Exercises come in many different styles and forms. There is always new exercise equipment on the TV proving to be the next best thing in the area of health and fitness. In reality, the best types of exercises are the ones you enjoy. If there is an exercise you like to do and are able, do it. Pick an exercise you are good at and that you will be able to do often. Here is a list of exercises that are very good:
– Walking: one of the best exercise to increase HR and cardiovascular endurance.
– Biking: less stress on the knees while increasing HR and cardiovascular endurance.
– Swimming: great exercise that will increase HR, while providing resistance and cardio training.
– Thera-Band: resistance band exercises are easy to do at home and are affordable.
– Step-ups: simple steps up and down for a certain amount of time with increase HR and aid in muscular strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
If you are able to have access to a gym or fitness center, find machines that you enjoy doing and fit your needs. Be sure to ask a professional there about proper form and instruction before beginning exercises.
In order for you to exercise does not mean you must go to a gym or even change into your gym clothes. You have many opportunities throughout your day to exercise, and all those moments you choose to exercise add up at the end of the day. This is called Active Living; integrating physical activity into daily routines. This can be whatever you want it to be. It may take some imagination. Here are some examples:
– Park your car in a space farther away from the building giving you a chance to walk more.
– Choose to take the steps over the elevator or escalator.
– When at the super market, walk up and down every aisle instead of searching by signs. Maybe do a lap in prayer, thanking God for the food that surrounds you and pray for those who go without.
– Take 5 minutes of lunch break to walk around the office or hallways.
– Be creative! The more you move the better!
Physical exercise is very important in maintaining a body willing to serve God and His people. If we are to take better care for others, we must first care for ourselves through the beneficial discipline of exercise. Every member of the church has a part. I encourage you to take action, make the choice to heal and strengthen your body, so that you may better serve the God in whose image you are made.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
I hope you can find encouragement in this great passage.
The Lord desires to see you filled and to flourish as His beautiful creation.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your doctor or other health care professional.