Exercise: What’s the point?

Photo by Mary Sue Brown

So you’ve probably heard all the buzz about how important exercising is to your health.  It helps prevent heart disease, improves your mood, increases your energy and helps you sleep better! While all these health benefits are important, there is a much more important reason.  The most important reason is that it helps you be the best prepared you can to share the Gospel.

How does exercise help? Well, aside from the gym being a good place to meet new people, it helps you to get ready for a missionary lifestyle.  This doesn’t mean that you need to pump some iron before your next mission trip. We are called, in Mark 16:15, to, “…Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.”  This means we are in the mission field all the time. Therefore, when you exercise, exercise to prepare your body for the rigors of this world so you can share the love of Christ with those around you.  Exercise also gives you a time to be quiet.  If you like to run, try running without music and using that time to pray.  If you like to take walks, try walking with a  friend and sharing what is going on in your spiritual life.

How much exercise is healthy? It depends on your body and your schedule. The recommendations say 20-30 minutes three days a week.  It can be anything you want to do that gets you moving. If you love to dance, try an activity like Zumba.  If you’ve always wanted to be a runner, check out a walk-run running plan.  There are plenty of free ones online. If you like to take your time and stretch, try a yoga class or video.

Keep in mind that, despite its benefits, exercise can become an idol. If you find yourself obsessing over when you will exercise, take a break. Taking a few days off may be better for your mental and physical health than plowing forward.  If you have questions about starting to exercise, check with your doctor or the athletic trainer at your school for more information.

What’s your favorite way to exercise?  How does it affect your spiritual life? Let us know in the comments!

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