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Exercising by Grace

The Great Mental Exercise Challenge

 The question I have to ask myself 6 days a week:  Is 2 hours spent in exercise worthwhile? 

It is good to read a new health book every now and then to remind us that the common keys to health are:

  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat right (which is much easier if we are more muscle than fat since muscle craves better food than does fat).

It seems as if every system in the body in enhanced by these three matters.

One frequently asked question and concern is not should we exercise, but how to exercise – many people don’t start exercising because they don’t know what to do.  But exercise is like most anything else – we won’t know what to do until we start doing something!  The key is that, whatever exercise we do, it be on an “interval” basis.  In other words, if a person swims they should not swim lap after lap at the same pace – it should be in intervals of hard and easy.  Walking is that same – regular pace, fast pace, regular pace, fast . . . Jogging if done at all (jogging is a poor way to exercise because of the damage it does to joints) should be on an interval basis – not one steady pace. Interval training (the objective is to breathe hard – but not exercise until it is hard to breathe!) is much more effective than “one speed” exercise.

  1. Generally feel better (because am generally better)
  2. Mentally feel better – better attitude (exercise releases “feel good” brain chemicals)
  3. Spine and back stronger (back problems are probably the most common significant health issue – the normal cause of which are weak abdominal muscles)
  4. Lungs and breathing improved
  5. Improved metabolism – the body’s means for absorbing, transporting and eliminating liquids, nutrients, waste and brain chemicals throughout the body
  6. Better immune system – sick less and heal quicker
  7. Muscle replaces damaging fat
  8. Avoid medical establishment and associated complications – 200,000 a year simply from medical mistakes and hospital acquired infections.  Medical “intervention” is not without an associated high financial, mental and physical cost.
  9. More limber and mobile.  Joints do not hurt because more muscle to hold skeleton up and less joint pressure from the added weight of fat.
  10. Don’t have to worry about what I eat – muscle “requests” better food than does fat.
  11. Sleep better – roughly 1/3 of life is spent sleeping – it is important this sleep be quality time
  12. Work better – concentrate better and enjoy more
  13. Better understand and value disciplines of all types – disciplines are both synergestic and cumulative – the better we practice one the easier and better we typically handle others.  In short, physical disciplines enhance spiritual disciplines – we, in both, get closer to grace.
  14. More tolerant to heat and cold
  15. More energy
  16. Availability and cost of health insurance improved – financially speaking, improved health, resulting from proper and adequate exercise is the best financial investment we can make!

Which of these 16 great would I want or be willing to give up?

The big challenge in developing and maintaining an exercise discipline is mental – thus our focus should primarily be focused on this mental contest and the mental disciplines necessary to support a good exercise routine.