God made our bodies to move, and if they do not move, they fall into disrepair.
Sometimes exercise is placed at the base of the pyramid, to show that it’s just as important to your health as what you eat. Exercise is crucial to a healthy body. When our daily lives are not physically active on their own, it’s our job to make sure our temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) are well cared for. Exercise has many benefits, and not all of them are solely related to our bodies.
- Exercise can help prevent or manage many diseases, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and even some kinds of cancer.
- Exercise can help us regain and/or maintain a healthy weight. Exercise burns calories, which helps in weight loss and management. It also improves muscle tone.
- Exercise releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are neurotransmitters associated with happiness and a sense of well-being. Exercise can help reduce depression and anxiety. It also helps reduce tension and relieve stress.
- Circulation is increased by regular exercise, not only circulation of the blood, but also circulation of the lymph fluids stored in body tissues. Improved circulation helps cells get the oxygen they need to do their jobs well.
- Regular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and helps them work more efficiently. Not only will this help prevent certain types of diseases, you’ll find you don’t tire as easily and you’ll have more energy.
- Insomnia and other sleeping problems can be helped by exercise. Being more active during the day will help you fall asleep when night comes.
- You don’t have to do something you hate to exercise; find something you like to do, or something you want to learn to do. Have fun with it.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a despised activity. It can just be a walk around the neighborhood or a bike ride. Take up a new sport like tennis or rock climbing. Find something you really enjoy. If motivation is a problem, try to get an exercise partner. If you’re trying something new, your partner could be a mentor, or perhaps just someone else interested in learning.*