What the Bible Says About Fitness

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For many reading my blog you would know that I am a man of faith and an avid fitness fanatic. Here are some thoughts I me combining the two. Apply what you wish and dismiss what you wish.

If we believe that God does not value how physically fit our bodies are, we are sorely mistaken. Evidence to the contrary is everywhere in the Bible.

Corinthians 6:19 bids us to view our bodies as temples. God has written clear instructions on the Bible’s pages about how to respect their sanctity.

Our health is His gift that we are beholden to look after. To help us, He has given us many lessons in His book on exercise and caring for the various aspects of our health. But what exactly does He say?

A. What the Bible says about exercise

The Lord clearly values exercise. Verses in the Bible about exercise as an indispensable tool for self-care are plenty.

1. It is our responsibility to care for our bodies.

We are responsible for the physical forms that God gave us. In the end, we have to return them in sacrifice to Him.

Romans 12:1 asks us to make our bodies fitting sacrifices for the Lord, physical forms he deems Holy and acceptable. We should exercise to make our bodies presentable to Him.

2. Exercise keeps us fit as we race towards Heaven.

The road to Heaven is narrow. Exercise keeps us fit as we run along it.

Corinthians 9:24 shows us that there is only one winner in the race to Heaven. We have to run it so that we can get the prize.

In short, doing the Lord’s good work takes us along the path to Heaven. Exercise strengthens us as we go about blessing others in His name.

3. It is the way to cultivate the strength He has given us.

Exercise is a tool God has given us to nurture His other gift of physical strength.

Philippians 4:13 tells us that strength lets us carry out all things. Keeping our bodies fit allows us to reach our goals.

4. We should balance strength and knowledge.

We should balance strength and knowledge. Strength enhances wisdom and the reverse is true as well.

Proverbs 24:5 says that strength makes us wise, while wisdom increases our might.

The two work together. The quests for knowledge as well as physical fitness are constant.

5. We are not to value our bodies above our spirituality.

The Lord is not a God of appearances. He does not put them above our spirituality.

Samuel 16:7 tells us that while man values the physical, the Lord sees what is in his heart.

Like the Lord, we are to value goodness more than outward appearance.

So saying, we should have a balanced approach towards exercise. Never obsess with it such that it becomes more important than the Lord Himself.

B. What does the Bible say about wellness?

The Bible also tells us about maintaining a proper state of wellness. It makes a clear stand on how to stay healthy.

1. Those who follow God will enjoy good health.

Through verses in the Bible, God says that those who follow him will enjoy good health.

In Exodus 15:26, the Lord promised the Israelites that he would not bring upon them the diseases he brought on their Egyptian masters, if they kept to all his laws.

This does not mean that one never becomes ill. As disease is the result of Adam’s original sin, no one is infallible.

2. Keep your body clean.

In the Bible, the Lord also instructs us to keep our bodies clean. We are to do this in several ways.

a. Do not fill our bodies with harmful substances.

To keep our bodies clean, we should not fill them with drugs and toxic substances.

Coffee, containing caffeine, qualifies as beverage that has a toxic substance. It is not what the Lord wants in our bodies.

b. Do not drink alcoholic beverages.

The Lord does not condone the drinking of alcoholic beverages. Proverbs 20:1 suggests that alcohol leads to anger. It also deceives us.

Further, Corinthians 6:9 tells us that those who drink will not inherit the Lord’s kingdom.

c. Do not use tobacco.

Tobacco damages health and destroys the body. Corinthians 3:16 tells us how much God dislikes it. The body is a temple, and the Lord would destroy anything that defiles it.

Being addicted to tobacco means that it enslaves you. Jesus sends a strong reminder in Matthew 4:10 that we should serve God, our only master.

d. Avoid unclean animals.

The Bible strongly recommends that we should avoid unclean animals. This does not necessarily refer to them being tainted spiritually.

“Unclean” suggests that these are animals with flesh proportionately higher in toxic substances. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God tells us clearly that pigs, shellfish and catfish are unclean.

As reported by Servsafe, parasites and toxins are the greatest worry when it comes to seafood. The worry is not unfounded, as sea creatures tend to wander into contaminated waters.

To add, health officials found that pork has a deadly flesh-eating bacteria, MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). Health officials check meats all over the country for these and other bacteria. Studies show that pigs have 30 times more toxins than other meats.

For our health, it is best to avoid eating them.

e. Avoid overeating.

Christ, in the New Testament, warns his followers against surfeit, or excessive eating. Eating too much is the source of many degenerative diseases.

3. Help others in need.

To enhance wellness, God urges us to help those in need. Isaiah 58: 6-8 tells us clearly that when we welcome the poor into our homes, we improve our health.

C. What the bible says about mental health

God also encourages us to put up safeguards for our mental health. Bible verses point to positive, common sense defenses we can set up.

1. Do not harbor jealousy or bear grudges.

These sins interrupt important mental functions. Proverbs 14:30 shows that envy rots bones. Matthew 5:23 also points out that Christ tells us not to hold grudges.

This is sound advice because it takes extra energy to carry pain and jealousy. It takes only 43 muscles to smile and 17 to frown.

2. Keep a joyful disposition.

We know that a cheerful attitude is the best medicine, and the Bible agrees in Proverbs 17:22.

A person’s body reflects his thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 shows us that a man becomes what he thinks in his heart. The bible suggests that being happy means staying positive.

Further, make meals happy occasions. God lets us know in Ecclesiastes 3:13 that we should eat, drink and reap the fruits of our hard work. Quarrels at meals will only interrupt our digestion.

3. Have faith.

Perhaps the wisest and most effective advice the Lord has about being mentally fit is to have faith in him.

The Lord, in Proverbs 4:20-22 tells his people to attend to his words, as they bring health to the flesh. With great faith comes wellness.

The Bible shows, with great clarity, that God takes our fitness to heart.

Sources:

1. Open Bible

http://www.openbible.info/topics/physical_exercise

http://www.openbible.info/topics/keeping_healthy

2. Got Questions

http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-health.html

3. Faith and Health Connection

http://www.faithandhealthconnection.org/bible-scriptures-verses-on-health-wellness-updated/

4. Compelling Truth

http://www.compellingtruth.org/Bible-exercise-health.html

5. People to People

http://www.peopletopeopleministries.com/articles/what-the-bible-says-about-health.html

6. Livestrong

http://www.livestrong.com/article/160674-catfish-food-poisoning/

7. Agriculture Society

http://astotd.blogspot.com/2008/11/toxins-in-pork.html

8. Enlightened Feelings

http://www.enlightenedfeelings.com/body.html

 
Photo Credit: Realistic Imaginations via Compfight cc

The Health Benefits of Building Your Own Stand Up Office Desk

This may sound surprising, but sitting at a desk is quite exhausting. You may get up feeling more tired than you already are.

Doing away with your chair and building a standing desk is an attractive, viable option.

But how do you go about doing this? Further, what are the benefits of working while standing?

A. The Health Benefits of building a standing desk

If you are wondering why standing desks are becoming so trendy, your answer lies in their countless benefits.

1. A standing desk makes your body adaptable.

To begin, standing desks make your body more adaptable. You flex your muscles and are more mobile.

You also increase your flexibility because your blood circulation improves. With increased flexibility, you focus on your tasks better.

This option works well if you work out from home like me. If you also work out from in a home gym I recommend reading my previous post here.

2. You are at lower risk of illness.

You are also less prone to illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Research shows that those who sit are 54% more likely to have heart attacks.

James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, proves with his research that standing lowers calories and the likelihood of obesity. Those who were not gaining weight were standing at least 2.5 more hours per day. They also had higher metabolic rates. Needless to say, they burned more calories.

Working from a standing desk also lowers the risk of Type Two diabetes. A 2008 study by Healy GN et al. discovered that those who sat for longer periods in the day had higher levels of glucose. Those who already had a tendency to develop diabetes were at an even higher risk.

3. A standing desk improves your posture.

Standing also improves your posture. Your back muscles become stronger.

4. It allows you to move between tasks.

A standing desk also makes you more productive. It allows you to move between tasks. Multitasking is much easier.

5. Standing improves your alertness.

It is easier to stay focused when you stand. Standing increases the blood flow to the brain. It helps you develop creativity.

Standing also helps you control restlessness.

B. Other Benefits

In addition to the good a standing desk does for your health, it has other benefits as well.

1. Aesthetic benefits

a. More decorative options

A standing desk has aesthetic benefits. It allows you to put your monitor in different positions. You can arrange it almost any way you please.

b. More storage space

There is no need for a chair, so a standing desk gives you more storage space at the bottom.

C. How to build a standing desk

stand up desk

If these benefits have convinced you to give the standing desk a try, you will need to know how to go about building one.

The cost of buying a standing desk can discourage. The wonderful news is that you do not need expensive or fanciful materials to change your existing desk.

1. Materials you need

If you use a laptop, you only need a single shelf or set of books to create your standing desk. If you use a desktop with a separate keyboard and monitor, you may need two sets of shelves or books.

2. Elevating your keyboard

Using a stack of books or old shelves, elevate your keyboard to your eye level. You should not have to bend your arm to reach your mouse.

When doing this, use materials that keep your devices stable. Books and old shelves usually work the best.

3. Propping up your monitor

Using a set of books or a little shelf you can construct out of spare planks of wood, prop up your monitor so that your browser’s toolbar is at your eye level. You should not have to look down or up at your monitor. Keep it at a reasonable distance from your eyes.

Again, make sure that your devices will not topple over. A small, short table to rest your monitor on is an ideal option as it is resilient. Find any of these at yard sales.

4. Consider your standing desk options.

The attractiveness of the standing desk option lies in its versatility. There are many ways to create a standing desk, so consider your choices before you begin.

a. The portable standing desk

You can install a couple of brackets on an existing desk, then place a wooden plank on top of them. That plank becomes a portable desk that you can carry around.

The benefits of a portable standing desk are clear. You can take it anywhere with you. It also allows you to switch between standing and sitting positions.

It does take a little more effort, however, to get brackets installed at the side of the table.

b. Using a chair

If you do not want to fit your desk with extra brackets or shelves, a creative option is to place a chair on top of your existing desk. You can use it to rest your computer on.

This saves you the cost of buying extra materials. Do not, however, use a chair with rollers. While the idea seems quaint, a chair with rollers is not secure.

c. Using old cabinets or dressers

If you have old cabinets, dressers or other furniture, you can use them as standing desks. Just put your necessities below and your desk is ready.

Old cabinets allow you to store what you need in them, but choose those that raise your monitor to your eye level. Remember that you should look ahead, not up or down.

d. The optional standing desk

If you want to alternate between sitting and standing, create an optional standing desk.

Build a little shelf out of books or by nailing together planks of wood. Put it at the side or in the middle of your desk. This is your standing desk option.

The optional standing desk creates more work space. It also allows you to rest if you have stood for too long.

The standing desk is a healthy, practical option all should consider.

Sources:

1. Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_desk

2. How To Geek

http://www.howtogeek.com/100748/15-ideas-to-buy-or-build-your-perfect-standing-desk/

3. Prevention.com

http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/how-make-your-own-standing-desk

4. Lifehacker

http://lifehacker.com/5929765/make-yourself-a-standing-desk-this-weekend

5. How to Geek

http://www.howtogeek.com/99961/how-to-modify-your-existing-desk-to-make-it-a-standing-desk/

6. About Ergonomics

http://ergonomics.about.com/od/office/a/Benefits-of-a-Standing-Desk.htm

7. Forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2012/07/16/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-standing-desks/

8. Smithsonian

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/five-health-benefits-standing-desks-180950259/

9. Mashable

http://mashable.com/2011/04/22/standup-desks/

10. Ehow

http://www.ehow.com/list_5775590_advantages-standing-computer-desk.html

Photo Credit: camflan via Compfight cc

3 Reasons why I’m switching too LED lighting.

LED (Light-emitting diode) lights are quickly becoming a popular alternative to conventional lights.

I’ve been thinking for a while about making the switch but the initial investment was way too much.

These light bulbs are definitely more costly, but their unique features offer significant benefits.

This is why you will find me taking full advantage of them. But first I will only be transitioning over to spread out the cost starting with my garage gym and outdoor lights. I am making the switch from conventional to LED lights for three important reasons.

various types of lightbulbs

A. How LED lights work

But before I discuss them, you will need to know what LED lights are and how they work.

LED lights use SSL, or Solid State Lighting technology. They emit light from solid matter instead of a vacuum.

An LED releases free electrons within a semiconductor. These semiconductors have negatively and positively charged components. The free electrons float around in the negative component, while the positive component has holes for them to flow into.

When the LED releases the free electrons, they flow from the negative to the positive component of the bulb. The electrons light up as they flow into the holes in the positive layer.

B. 3 reasons why I am switching to LED lighting.

You now know how LED lights work, but what makes me want to switch from conventional to this lighting?

1. You get better quality lights.

One benefit of LED lights is that they are more durable than conventional lights. They are 30 to 40 times more durable than incandescent lights and two to five more lasting than fluorescent lights.

What allows them to last? These lights are shock resistant. LED light bulbs are unbreakable. They can withstand harsh weather, such as extreme cold or heat from the sun. Glass bulbs and filaments do not shatter.

In addition, multicolored options are available. Find LED lights in:

– red
– yellow
– green
– white
– blue
– gold
– and amber.

They come in many styles, including:

– frame-tips
– mini-lights
– globe lights
– and rope lights.

They give better coloring for the security cameras you may need outside your home. This makes them a safer alternative than traditional lights.

Their lighting quality is also better. The color temperature of LED lights is lower than conventional lights. They also have more lumens, the measurement for the total amount of light emitted from a visible source. This allows them to emit more light.

2. LED lighting saves costs.

Besides giving better lighting, LED lights save costs as well. I will not have to change light bulbs regularly since they are unbreakable. They save costs since they are recyclable.

I save money on energy too. While most incandescent bulbs need 75 to 100 watts of energy, an LED light bulb needs only 19 watts to produce light that is much brighter.

LED lights lessen cooling loads, as they do not generate heat. I can also dim them, which saves costs.

Using an LED light means savings of up to 75% or more for me.

3. I help the environment.

One great boon of LED lights is that they are environmentally friendly. They do not contain harmful mercury, lead or cadmium, unlike traditional light bulbs. I can always reuse them. This saves recycling costs.

If that is not enough, these lights have full cut-off features. These shut of light in case of overheating to prevent fires. They also comply with the initiatives of the International Dark Sky Association that believes poor lighting threatens astronomy, destroys ecosystems and wastes $2.2 billion dollars worth of energy a year.

Join me in making the switch from traditional to LED lights today.

5 Top Tips for Training in a Garage Gym

cast iron dumbbell

Have you got a garage gym but the bench press bed is starting to gather a little dust?

Training and getting into shape can be one of the most rewarding things you can do for you mind, body and spirit. Being fit spills over into so many areas of your life you sometimes wouldn’t recognise. You sleep deeper, have more energy and your cognitive brain patterns operate at better optimum levels.

But you’re like me and trying stay fit on budget, you may have a brainwave to work out at home. You decide to clear out the garage and revamp the man cave.

One of the hardest things when working out at home is staying motivated. In the beginning having a garage gym can be exciting and you feel pumped to make progress. It can even feel a little underground gangsterish but more often than not, once the novelty has worn off it can start to feel like a chore like rest of the other chores around the house.

Heres my 5 tips for staying motivated when training at home.

1. Hit the weights as soon as you get home from work.

The best way to let go of the days stresses is to get straight into training as soon as I get home. I don’t even sit or have a beer (which can be the worst thing you can do) or anything. I say a quick hello to my wife and baby then changed and don’t contemplate on it any further. After a huge day I find sitting down to relax for 15 minutes when I get home work helps me lose the motivation and I then find it a chore to have to get up again to go train.

Training in the evening also works well for the wife and I as she likes to use the gym throughout the day whilst our little girl is napping.

2. Play music that gets you pumped.

My favourite tunes to work out to are anything with a serious beat or heavy rock. I generally stay away from music with lyrics as I find it a distraction. If you have toddlers that nap regularly, listening to your iphone or smartphone with earphones and having it strapped to your arm works well. And you don’t disturb the neighbours too.

3. Keep yourself accountable to another fitness friend.

My buddy and I live 50 miles away from one another but we are both right into training. We message each other often to see how each other is progress. We also use and share online and phone apps as a way to compete against each other.

Some garage gym inspiration.

4. Take Supplements.

I take two supplements for my training. A whey protein isolate is the great for muscle growth straight after workouts and I also use recovery amino acid for days in between workouts. GNC products are what I’m using at the moment but I’m thinking about mixing it up as I don’t want my body to get too use to the supplement. I have been finding excellent results with fitness and muscle mass using this strategy but I encourage you to find what works for you.

My wife has been trying to lose all the baby pounds she gained and has been making excellent progress. She has been using a weight loss supplement called Ideal Shape, she raves about it being the best meal replacement shake on the market. So far she has lost 15 pounds in 2 months!

5. Train for an event.

One of my favourite events is Tough Mudder. It is one of the most hardcore obstacle events I have ever competed in. As I love it so much I set my self mini goals leading up to each event. I mark it on my calendar for the event and set my mini milestones using my phone and web apps. But when the date comes to compete – I’ll be ready!

 

sources:

Ideal Shape Reviews

GNC