By: Elena Luke, Sports Editor
If you were like me growing up, you probably gave very little thought to exercising to be healthy until you reached at least high school, if not college. Health is rarely something kids give a second thought to; their knowledge of it hardly extends beyond being forced to eat vegetables and constant reminders to cough into their sleeves. And this is probably how it should be. Who wants an eight year old obsessing over diets and regulated exercise? Kids are naturally active and it’s their parents’ responsibility to ensure that they eat well.
All this changes as we grow older however, and as we become free to determine our own eating and exercise habits, things can go downhill pretty quickly. Suddenly, we’re rely on our own mental strength to resist the Nutella jar, the soft serve, or the French fries and it’s by this same free will that we must decide to strengthen our bodies through exercise.
Unfortunately, as we’ve experienced time and time again through sin, man often falls when given free reign over his decisions. Within the sphere of physical fitness, this can mean things much worse than a few extra inches of waistline: diabetes, sleep apnea, heart diseases—these are only a few of the more extreme dangers of an unhealthily overweight body.
On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you have to achieve some ideal magazine-inspired body image to be healthy. In fact, many of those images take weight to the opposite extreme, which can cause just as much damage as obesity. Rather, the ideal should be found in moderate amounts of food and exercise that lead to optimal health and preservation of your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Fortunately, such an attempt is not as complicated or precise as it sounds. As regards my own fitness, I’ve found that when playing sports or exercising regularly, I naturally have a lot more energy, which increases my willpower to say no to excesses of junk food or add a couple of salads to my weekly menu. The result is that simply by dragging myself to the gym 4-5 times a week, my entire physical health is transformed.
To keep from sounding like a total hypocrite, I will admit that this method of regular exercise can be difficult to maintain or enjoy … sometimes it can be downright painful but, ultimately, the end result is always worth it. The key is to remember that taking care of one’s body is just another step on the way to Heaven: a step filled with frustration perhaps, but nonetheless, a step worth taking.
As usual, the Bible sums it up best:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)