Your Body – A Fat Burning Machine
By Don Otis –
I was having dinner with some friends when their 24-year-old daughter asked me if I would help her get in shape. That is a pretty innocuous question. I asked her what she wanted to accomplish, how much time she could devote to fitness, and what she’s done before. She held up her arm and said, “I want my arms to be more toned.” Then, she added, “I can’t ride or run more than a mile before I am too tired.” Poor stamina is always the smoking gun of poor fitness.
Just as God has made us for relationship, He has also made us physical beings for activity. Living a sedentary lifestyle is relatively new to humanity and is not part of our Creator’s original design. This means we have to be intentional about activity. There are many culprits that invite us to an inactive lifestyle–television, dishwashers, lawn mowers, or even our vehicles. The bottom line is that we are now forced to be intentional about fitness.
You have heard the old adage “Use it or lose it.” This applies to your physical body too. My advice to anyone, whether they are a 24-year-old female who wears a size 4, or a 60-year-old man who wears a size 44: Get active! God has made you to move. The term aerobic means “with oxygen.” When you hear the term, aerobic exercise, this refers to how your body processes and uses oxygen. Elite distance runners or cyclists can run or pedal efficiently because they train their bodies to use oxygen sparingly.
Aerobic exercise is simply any exercise that gets your heart rate up beyond its normal resting rate for an extended period of time. Cardiorespiratory fitness is what defines the status of your heart muscle, lungs, and circulatory system. The first advice I give anyone who wants to “get in shape” is to get started on a fat-burning routine–aerobic exercise. Here are some of the health benefits of aerobic fitness.
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increases good cholesterol (HDL)
- Decreases total cholesterol
- Decreases body fat stores
- Increases aerobic work capacity
- Decreases anxiety, tension, and depression
- Increases heart function
- Helps prevent type 2 diabetes
There are a host of physiologic benefits and responses as well, which range from decreased workload on the heart, increased blood volume, lung diffusion capacity and many others.
Our bodies adapt to workload. This means that if you start an aerobic exercise program, it will be more difficult in the beginning, but gradually it will become easier as the weeks progress. Be patient with yourself. Choose activities that increase your heart rate and keep it there for 20-30 minutes at a time. These exercises are diverse. They can include walking/running, cycling, court sports, hiking, swimming, or climbing stairs.
The Bible enjoins us to love the Lord with our heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). How can we love the Lord with our strength if we have none?
Determine this summer to increase your metabolism, increase your strength, and decrease your weight!