Benefits of Physical (and Spiritual) Cardio Training

By Laurette Willis –

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV).

This proverb of King Solomon’s is not referring to physical cardio training, but spiritual. We want to keep watch over what we are meditating on in our hearts.

Is there unforgiveness or bitterness? Envy? Worry? If so, the answer is to exercise. Exercise forgiveness, repentance and then cast your cares upon the Lord.

Being what I call a “Fit Witness” is wonderful—not only for you—but the people around you. They will want to know your secret, and you can begin explaining your blessing with words like “by the grace of God.” Then you can mention how you like to combine faith and fitness (such as doing PraiseMoves or prayer-walking).

As a child of God, you are a steward or caretaker of the body the Lord has given you. Did you know your body actually belongs to Him?

For you are bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV).

Both your spirit and your body are God’s property. Don’t let that scare you if you haven’t been taking good enough care of His property. Instead, realize He has a vested interest in helping you take care of your body. Ask Him to help you and then cooperate with Him by doing physical exercise such as cardio training.

Physical Cardio Training

Cardiovascular training involves any activity that requires the use of the large muscle groups of the body in a regular and uninterrupted manner. It elevates the heart rate between 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Some examples of cardio training include brisk walking, running, aerobics, cycling, elliptical training and rowing.

How Much Cardio?

Most experts agree that cardiovascular training should last for 20 to 60 minutes, with the normal range being 30 to 40 minutes per session. Cardio should be performed a minimum of three days per week, with four to five days being optimal.

What Are the Benefits of Cardio Training?

1. Burns calories
2. Helps you lose excess body fat
3. Strengthens heart and lungs
4. Elevates your mood (a real blues buster!)
5. Adds variety to your workout routine

When to Do Cardio Training?

Most people find exercising earlier in the day best—so you don’t put it off! Some find after work is best for them. But almost any time you exercise is fine. Just do it! Avoid doing cardio exercises before bedtime. You may have a difficult time sleeping if you exercise late at night as the energy level of the body will be elevated for a while.

If you are doing weight training, try doing some cardio exercises right after, not before.

A protein shake 30 minutes before cardio ensures that you’ll have energy and won’t burn muscle protein during your workout. It’s best to exercise two hours after a large meal.

Combine Physical and Spiritual Cardio

Select a scripture for the day and meditate on it while you are working out. Consider the scripture piece-by-piece and ask the Holy Spirit (our Teacher and Guide) to reveal hidden truths to you.

Build your faith muscles by speaking the scripture out loud as you are working out so you can hear yourself saying it. Remember, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).

Combining these two forms of cardio exercise will help you to keep your physical and spiritual heart with all diligence!

A New Year’s Resolution Solution: It’s All in Your Head!

By Laurette Willis –

Does fitness begin by doing physical acrobatics or is it mental acrobatics that must come first? God gives us the answer in Romans 12:2 (NIV). “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

It’s what’s on your mind that counts! It’s estimated that we think about 60,000 thoughts per day at a speed of 600-800 words per minute.

Do you find your thoughts consistently running along positive paths or negative ones? When something bad happens do you think or say, “It figures. Nothing good ever happens to me.” Or do you say, “You know what? I’m not moved by this because God says in Psalm 34, ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all,’ so I’m coming out of this one, too!”

Does God “tell it like it is”?

Why are people who quote God’s Word called extremists and fanatics while those who quote Murphy’s Law are considered realists who are just telling it like it is? Did you know God never told us to “tell it like it is?” In fact, if that were the way God operated, creation would not have happened.

Imagine if God had stepped out into the black void of space and said, “Hey, it sure is dark out here.” It would still be dark! God chose not to “tell it like it is.” Instead He “calls those things which do not exist as though they did”(Romans 4:17 KJV).

He used His Word and said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3 NIV). And there was light. Since we’re made in the image of God and Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be “imitators of God as dear children,” doesn’t it make sense to say what God says instead of what the enemy and the world say?

Start Looking in a New Mirror

Thinking and speaking God’s words and thoughts will change you! Your faith will grow as you hear the Word of God. You will begin to see yourself in a new light with a new mirror: the Word of God. It will become easier for you to encourage and bring hope to others, for you’ll begin to know that the Lord can help them. Situations that used to baffle you will become easier to understand.

Health and fitness issues will also become easier to solve, for godly fitness is tied to what the Lord is telling you that you can and should do to take care of your body. Your health and fitness also depends on the development of the fruit of the Spirit–especially self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23)–more than any diet or exercise routine.

Look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word today. You will LOVE the way you look..in Him!

You Can Stay Fit During Christmas!

By Laurette Willis –

“I am the bread of life” (John 6:48 NIV).

Those words really put holiday overindulgence into perspective don’t they? Perhaps the overindulgence we could enter into this Christmas is filling up on the “bread of life” instead of the bread of this world—after all, Jesus was placed in a manger (a feeding trough!) as a baby.

When we think of the bread of this world, we think of physical bread, but it can also be “soul junk food.” I’m referring to the PG-13, R-rated (and worse) so-called “entertainment” of this world.

Okay, now I’m meddling, right? It’s just that I’ve found that if I’m filling up on the world’s junk food through my eyes and ears, I also seem to want to satisfy my mouth with the world’s processed junk foods for my body. Could they be connected?

When I’m taking in less life through the Word into my spirit, my discernment and choices in other areas of my life aren’t as clear or focused.

Pick a “Scripture Snack” Each Day.

Fill up on real soul food! Pick one “Scripture snack” to chew on each day. Today my “snack” from the Word was the verse at the beginning of this article where Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”

Throughout the day I went back to that Word and asked the Lord to give me new revelation on it. I noticed my mental focus became clearer, I made better choices in a number of areas and I felt satisfied on the inside (not “stuffed” and numb from overindulging my flesh as I had so many times before).

More Practical Tips:

In addition to ensuring your heart and mind are full of the Word, here are 5 tips to help you spearhead the movement in your family to a healthier Christmas and 2012:

Make a difference in someone’s life.

Focus on one or two people you are going to get to know better over the holiday. This can be a member of your own family, a friend, a neighbor, perhaps even someone at church who needs to be with a family at Christmas (why not yours?).

Exercise.

If you don’t move, you lose. Much of the weight gain during the holidays is due to a lack of physical exercise. Decide to get some exercise in early in the day before the hubbub of activity starts.

Make it a family affair. After the big meal, be the instigator behind a “Let’s all go outside and walk off some of that delicious dinner before dessert!” I think you’d be surprised how many will thank you for it later!

Don’t skip meals.

Even if you think you may be eating more over the holidays, don’t make the mistake of skipping meals so you can stock up later.

Drink plenty of water.

Stay well-hydrated. This will also ensure that you eat less. We often reach for a high-calorie snack when our body is really crying out for water.

Above all, stay focused on making sure your spirit is well-fed. You will sail through the holidays and into 2012 with your heart full, your mind clear and your body full of energy as a fit witness for Christ. He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV).

Let’s believe Him for itand share our victory with others this holiday season!


Faith & Fitness for the COURAGEOUS Man

By Laurette Willis –

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6, NKJV).

Have you seen the movie Courageous yet? Our family really enjoyed it. There’s lots of action, a compelling story, humor, top-notch acting, and it is built on a solid foundation (the Word of God and the Father’s great love for us). The movie’s subtitle is Honor begins at home.

As the promotions for this movie state, “Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Protecting the streets is second nature. Raising their children in a God-honoring way. That’s courageous.”

How does the Courageous Man Combine Faith, Family & Fitness?

When we come home from a hard day at work, the last thing many of us want to do is think about anything more physical than elbow-bending (as in fork-to-mouth, repeat, and 40 reps).

In the movie Courageous, police officer Adam Mitchell (played by director and co-writer Alex Kendrick, father of six) and his teenage son Dylan start building a new relationship with one another, and fitness becomes an important part of it. All Dylan seems to want to do is “play video games and run a 5K,” says Adam.

Parents realize that in order to build (or rebuild) a relationship with their child, it takes becoming interested in what interests them. Adam decides to lay aside his personal comfort zone for the greater good of blessing his son. He and Dylan begin running together, and their relationship deepens as Dylan sees his Dad’s love in action, not just in words.

Love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Why compartmentalize faith (Sunday only), family (around the dinner table…when we’re not watching TV) and fitness (does watching football on TV count?)?

The Courageous man (and woman) puts God first–so why not ask the Lord how to make fitness a part of your family time together? No matter what the age of your children, you can begin making fun physical activity a part of “what we do as a family.”

Here are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning—and your bodies moving!

  • Walk Together. The Family that walks together, talks together! Take a leisurely stroll 30 minutes after dinner. Make it a new family tradition. Enjoy each other’s company and walk at a gentle pace for 15-20 minutes to help digest your food. This will also keep you from snacking after dinner. Take a portion of scripture and talk about it. How can you apply it to your lives?
  • Go to the Gym or Church Fitness Center. Take your son or daughter with you. Work out with light weights (not on the machines). Show your kids how it’s done.
  • Play Indoor Fitness Games. Remember Twister? You can still play that as a family! Add an element of scripture memorization by writing verses on cards. Call out all or part of a verse with each move. See how many verses you can remember (if you don’t wind up collapsing into a giggling pile before too long!).
  • Train for a Charity Race—a walk, run, or bike race! Train as a family team or with one of your children. Use the time to encourage your child.

In the movie Courageous, Adam says, “I think the Lord is requiring me to call out the man in my son.”  That’s something Dads get to do for their family members—emulating our heavenly Father by “calling out” and encouraging the best in their sons, daughters and wife.

Take the lead, Dad. Be Courageous. Be a Fit Witness for Christ in spirit, soul and body. Your family will follow–and will honor you for it.

Present Your Body to God

February 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Laurette Willis –

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1, NKJV).

Paul instructs us to present our bodies a living sacrifice.  Each of us is advised to take care of our body since it is the “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).

Here’s a sobering question: Do you think you will be required to answer to the Lord for how well you have cared for your body?

That’s a frightening thought for most of us! “You are not your own,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV. “For you were bought at a price” (the shed blood of Jesus Christ). Could this mean your body is not yours, but the Lord’s? How well are you caring for the Lord’s property?

The good news is that since your body belongs to the Lord, He has a vested interest in helping you care for it. Your body is not only the temple of His Holy Spirit, it’s what you need to be able to walk around on this earth and spread the good news about Jesus Christ.

The more fit and healthy you are, the greater the likelihood that you will be around longer to carry out His will for your life. The enemy wants you to fail miserably and go to heaven before your time. He doesn’t really care that you’re going to heaven–he just doesn’t want you to take anyone else with you!

If your body is out of shape and lacking energy, it’s difficult to do all the Lord is calling you to do. But you and the Lord working together can change that!

“What?!” you ask. “The Lord needs MY help? But He’s omnipotent–all-powerful and in control!” Well, yes–and no. He is all-powerful, but He will not wrestle the cake fork out of your hand or pick up the strings like a grand marionette master and animate your body to take a brisk walk. We are the ones who have to exercise our will to exercise our body and “choose life.”

Presentation Prayer to God — it works!

Take a small, but powerful step today–right now. Present your body to God. You can pray this with me:

“Heavenly Father, I present my body to You. This body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit,’ so it is Your property, not mine. I am the steward and caretaker of it. I present all that I am and all that I have to You, Lord. I trust You to lead and guide me into all truth and good in my life.

“I am Your sheep, so I hear and follow Your voice. Thank You for helping me care for this amazing body You have given me. I choose life in my habits, and love in my attitude and relationships. I will not allow myself to be conformed to this world’s way of thinking, but I am being transformed by renewing my mind on Your Word–the Bible. I choose to think in line with Your thoughts! Thank You, Lord for leading and guiding me into all truth. I now receive from You everything I need to be the best I can be today, for Your glory–in Jesus’ name. Amen!”

Now receive from the Lord everything you need by faith–the most powerful force in the entire universe. Receive by faith into your spirit and start thanking the Lord (no matter how you feel!). Do this every day and make a “present” of yourself to God. If you’ve done this, please comment below and let us know about your results.

Next Page »