Spice it Up

By Cami Checketts –

Our bodies are such an amazing gift from our Heavenly Father. Throughout history, humans have used their physical strength to provide for themselves and their families. They have had to work extremely hard. The human body adapts quickly to stresses placed upon it. This was a very good characteristic for our ancestors. Not so great for us stuck in a modern society of ease and convenience. Relatively few people have to eke out an existence by the sweat of their brows, which is one of the causes of an increase in obesity, heart problems, and many different health challenges.

Because our bodies are so amazing, we have to work harder and challenge ourselves differently to maintain optimum health and vigor. If we want to increase our fitness and health, we have to be willing to push ourselves and add some spice to our workout.

Variety is key when you’re trying to lose weight, get past a plateau, or become more fit. If you do the same cardio or weight routine over and over it will become easy. This is a good thing because it means you’re getting stronger, but it also means that you are burning fewer calories because your body is accustomed to the demands placed upon it.

You can fix this problem by upping the intensity, duration, and speed of your workout or by changing the type of workout you do—known as cross-training. Cross-training recruits different muscle groups, challenges your body in a new way, and will help you burn more calories.

How can you cross-train? If you always bike, try swimming or running. If you love the elliptical machine, try the Stairmaster. If you faithfully go to step aerobics, try hiking a nearby canyon or sample a yoga, Pilates, or kickboxing class. If you work out at home and need some variety, rent a new workout video, borrow one from the library or plan a girl’s night out at the gym.

Variety really is the spice of exercise. My challenge to you is to try something different this week. Please comment below and share which new activity you’re going to try.

 

 

Thanksgiving—the Antidote to Stress

March 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

Stress makes us sick. There’s no doubt about it. When we couple stress and negative emotions with poor nutrition and other unhealthy habits, we have a recipe for sickness and disease. Lots of us are stressed out. In the United States we consume five billion tranquilizers, five billion barbiturates, three billion amphetamines and sixteen tons of aspirin every year

Are you suffering from stress? Want to learn the antidote that I discovered years ago?

It’s thanksgiving! Let me tell you how to give thanks even when you’re all stressed out.

In Isaiah 40, God gives us 6 reasons to thank Him. Go through the 6 P’s, thanking God for each one. By the time you get to the last P, you will feel better. This really works so give it a try!

1. Thank God for His PRESENCE.

God the Father is over us–Isaiah 40:22 NIV “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.”

God the Son is next to us–Isaiah 40:11 NIV “He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

God the Holy Spirit is inside of us–Isaiah 40:29 NIV “He gives strength to the weary.”

Thank God that He is with you as you face your stressful circumstances.

2. Thank God for His POWER.

Isaiah 40:10 NIV “See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.”

“Sovereign” means that God is King of kings and Lord of lords. Everything that happens to us passes through His fingers first. He has all power so thank Him that He has the power to help you.

3. Thank God for His PLAN.

Isaiah 40:13 NIV “Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor.”

God knows what He is doing even if we don’t understand His plan. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV tells us what His plant is: ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

God has good plans for you so thank Him!

4. Thank God for His PURPOSE.

Isaiah 40:5 NIV “And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.”

No pain is wasted in God’s economy. When we endure trials by relying on the Lord, His glory is revealed in us. That means that our trials can work out to be a good thing. There are advantages of adversity, for example, adversity helps us to…

  • Seek God.
  • Help others.
  • Experience God’s power.
  • Mature in our faith.
  • Be disciplined (not spoiled children).
  • Bring glory to God (when we tell others how He is helping us).

5. Thank God for His PRIZE.

Isaiah 40:10 NIV “See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.”

God will reward us! Sometimes we have to wait until heaven for our reward, but we can be certain that we will receive it!

6. Thank God for His PROMISES.

Isaiah 40:8 NIV “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

God’s Word is true. Memorize the promises that encourage you most. Put them on your mirror, refrigerator and the dashboard of your car. Thank God for His promises to you, but be sure not to ignore the commands that come with them! 

I would love to help you to give thanks this Thanksgiving. Comment below if you want personal help.

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.

Mountain Climbing—What It Takes and Why We Do It

March 12, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Don Otis –

George Mallory, a member of the 1924 Mt. Everest expedition, was asked, “Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?” Without hesitation he replied, “Because it’s there.” That famed and ill-fated expedition saw the death of Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine. They were last spotted within several hundred yards of the summit before disappearing for the next 75 years. Mallory’s body was found in 1999. To this day, no one knows for sure if they reached the summit but that just adds to the often mysterious nature of mountaineering.

I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t climbing on something, somewhere. Perhaps it had to do with being chased by an older brother. I found that if I scrambled up the side fence of my southern California home, I could shimmy my way up the wood shingles and escape his grasp for as long I was willing to remain planted there.

I graduated, of course, to bigger and better challenges. Some of my experiences are a bit humorous, dangerous, and embarrassing. And after more than half a century, you accumulate plenty of experiences–good, bad and everything in between.

Since moving to Colorado in late 2007, I found myself on a mission to conquer as many of the 14,000’ peaks as my budget and time would allow. There is something magical about standing on top of a peak and looking down, surveying the landscape and the winding trail to the top. There are easy climbs and daunting hair-raising climbs. I have been on both kinds.

If you asked me the same question the press asked Mallory, I would give a bit lengthier reply: Climbing and hiking in the mountains engages our physical and mental strength. There is nothing predictable about climbing, as there is nothing predictable with life. We live with an illusion of control. Climbing is less about the destination than the experience.

Fortunately, for those of us who live in Colorado, we are blessed by our Creator with many places to wander. Last year I reached the summits of thirteen of the 14,000’ peaks here in the state. One of these, Mt. Lindsey near Walsenburg, was fraught with challenges from the start. The trailhead had an eighteen-inch-diameter aspen lying across the road. I parked where it fell and hiked the last three miles to the trailhead. Then, the skies filled with black clouds. Lindsey was far off in the distance and shrouded in clouds. I was alone—contemplating what to do.

We persevere in the mountains the same way we do in everyday life. We feel like giving up. We get off track, exhausted or second-guess ourselves. That day I chose to keep going, in spite of the imperfect conditions.  Scrambling up through talus, spitting rain, clouds, delicately picking the cairns (piles of rocks) that mark the path, eventually there was no place higher.

I am not the only one scampering around the Rockies looking for adventure. Others have taken up the challenge and ecstasy of hiking or climbing in the backcountry. As someone who has stood on 32 of the high summits, I love nothing more than to see others experience the same.

In the future, Alison Gromme and I are going to guide a group up Mt. Shavano (near Salida). As personal trainers, we are encouraging people in a 6-week program that will build fitness and culminate with the climb. If you or someone you know are up for the challenge, comment below and I’ll tell you more!

Is Overeating Harming You Emotionally?

March 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris – 

Everybody knows that overeating harms us physically, but it harms us emotionally as well. Look at this list to see emotional harm that overeating often does. Check any items that pertain to you.

  1. Overeating encourages procrastination. We turn to food instead of facing unwanted tasks.
  2. We eat to numb our stress. This keeps our problems from getting solved and adds additional ones.
  3. Being overweight makes us feel self-conscious and insecure. Often we overeat in order to feel better and vicious cycles take over.
  4. We often have unrealistic, happily-ever-after thoughts about dieting. This type of magical thinking will keep us on the diet merry-go-round permanently.
  5. Overeating causes irritability. Some of us get irritable when we eat a lot of sugar while others find that they are more irritable when dieting because they miss their “best friend,” food.
  6. Many of us are jealous of those who don’t have a problem with their weight. Jealousy leads to harmed relationships, self-pity and a lifetime of misery.
  7. When we fall off our diet, we fall into shame. Shame causes us to feel worthless. It encourages us to treat ourselves badly and do destructive things to our bodies, such as eating in an unhealthy way and not exercising.
  8. We miss out on many of the joys in life. We may be too busy focusing on eating or worrying about how much we weigh to enjoy the blessings we have.
  9. We get into the habit of making excuses. This leads to a very unproductive lifestyle because we stay stuck in the same destructive patterns.
  10. Some of us give up on ourselves. We quit trying to grow or change because we believe the lie that we are hopeless.

Don’t get depressed if you have a lot of checks! Instead look at these encouraging words from the Bible to remind yourself of the hope you have in Christ.

 “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed” (Joel 2:26 NIV). God probably didn’t have weight-loss in mind when he wrote this, but it is very applicable. When we draw closer to God and begin to cooperate with Him in our eating and other areas, the promises in Joel 2:26 are ours. We don’t have to be at goal weight or eat perfectly to receive them; we just need to be headed in the right direction to experience these awesome promises:

  • We will have plenty to eat until we are full! (We will be satisfied when we eat the amount of food that our bodies need.)
  • We will praise the name of the Lord who has worked wonders for us! (We’ll know God has done a wonderful thing in us by helping us to lose weight and keep it off.)
  • Never again will we be shamed! (We won’t be ashamed because we will be making progress toward becoming the people we want to be.) 

Please leave a comment below and let us know about the emotional harm that overeating is causing in your life. If you can think of other things that aren’t on the list, tell us about them too!

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