“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit …
Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
1 Corinthians 6:19a, 20b (NIV)
We believe the most effective form of exercise you can do to achieve abundant health is the one that you will actually do. We could easily prescribe uphill running or cross-country skiing as excellent choices, but if they’re impractical, unfeasible, or simply not your cup of tea, it wouldn’t be very good advice.
So we encourage you to choose activities that you will enjoy and repeat. Activities that will challenge your cardiovascular system, your flexibility, and muscle tone. If you keep challenging yourself, your body will keep getting stronger, fitter and more able.
Here’s the thing: if you don’t like the gym, invite a friend and walk your local hiking trail. Maybe you love to dance; try a Zumba® class and get your body moving. If you want to start gently, go outside and walk 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week. Rather than doing it alone, invite your friends or co-workers to join you.
God gave us the instructions on how we should build our lives and how our bodies support that purpose. He set the example: Jesus wasn’t healthy for health’s sake, but for heaven’s. In order to pray, he climbed. In order to worship, he walked. His health on earth was in direct response to his purpose. We simply weren’t designed to sit idle. As we noted in Romans 12:1, even our movement can become an act of worshiping God.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym, whisper to the Lord and tell him you want to worship him as you open that door. If you and your spouse are going for a walk after work, pray together as you take that step. Maybe you’re about to swim, go for a jog or something else
you find appealing; whatever the case, tell God: Here I am to worship.
And as you do, remember — it’s not about the mirror, or lower body fat, or an increase in lean muscle. Those things may improve, they may not. If they do, consider them gifts of obedience and rewards of diligence. God will be pleased just because you’re trying to take care of your body. So go ahead. Lift, run, walk, swim, stretch. After all, you are a temple.
Practical Next Step
Have you ever thought about praying before you workout? Committing whatever you do to the Lord becomes an act of worship. Your fitness life is no different. Here’s a prayer written by Jimmy Peña, a member of our Daniel Plan Wellness Faculty:
Lord, please bless my workout. As I train my arms, let it remind me that I’m held tightly in Yours.
As I work my legs, let it be only to follow you more closely. When I work my chest, may it be safely under a breastplate of righteousness. And when I hit my back, I’ll recall that I’ll never be attacked by surprise. And finally Lord, allow my beating heart to grow stronger, knowing that’s exactly where You live. Yes Lord, please bless my workout. I’m a temple, here to worship. Amen.