June/July 2011 Fit4Ever

Stir It Up

“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” – John 5:6

I have to be honest. As Americans, most of us are like stagnant ponds: We don’t move very much, and our health stinks.

It’s sad, but true, and it’s a lifestyle that goes against the one God intended for us. Instead of putrid ponds, I believe He created us to resemble lively, running rivers.

The word “stagnant” isn’t typically used as a compliment. It literally means standing still, stale, sluggish, or dull from inaction. It also means not growing or developing. And if an object stays in this condition long enough, it becomes foul and starts to smell.

GET MOVING!

God designed us to be living and active. Unfortunately, many of us have become stagnant in our physical activity and are reaping the consequences of inactivity. It’s time to make some changes! Fill out the questions below and read the listed passages of Scripture. Then, pray and ask God to help you engage in physical activity that will bring life to your body and help you serve Him with energy!

Top 3 Excuses
These are my top three excuses for not participating in consistent exercise:
1.
2.
3.

What’s my ‘why’?
These are my top three personal reasons why it is important for me to exercise regularly:
1.
2.
3.

Related Scripture:
John 5
Luke 14

Since most of us are indeed physically inactive, stagnant is probably an accurate description. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 70 percent of American adults and 30 percent of our kids are overweight. And 85 percent of us don’t get the recommended minimum amount of physical movement we need for good health. We simply stagnate.

When I was growing up, we had a pool in our backyard. During the winter months, we would cover it up and turn off the filters that had kept the waters moving. When we opened the pool back up in the spring, we had to remove the green slime and gunk that had accumulated in the standing water. Never would I have considered swimming in the pool until we’d gotten rid of the bacteria and set the waters in motion again.

Dr. Don Colbert of Divine Health Ministries often refers to exercise as “stirring the waters.” Since our bodies are made up of 70 percent water, I like this comparison. Colbert says that exercise stirs the waters inside us, literally helping our bodies remove toxic materials that have accumulated. When our bodies move, the life inside them thrives. While most people view weight loss as the primary benefit of exercise, I believe there are three other benefits that are even more important:

1. Exercise helps your body capture and remove toxic material.
Our lymphatic and digestive systems rely heavily on exercise for proper function. The lymphatic system removes toxins and cellular waste, and it needs exercise to circulate. Our digestive system serves as the most important part of our immune system, and exercise helps move waste material through and out of us.

2. Exercise helps your body remove and relieve stress. Accumulated stress is a silent killer. Most of us are under increasing levels of stress because of economic pressures and overwhelming schedules, and the first thing we typically remove from our calendars is exercise. As a result, we are overwhelmed by high levels of the stress hormone cortisol and never experience relief. But regular exercise helps us sleep better, dissolves anxiety, and reinvigorates the production of healthy hormones.

3. Exercise helps prevent cancer. This deadly disease thrives in environments that are low in oxygen—an element that is proven to reduce the risk of cancer. Rigorous exercise requires us to breathe more deeply, which moves oxygen through our bodies at the cellular level. Daily exercise discourages the development of most cancers and is a catalyst for recovery, primarily because toxic material is removed and oxygen proliferates.

More than just stirring the waters, exercise stirs life. The crippled man at the pools in Bethesda (John 5) was waiting to be healed by the waters, but the water only had healing power when it was stirred by the angel of God. When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well, he immediately responded with excuses as to why he couldn’t get to the pool. And unfortunately many of us are just like this man—looking for reasons why we can’t stir the waters even though we know it will bring healing and health. We want to be well; we just don’t want to do what’s necessary to get it done.

In our pursuit of wellness, exercise is key, and it doesn’t even take much to reap its benefits. Just 15 minutes a day will have a profound effect on your overall health. This month, get moving, get your heart pumping, and stop making excuses. Stir the waters and become the living stream you were created to be!

--For more stories about faith and sport, visit www.sharingthevictory.com, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. To subscribe to STV, click here.