As we all know, we live in a world where sedentary living is more rampant than ever before. If we are not sitting in a meeting, we’re sitting in front of a computer, in a car, or thinking about the next time we can sit down and kick our feet up and relax.

If we’re not careful our lives can be extremely sedentary. We have to take a stand and be proactive for our health or else there is a high price to pay. Our bodies are an incredible gift from God and exercise is one of the best ways to be proactive and prevent unnecessary sickness and disease. Here are six reasons I encourage you to read and allow to motivate your soul to include exercise in your lifestyle:

1) Exercise teaches us to find joy in pain

One of my favorite quotes is from Craig Groeschel, “Most Christians need to remind their face that they are saved.”  I absolutely love this and the importance of what this means in our lives. Yes, Christians face suffering, pain and hardships, but that doesn’t mean we can’t face those obstacles with joy and sometimes, with a smile. A simple way I practice this is to smile occasionally during my time on a treadmill. I like this for many reasons. One, I remind the treadmill that it’s not going to take my smile away. And two, if I can smile there, I can make myself smile in most other situations throughout the day. We all need to train our attitudes to find joy in pain. Exercise, in my opinion, is one of the best training grounds for this.

2) Exercise helps fight off depression

We all know life has constant challenges and hardships in it. We all face hard days. This is why exercise is imperative. When we exercise, it helps balance the endorphins in our brain, which in turn, helps depression to stay out of our minds. And wow, after battling with depression heavily in my life…I believe we all need this.

Duke University researchers proved that depressed adults who exercised regularly improved as much as those treated with the antidepressant Zoloft. So let’s keep our brains in top condition and keep depression away!

3) Exercise improves our memory

One of the best disciplines of a Christian is to memorize Scripture. However, it seems to be the thing we do the least because of the many demands on our day. But I have great news, there is a way to improve your memory and make your brain more efficient. In an experiment published in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, students were asked to memorize a string of letters. They were then allowed to run, lift weights, or sit quietly. The students who ran were quicker and more accurate at repeating the string of letters than the students who chose the other two options. I am not saying exercise is going to make the discipline of memorizing scripture easier, but it will make your brain sharper and clearer enabling you to memorize scripture more effectively.

4) Exercise helps us steward a healthy heart

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that men and women who sat more than six hours a day died earlier than their counterparts who limited sitting time to 3 hours a day or less. The study surveyed 53,440 men and 69,776 women who were healthy at the start of the study and over the course of the 14-year follow-up they saw a higher rate of mortality among the frequent sitters.

“Associations were strongest for cardiovascular disease mortality. The time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level,” the study says.

So keep moving, and let’s steward the healthiest heart possible for the Lord.

5) Exercise increases self-control

Short bouts of moderately intense exercise boosts your strength in the area of self-control in your brain. With the demands and distractions in all of our lives, I believe we need increased self-control to stay focused. Research reported in Science Daily shows that short bouts of exercise result in increased blood and oxygen flow to the pre-frontal cortex, which may explain the boost in self-control ability. So no matter how busy you are, exercise should be a part of your daily routine.

Now as Christians, we know the source of lifelong self-control is the Holy Spirit, but we can never forget the Lord created science. The science of will-power in the brain (the area of tour brain called your cerebellum) is something we cannot neglect. We have been given these bodies, and it is our responsibility to steward them to the highest level possible. I pray we all take that very seriously this year and experience the reward found in these daily disciplines.

6) Exercise helps shrink your waist-line and could possibly save your life

The larger your waist, the greater the risk of death. This scientific fact may be hard to swallow but its imperative we acknowledge and adjust our lifestyle accordingly. According to a study published in the March 2014 issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, for every 2 inches of increased waist circumference the risk of death increased 7% in men and 9% in women:

  • Men with waists of 43 inches or more had a 50% higher risk of death than those with waists less than 35 inches. This equated to a three-year lower life expectancy after age 40.
  • Women with waists of 37 inches or more had an 80% higher risk of death than those with waists of 27 inches or less, which equated to a five-year lower life expectancy after age 40.

I know God holds everything in His hands, but He gives us things to steward and we have to be diligent to take care of these bodies we live in. What an incredible gift they are! We cannot ignore research like this. If we truly believe that we are the change agents in this world as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, then we have to optimize the health of these bodies to the highest level possible.

I would be honored if you would help me spread the word by sharing this blog with your family and friends (link below). Thank you!

Men: If you’re ready to commit to go to the next level and walk in a brotherhood who has honoring God with their everything at their core, commit to join the Gibborim today. You can join here and that will give you premier access to our Gibborim app and you will know your $10 a month will help fund this movement. I hope you join us! You are needed!

God Bless,

Cody Bobay

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)