Written by: Jennifer Dennis
Article source: Supplied

The passage 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 perfectly sums up the connection between the physical and spiritual: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” These words are a powerful reminder of the importance of taking care of the body God has given you, and in so doing, enhancing and prolonging the gift of life. It also helps you give your best self to others and be a more generous, patient, and loving Christian.

Fitness and Mood
It is much easier to feel energetic enough to attend worship, take part in fundraising activities, and be a good employee, friend, and partner when you feel good about yourself and life as a whole. A 2022 study by Iowa State University researchers has shown that exercise for just half an hour a day can reduce symptoms of depression, making participants feel more encouraged, happier, and focused. Another study published in Brain Plasticity showed that just one bout of exercise has positive effects on mood and cognitive function. Exercise can also help curb anxiety and reduce stress dramatically, which is why daily workouts are definitely worth relying on if you have a high-stress lifestyle.

Connecting with Others
Researchers Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile of Harvard University’s Divinity School have found that people who attend fitness classes like CrossFit and spin do so to achieve loftier goals than merely getting fitter. They find a sense of community and support, and fulfil emotional and spiritual needs as well as physical ones. If you’ve never tried CrossFit before, know that it is quite a challenging yet fun activity that combines cardiovascular and strength training exercise. You may use equipment like free weights, kettlebells, exercise bands and standard weights and equipment from reputable companies that focus on safety. Between bench presses, leg presses, and abdominal training, you can chat to others, ask for advice, and build important connections that often transform into friendships.

Keeping it Healthy
When exercising, make sure you don’t overdo it! A 2022 study by researchers at the Univeristat Autonoma de Barcelona has shown that when training is too intense, it worsens your mood. In the study, the researchers found that after overtraining, athletes also have a lower heart rate variability (HRV). The latter is simply the difference it time between each heartbeat. When you are stressed or in ‘fight or flight’ mode, your HRV is low, whereas when you are relaxed, your HRV is higher.

The Bible states that the body is a temple. To ensure yours is respected and protected, regular exercise can help. Try a mixture of cardiovascular and strength workouts and embrace group exercise as a way to hone your sense of belonging. Finally, don’t overdo it. Doing so can put you in a bad mood, which is the opposite effect that a moderate exercise program can achieve.

Feature image: unsplash.com

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