The Benefits of Physical Activity

Katherine PasourBy Katherine Pasour4 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle by Katherine Pasour


Our bodies were created to be physically active; we have 206 bones and over 600 muscles that are “fearfully and wonderfully” stitched together in an amazing way that allows us to walk, run, jump, climb, balance, stretch, lift objects, dance, play games, clean our house, mow grass, and much more. While most of us will never by Olympic athletes or professional basketball players, we can all achieve health-related physical fitness, which greatly benefits our wellbeing.

So, what does the Bible tell us about exercise? Not a lot.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

1 Timothy 5:4

We must keep in mind, however, that most people during the time in which the scriptures were written led an active lifestyle. The primary mode of transportation on land was walking. There was little mechanization, and for the majority, survival depended upon hard physical labor. Few had the luxury of leisure time.

Now there were athletes during this time period. The ancient Olympics began in 776 B.C. and continued for twelve centuries. There was also war, and soldiers were in physical training for increasing their strength and skill. So the authors of the New Testament were familiar with physical exercise for making the body stronger. Paul the Apostle, gifted in the use of metaphor (figurative language that uses one thing to describe or represent another), uses the imagery of a race to emphasize the need for self-discipline in our journey with Christ.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important aspect of our lives, but keeping our temple (our body) healthy to house the Holy Spirit is vital as well. As Paul says, let’s make our body our slave. Thus, with scripture as our guide, we can be in charge of our journey toward wellness.

Regular physical activity is an essential aspect of achieving and maintaining our temple as suitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit.

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