Physical fitness is easy to equate with looks or with an elite group of athletes. However, in the Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine is this definition: Physical fitness is one’s ability to execute daily activities with optimal performance, endurance, and strength with the management of disease, fatigue, and stress and reduced sedentary behavior. Physical fitness, then, is tied directly to health rather than appearances.
Paul reminded the believers in Corinth their bodies were temples of the Holy Spirit bought with the price of Jesus’ sacrifice. The same concept applies to believers today. Paul wrote, “So, glorify God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20). This verse’s context is sexual morality, but applying the concept to physical health is logical and biblical. Physical fitness allows believers to serve God well.
For one new to exercise, a personal trainer could be an asset. “Working with a personal trainer will give you a great foundation for exercise, and learning early will allow you to build on that foundation,” said Dante Randolph, BS, CPT, CCES. A personal trainer will teach proper form and the safe way to perform certain exercises, said Justin Powers, an ACE certified personal trainer and CCES. He added, “Another benefit of having a trainer is [the clients] do not have to spend time trying to figure out what to do during their exercise session. A good personal trainer will come prepared with a workout tailored to the specific client. This will take a lot of guess work out for a person new to exercise which can allow them to feel more confident and comfortable.”
When a trainer is not an option, Randolph said, “Watching YouTube videos or instructional videos on social media can be helpful in both learning new exercises and understanding what the form is supposed to look like. To really know if you are performing an exercise correctly, watch yourself in the mirror, take a video of you performing the exercise, or have someone else watch your form.”
Powers suggests verifying Internet fitness information. “Some people may look like they know what they are talking about because they have a good physique, but they may be spreading misinformation about certain exercises,” he said.
When starting an exercise program, Ben Schlieper, MS, EP, CCES, CPT, said, “Give yourself grace. You won’t be able to run a marathon on the first day, and you won’t be able to exercise how you did in high school. That’s okay. Life happens. Give yourself the grace to start smaller and build from there. Give yourself grace to know not every day is going to be an improvement, and that’s okay.”
“Both cardio and strength training are important to our overall health, especially as we get older. Including both in an exercise plan will ensure that you are taking full control of your health,” Randolph said.
Powers reminded new exercisers not to compare themselves to others, “Consistency is key, the results will follow.”
These trainers recommend beginning with exercise one enjoys and will consistently do.
Claudean Boatman lives with her husband in northern Colorado. They walk to worship in their local church and serve in prayer, safety, and missions ministries. She earned a Master of Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary, Rocky Mountain Campus (Denver area), in 2023.