E - Exercise
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15 NKJV).

Amazing Health Fact: When Wilma Rudolph was only four years old, she contracted polio, which left her with a paralyzed leg. Her doctors said she’d never walk without assistance. But Wilma did not give up, determined to exercise her crippled limb.

At age nine, she stunned doctors when she removed her metal leg brace and began to walk without it.When she was 13, Wilma decided to become a runner. She entered a race and came in last. For the next few years, every race she entered, she came in last. Everyone told her to quit, but she kept on.

Then one day, she won a race … and then another … and then every race she entered. Eventually, she went on to win three Olympic gold medals in track and field!Wilma chose activity over atrophy and became a winner. Likewise, your body is a miraculous machine, but if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

What was the original exercise routine?

When Adam was in the garden of Eden, he had perfect exercise habits. (Indeed, gardening can be a very effective total body workout!) However, things didn’t stay perfect — sin brought with it the realities of disease and death.

And, according to the Bible, mankind’s original workout routine had also changed. Just as a fitness trainer makes changes to an exercise program, God needed to make changes to Adam’s exercise routine: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. … In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:17, 19 NKJV). Adam’s “workout” was now more difficult, because he had to “toil” and “sweat.”

But take a closer look at this passage: This increase in Adam’s exercise intensity was “for [his] sake.” Could there still be life-giving benefits in “toil and sweat” exercise?

What happens to the body during exercise? Exercise is essential to good health, and the entire body is affected. Muscle fibers contract and release, the heart pumps more rapidly, and the lungs work harder to get more oxygen to the body. These actions trigger increased enzyme reactions, nerve stimulations, metabolic enhancement, and more. Exercise is an awesome event!

Why do you need a good workout? Exercise can help you to:

  1. burn calories,
  2. increase strength & endurance,
  3. feel better & have more energy
  4. optimize heart health,
  5. and live a longer, happier life!

And all these goals can be accomplished with even a basic understanding of exercise physiology.

What is the best exercise routine?

Did you know there are two different types of muscles? Muscles involved in anaerobic (needing minimal oxygen) exercise are known as “fast twitch” muscles. To increase your strength, these muscles must be challenged with a task they haven’t been required to accomplish before. These muscles “learn,” enlarging to strengthen in case they run into the same task again. Weight training that focuses on lifting heavier weights with less frequency targets these muscles.

“Slow twitch” muscles are responsible for endurance activities and are used in aerobic (needing lots of oxygen) exercise. Although they don’t “bulk up,” they are responsible for significant calorie burning.

The best fitness program exercises both of these muscle types. A routine that features endurance and strength training will boost metabolism, burn fat, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and more!

How do I target heart health? Heart fitness is best achieved through exercise that keeps your heart rate within age-specific parameters — your “target heart rate.” Your specific rate can be calculated using this formula:

220 - (Your age) = target heart rate in beats per minute.
For example, the target heart rate for a 40-year-old is 180 beats per minute. (220 - 40 = 180 beats per minute.)

To get your heart as healthy as possible, your pulse rate needs to stay between 50 to 75 percent of your target rate during sustained aerobic activity.

Amazing Health Fact: Use it; don’t eat it. Red meat is red because it is primarily composed of type II muscle fibers, which require a large amount of oxygen-rich blood. Studies have shown that consuming red meat actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

Confused about target heart rate? Let’s talk … If you don’t feel comfortable calculating your target heart rate or taking your pulse, try the “conversational heart rate” approach. If you can exercise and carry on a basic conversation, you are probably exercising in your target zone. But if you can sing while you exercise, you probably are not exercising hard enough. If you are winded and have to take breaks to catch your breath …

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