A Fighting Spirit

"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." --Matthew 26:41

Read: Matthew 26

In my second favorite movie of all-time (Rocky II), Rocky walks to his trainer's apartment in the middle of the night to ask for his locker back; he wants to fight again. Dismissive, Mickey delivers one of the most painful and sad lines I've ever heard: "You got the heart, but you ain't got the tools no more." In other words, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. As an athlete, that phrase carries serious meaning. I know what it's like to be physically limited from doing what my heart is dying to do. But as a Christian, that line is more than a body blow.

As believers, our souls have work to do. In our passage, when Jesus said to His disciples to stay awake, He literally meant "physically." How many people reading this page would agree that you'd be so much more productive at work, alive with your spouse, able to keep up with the kids or even active in church, if you enjoyed better health? If so, maybe you need your locker back.

You may not want to admit it, but it's time to wake up; there's a fighter in you. If the spirit is willing, your body has no right to hold it back. And if you're reading this page, Mickey was wrong. If you've got the heart, you still got the tools. Your soul just needs a fighting chance.

--Jimmy Peña

INTENSITY IS RELATIVE; ALL OF IT IS BENEFICIAL Exercise doesn't need to be torturous to be productive, says study At PrayFit, we focus a lot on intensity. "The body will only change to the level at which it's stressed," says Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS. "Always make yesterday's best today's quest." In other words, by constantly challenging your body to do a little more, you'll see results faster -- the greater the intensity, the greater the gains. But that doesn't mean that you need to workout at a tornadic pace to get healthier.

Researchers from the University of South Australia found that "somewhat hard" exercise intensity -- which exercisers deemed to be "pleasant" -- was enough to increase aerobic capacity by 17 percent, which is linked with improving blood pressure and body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height), according to a story in the Huffington Post.

In other words, find something you enjoy and just continue doing it and getting better at it. This will help you better care for the body that carries the soul.

>> For the full story from the Huffington Post, click here.

15 - Number of minutes of exercise per day shown to decrease cancer risk and extend life expectancy in a recent Taiwanese study (Source: ABC News)