Derek Jeter

Just Because

"Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as unto the Lord, and not for men." --Colossians 3:23

Read: Colossians 3 The last two days have been special in the Peña household. My beloved Yankees came to town to play the Dodgers. But stay with me, you football fans, it gets better. See, it's because I wasn't able to actually go to the game that I had the honor of listening to the legendary Vin Scully broadcast it. To hear him welcome "The Great Derek Jeter" to the plate (his words) was, well, was just about perfect.

For those who know Vin Scully, you're well aware that he can find the best stories about each player on the baseball field. Well, my night went from good to great when he reminisced about current Dodger coach Don Mattingly back in 1995 -- then the Yankees veteran captain -- talking to a young rookie Derek Jeter. Vin Scully recounted, "It was just a regular practice. The stadium was empty. Not a soul in the stands. And when it was time to go to the clubhouse, Don turned to Derek and said, 'Let's run. Always hustle. You never know who's watching.'"

You never know who's watching. Well, we know who's watching don't we?  Our verse today says, "Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as unto the Lord, and not for men." (Colossians 3:23) We've said it before but there's no reason why we should ever be out-worked. Never so that the world sees us, or for the social community to praise us, but simply for the Lord. You know, the longer I live the more I know that Jesus is the reason we summon whatever it is He made us with to answer life's call from the deepest parts of us.

He's why we forgive and give, hold the door, hold the hand, hold our tongues. He's why we serve, share, smile with people one day and cry with them the next. And He's why we see health as stewardship. He's why we take the stairs, take charge of what we drink, take ownership of what we eat. He's why we run, walk, swim, train and work with all our might. And He's why we do so modestly and quietly. Does He love us more or less if we succeed or fail at any of it? Of course not. And that's just why. So friends, today, in our own unique way, in whatever ways we have to or can, let's run. Always hustle. Just because He's watching.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Are you answering your life's call from the deepest parts of you? Is it time to run at work, school, the dinner table?

HUSTLE AT WORK

For as often as we espouse the virtues of high-intensity training, some may find our fitness tips to be a bit intimidating. After all, working harder than you’re accustomed to never sounds like a fun undertaking. And while there are some actual, defining guidelines for intensity — i.e. working to 95% of your max effort on an interval run — you can take heart knowing that it is also relative.

One example is interval walking. If you’re not up to performing sprints, you can simply speed up the pace of your walks. Try walking at a faster clip for 30 seconds, then falling back into your normal pace for 1-4 minutes. As you progress, speed up the pace — it may not be long before you’re into a slow jog — and/or shorten rest periods. Ideally, you want to work toward 30-second “sprints” followed by one-minute “walks.” One study showed that subjects who performed 4-6, 30-second sprints three times per week burned more bodyfat than those who did traditional steady-state cardio. But the term “sprint” is a measure of effort, rather than speed.

You don’t have to be a sprinter to get the fat-burning, heart-healthy benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). By applying the basic tenets of HIIT to your cardio and implementing concept of progression, you can start right where you are — today.

Your Top Three

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." --1 Thessalonians 5:18

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

Do you like lists? I love lists. My wife and I can be on our daily walk, and all I have to say to her is, "Give me your top three" and she knows I'm asking her to name me the three people she would love to have over for dinner. Without hesitation, Dr. Charles Stanley, Jimmy Fallon and Savannah Guthrie are scooting their chairs under our table. We've done things like that for years. And don't get me started about New Year's resolutions. We've saved every list of resolutions for 18 years. Not only that, we witness, sign and ratify them. (I wish I were kidding). What can I say? I love lists. Especially thankful ones.

Do you have one? A list of things so far this year of which you're the most thankful? Could be your relationship with the Lord, or a new job, or maybe your health has improved. Take a minute to think of, or better yet, jot some things down. Use our comment section if you'd be so bold. What are you the most thankful for as we start a new week? Give me your top three.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. In case you were wondering about my top three for dinner: Max Lucado, Brian Williams, and of course, Derek Jeter. Let's eat.

dumbbellsWORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Dumbbell Complex

Dumbbells are some of the best fitness equipment ever invented. Simple and effective, dumbbells can help you to recruit additional muscle by forcing your body to activate stabilizers to balance your body during exercise. They can also be used to develop tremendous strength and to burn tons of fat. Dumbbells are just plain good for ya. One way to put them to work for you is via complex training, which calls for you to use the same set of dumbbells for multiple exercises. Click below for more detail on complex training and a head-to-toe workout to get you started.

>> DUMBBELL COMPLEX - CLICK HERE

A Thankful List

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." --1 Thessalonians 5:18

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

Do you like lists? I love lists. My wife and I can be driving, and all I have to say to her is, "Give me your top three for dinner" and she knows I'm asking her to name me the three people she would love to have over for a meal. Without hesitation, Kate Winslet, Dr. Charles Stanley and Derek Jeter are scooting their chairs under our table. We've done things like that for years. And don't get me started about New Year's resolutions. We've saved every list of resolutions for 18 years. Not only that, we witness, sign and ratify them. (I wish I were kidding). What can I say? I love lists.

Do you have one? A list of things for which you're the most thankful this year? What better week than this to consider it. Could be a friend, or new job or maybe your health has improved. (That last one would make mine, FYI.) Take a minute to think of, or better yet, jot some things down. Use our comment section if you'd be so bold. What are you the most thankful for as you look back on this year? Give me your top three. And if you say Derek Jeter, I just might have you over for dinner.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. God has a list, and we're on it. You and I will be sitting at His table someday if we say yes. The invitation is open. It's up to us to accept it.

ASK THE NUTRITIONIST with Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD

[Q] I am looking to save calories where I can and I know that switching to lower-fat milk is an easy way to do that but I love whole milk! What's the best way to switch without going crazy?

[A] That's a great question. Milk is a great source of healthy protein and should be part of any healthy lifestyle but a lot of people do love the whole and find it hard to switch to lower-fat and therefore lower-calorie milk. If you have a hard time switching from higher-fat milk, try combining half of the higher-fat with half of the lower-fat, and gradually change the ratio so that the amount of lower-fat is increasing. This will help your taste buds to adjust and eventually, you will probably prefer the lower-fat! The same concept works for switching from regular to diet soda.

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian and works at a Washington, D.C.-based independent, nonprofit science organization, where her work is currently focused on environmental and policy solutions to obesity prevention. She also speaks to groups about health and nutrition and provides nutrition education to patients at a free medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults in the D.C. area. You can view more of Emily’s nutrition tips and updates by following her on Twitter, @EmilyAMillerRD.

Dad In The Stands

"I will never leave you nor forsake you." --Hebrews 13:5

Read: Hebrews 13

If you've been on PrayFit for any stretch of time, you probably by now know that I'm a baseball fan. In fact, I believe Babe Ruth spoke wisdom when he said, "Baseball is the greatest game that God ever saw fit to let man invent." Years later, Joe DiMaggio said, "I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee." But I think my boy Derek Jeter (who last night reached 15th on the all-time hits list) said it best when he said, "My dad has been with me for every at-bat."

You know, for Jeter to reach milestones that few people have ever reached, not only means he's pretty talented, but it also means he knows how to handle defeat. To help put it in perspective, for every 10 at-bats over the course of his career, Jeter has failed seven times. And yet, day in and day out, he leans on his dad, steps in the box, and swings away.

You and I might not be in the big leagues, but we do have a Dad in the stands. And when it comes to our faith and health, even though we swing and miss daily, we're part of His line-up. Of course, a perfect average isn't possible, but He's with us for every at-bat, so why not make each day we swing count? After all, living abundantly is all He wants us to do before we head for home.

--Jimmy Peña

FIT Q & A Where do you find yourself striking out? Poor plate appearances and food choices? No time to have fun exercising? What is your toughest pitch to hit in becoming a healthier you?

ALSO What's your routine after work? Do you come home and sit on the couch or chair? Do you jump straight on the computer or in front of the television?

CHALLENGE: Will you commit to walking the bases (around the block) daily with your spouse or friend for one week before you turn on the television each night? We realize that such specifics may not apply to you, but it's the small hits that add up to big change. Find the ones that will make a difference in your life and choose.

FEEDBACK: We want to know what changes you're making that are promoting health in your home so that others can be encouraged. Please share your comments below. Be blessed.

>> Does God call us to be fit? Get in on the discussion here.