beach

The Water's Edge

"One day Jesus was walking along the shore..." --Matthew 4:18

Read: Matthew 4

Although the weather was gloomy last weekend, Loretta and I decided to drive to the coast to relax. As we walked onto the sand, we immediately noticed a sea lion laying on the beach. When the wildlife rescue team arrived, they said it was probably sick and needed to rest, which is why it came ashore. Had it not, those able to save it said it would have surely died at sea.

Now, if you've been on PrayFit for any length of time, you know by now that I'm a little sentimental, so you'll forgive the analogy. But some of the greatest men and women have been rescued near the water. Moses needed courage on the banks of the Red Sea. David needed wisdom as he chose five stones. And on the beach in Galilee, Andrew and Peter met their Purpose face-to-face. Courage, wisdom, a Savior.

Are you facing some heavy work issues? Are you or someone you love in dire need of physical healing? Or maybe you just need a little rest. No matter your needs as we start a new week, His favorite place to run is to our rescue. Let's remember that our only hope in the world is waiting for us at the water's edge.

--Jimmy Peña

10-MINUTE WORKOUT: LEGS

Wanna change your entire body? Start at the bottom and work your way up. By training the large muscles of your lower body with greater intensity, you stand to burn more calories and raise your metabolism. This 10-minute training plan, which attacks your legs with bodyweight exercises only, is designed to set your whole body on a path to transformation. Click below to get started.

>> POWER LEGS

LEAVING HIM BEHIND

June 8, 2011 Most people, Christian or not, are familiar with the Footprints story. The end stanza where the Lord tells the author why there was only one set of footprints during the hard times puts a lump in the throat of even those with the most hardened of hearts.

"The time when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you."

This week, amidst a storm of work tasks and family obligations, I also found myself alone on the beach. As I chatted to the Lord about all of my stresses -- the deadlines, the bills, my overcrowded daytimer -- I was stopped in my tracks, not by his response but by His silence. Hurt and agitated -- as I would be with any friend -- by the apparent indifference to my woes, I turned to look at Him. Seeing that He was no longer by my side, I looked back. There He was -- quickening His stride to hear what I was saying.

He never stopped caring about my problems. I had just become so consumed with stress that I didn't realize that I'd left Him behind. In just a few days, I seem to have outpaced my Maker, the distance between us filled with my own neglect.

Sometimes, as we struggle to navigate the chaos of life, we forget that God wants us to walk with Him. He still carries us through the tough times but we'd do well to remember to stay close by His side because He died to hear every word.

--E.V.

CARBS: FUEL NOT FOE The simple truth about carbs and fitness

There are scores of books and mounds of literature on the consumption of carbohydrates and how this macronutrient relates to performance and body composition. But the bottom line is that your body needs carbohydrate to fuel any number of basic processes. Carbs are the preferred fuel source of the cell, so going totally without them in hopes of shedding a few pounds can end up working against you. To keep things simple, try to focus first on the types of carbs you're consuming daily and when you're consuming them.

Complex carbohydrates, referred to as "good" carbs, are slower-digesting in nature and thus have less of an effect on blood sugar. They provide a steady stream of fuel for your work day and for your active lifestyle while having a minimal impact on your waistline. Examples of these good carbs include oatmeal, vegetables, wheat bread and other whole grain products.

Simple carbohydrates, or "bad" carbs, are digested rapidly in the body causing huge swings in blood sugar and spikes in the hormone insulin which can signal for your body to store fat. White bread, white tortillas, sugary snacks and beverages can be detrimental to your energy and overall health if consumed in excess.

STRATEGIZE: Most of the day, make sure that your carb sources are of the complex variety. The only exceptions to this rule are first thing in the morning or after a hard workout, when your body actually needs a rapid refuel of sugars to fuel recovery.

>> FAD DIETS: Have you ever tried a brand diet like Atkins, South Beach or Paleo? Do you rely on microwave diet meals to keep you in balance? Tell us your experience with diets in the comments section below, being sure to mention your successes and stumbles.

>> VIDEO: Check out PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena talking faith and fitness during his recent appearance on 100 Huntley Street Full Circle.

>> SHOP: Looking for a good Father’s Day gift? Visit PrayFit’s online store to pick up a hat, shirt, wristband or book for the dads in your life!

RUN IN SUCH A WAY

September 13, 2010Read: 1 Corinthians 9

“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.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Last year I had the opportunity to travel the world, writing a book and helping a client get ready for an upcoming role. At one particular location, I had an ocean view, with a breathtaking sunrise on the water. I’d spend my early mornings on the sand, reading, writing and praying. Then I’d hit an ocean-side workout.

One day that week, I was sprinting close to the water, where the sand is perfect for running. I gave myself a finish line about a quarter of a mile away, and I ran as fast as a 37-year-old with failing knees and back issues can run. When I got to my stopping point, I wanted to retrace my exact steps the opposite direction, in hopes to maintain that same stride and speed.

But as I looked down the path along the shoreline, I realized the water had washed away all my steps, leaving me no way to see my footfalls. It hit me: Isn’t that what God allows each day to be for us? A brand new, clean-slate-of-a-path in which to run? And doesn’t knowing that give us energy to live each day to the fullest? The only way to beat yesterday’s effort is not by using yesterday’s steps as the standard, but by trusting the Lord to fuel every step toward today’s end.

So with that thought, welcome to another Monday at the beach. Close your eyes and listen to the ocean. Thank God for your salvation and praise Him for new beginnings. Now open your eyes, see the day ahead of you…and run.

–J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: More defined shoulders This routine will fatigue your delts from every angle, upping the intensity with supersets. For best results, be sure to move as quickly as you can between the two exercises that make up each superset, and never rest more than 30 seconds between standard sets or supersets.

Exercise                                                               Sets     Reps Seated Overhead Press                                     3          10, 12, 15 superset with Dumbbell Lateral Raise                                     3          12, 12, 12

Standing Dumbbell Press                                  3          10, 12, 15 superset with Reverse Pec-Deck Flye                                       3          12, 12, 12

One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise                           3          12, 12, 12

STICK YOUR NECK OUT

August 27, 2010 Read: Colossians 3

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” –Colossians 3:23-24

My wife and I love turtles, especially those sea turtles. My dad used to say to me, “Jimmy, turtles are great because to get anywhere they gotta stick their necks out.” Well, in case you don’t share our enthusiasm, let me share some turtle trivia.

First, they’re born on the beach, even though they were never meant for the sand. And once they hatch, they don’t stick around to watch the grass grow. No sir! No sightseeing for these guys. In order to avoid the predators like birds and crabs, they run to the water as fast as they can. They might be young, but they know enough to know they’re not safe or at home.

And neither are we. We’re born on foreign soil and all we need to do is make our way to safety. The good news? Jesus has already defeated our predator, and He drew a line in the sand for us to follow. All we have to do is stick our necks out and run.

--J.P.

A PRAYFIT WEEK IN REVIEW In case you missed any of this week's entries, here's what you missed from the fitness side.

PrayFit Workout of the Week: The Gideon A brutal bodyweight driven workout that will spark fat loss and build lean tissue.

Water: The Ultimate Fat Burner We gained insight into what research is saying about the thermogenic effects of agua.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars Dana Angelo White shared a delicious recipe for energy bars. One of our favorites.

Training in Balance And finally, we learned how giving all your muscle groups adequate attention can help prevent injuries to your knees, elbows, shoulders, hips and low back.

>> Please join us again on Monday and everyday for more ways  to start living more healthfully.