bodies

Welcome Back

"I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." --Galatians 2:20

Read: Galatians 2

Well?? (typed with a big smile and spoken loudly)

On behalf of everyone at PrayFit, welcome back. If you've recently subscribed, thank you for being part of our community. We hope you remain constantly encouraged and challenged to live your best life, in part, by what you read from us each day. Speaking of your "best life," yesterday Dr. Charles Stanley was encouraging his congregation to live theirs. I took notes.

He told them that if they wanted to be everything God intended, taking care of themselves was an absolute. He thundered away as he reminded them that the bodies they neglect wasn't theirs, but it was God's temple on earth. He said an unhealthy body weakens 1) your energy for the task, 2) your ability to focus, 3) your alertness, 4) your enthusiasm and 5) your readiness to take on new challenges for the Lord. And he ended the section by saying, "We have a right, a privilege and responsibility to keep our bodies healthy."

Notice his theme? Health as a means of praise and of service. For those who are new, that's a common thread of ours; one that's woven into each and every thing we say and do. It's not that we don't have anything else to energize the effort but we just can't seem to exhaust its strength and power. This Thursday marks five years of daily devotions at PrayFit.com -- five years of celebrating God, touching hearts, moving bodies, soothing hurts and experiencing grace.

And so let a new year begin. May it be a year of genuine faith. May we be on our knees in prayer daily before and above all other priorities. May we remind ourselves of the grace we've been given so that we freely give it to others just the same. And when our eyes are clear and our hearts made right -- during the easy times and even when the world has us on the run or the ropes -- may we dig down deep within the temple He gave us to gladly, boldly, humbly, modestly and courageously honor Him with it, in Jesus' name.

Welcome back to PrayFit.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What is your personal theme this year? Do you have one? If you do or want to think of one, please share it with us. We'd like to pray for each and everyone one of them and let the worldwide PrayFit community do the same.

>> GET STARTED: If you're looking for a launching off point for your get-fit endeavors in 2013, try one of our two at-home, 33-day fitness programs or our book, which includes two 28-day bodyweight-only programs and a full meal plan. You can grab these resources in our online store.

>> READ: For quick-hit, healthy living resources, visit our dedicated fitness and nutrition pages, which are updated with new content each week.

>> COMMUNITY & FELLOWSHIP: Our family has grown by leaps and bounds in five years. Interact with fellow faith-and-fitness devotees by joining our forums today. Here, you can share successes and struggles, swap recipes, pray for one another or just catch up with like-minded friends. Already a member? Sign in here.

>> SOCIAL NETWORKS: Now you can "like," "join," "tweet" and "watch" PrayFit. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community. Facebook HeavenUp Twitter YouTube

Misfits Seldom Do

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 1

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the one last picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So this week, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to the body God designed for you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--Jimmy Peña

THE POWER OF THE JOURNAL

Keeping a consistent workout journal is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable. Here are some of the key things to note in your daily journal:

1 Exercises, sets and reps: Consider this the workout blueprint. Jotting all this down is a good way to ensure that your workouts have structure and that you have a clear plan of what work there is to get done each day.

2 Weight used: Whether it's your own bodyweight or a heavy barbell, keeping track of the resistance you're using serves as a mental note to consistently add more. Whether your trying to add muscle or just get stronger, gradual increases in weight are crucial.

3 Rest periods: How long did you take between sets? The shorter the rest periods, the more intense the workout. If you are lifting heavier, then longer rest periods may be helpful. In either case, keep a careful eye on the clock between sets.

4 Intensity techniques: Did you use drop sets today? Did you have your spotter help you through a few forced reps? Knowing which intensity techniques you're using to make your workouts more challenging will help you continue making gains. Knowing when and how often you're pushing it will also help you keep from overtraining.

>> What else do you keep track of in your journal? Let us know in the comments below, or on the PrayFit forums today.

>> Start a journal - Click Here

>> Got a journal already? Update it today, or just view other PrayFit workout journals, by clicking here!

Worthy of a Frame

"I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. --Psalm 139:14

Read: Psalm 139

Where do you keep your pictures? I’m not talking about fun, random, cell phone snaps or Facebook profile images. I’m talking about the special ones –- those worthy of a frame. That’s where we need to start…the mantle of your heart.

You know, we’ve all heard the statement that if God had a mantle, your picture would be on it. And while I love knowing that, I wonder what you and I would actually look like? At first, that thought might sound a bit weird, awkward or even irrelevant. I suppose it would be if we were talking about the body, but God sees our hearts. And like we’ve said many times, life is not about the body, and our bodies -- these frames -- will most certainly not last heaven.

But if anyone knows our bodies, what they’re capable of, and most importantly, how healthy they were intended to be on earth, it’s Him. So I guess you could say, we’re just pictures of grace; souls He saw worthy...of a frame.

--Jimmy Peña

QUESTION: God loves our souls so much he framed them with bodies. How does knowing that change the way you view the importance of health? Please give us your comments below and please share this with your Facebook and Twitter communities.

DID YOU KNOW? Obesity is threatening national security, according to a new study, because one in four young adults is too overweight to join the military. In some states, as many as 44 percent of young adults, age 18-24, are obese and unfit to serve and protect.

Source: Mission: Readiness

COMMUNITY: Plug yourself into the faith-and-fitness discussion by joining our social networks! FACEBOOK - http://www.facebook.com/officialprayfit TWITTER - http://www.twitter.com/prayfit YOUTUBE - http://www.youtube.com/prayfit

KEEPING HOUSE

"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back."— Mark 13:35

My wife Wendy and I live in a house of toddlers which means that at any given moment, our little home can look like hurricane-force winds blew through, tossing about everything that isn't nailed down. Toys are scattered, clothes are strewn over the furniture and...is that string cheese ground into our rug? We try, sometimes to no avail, to keep up with our cyclical mess.

However, once I get word that my mother-in-law is coming to visit, a new side of me emerges -- an unrelenting, super-cleaning alter ego that is intent on spot-shining the house into model-home glory. You see, not only did she and my father-in-law help us buy this place, but Ethelmarie keeps a pretty tidy house. And while she may not be bothered by the mountainous pile of juice cups in my sink, I still don't want her to see them. So my inner Mr. Clean -- the one that speedily washes fingerprints from windows and mops floors -- really only comes out when I know she's stopping by. And while her visits are usually announced, we love that she will occasionally just pop in. As a result, Wendy and I are now doing our best to keep the house Ethel-ready at all times, managing the maelstrom in small, daily increments (as much as Mya and Ella will allow, that is.)

We all have houses to keep -- both brick-and-mortar and flesh-and-blood -- that can benefit from daily attention. And you never really know when company's coming.

Lord, we are so grateful for the bodies that house our souls and do not take lightly that we were made in your image. Please help us find the daily motivation to be faithful stewards of the physical gifts we've been given. Amen.

--Eric Velazquez

>> Commit: Log on. Today, join other PrayFit readers at our online community by going to www.prayfit.com/forum. Here, you can create a free-form workout journal that you can update on a daily basis. Journals are routinely featured on PrayFit’s home page and shared with our various social networks. As the research would indicate, those keeping journals at PrayFit.com report having an easier time of sticking to a workout routine because they know that others are reading up on their progress. The authors of a recent study cited recommended the following types of websites for the best results:

--Sites that encourage accountability by asking users to consistently record weight, exercise, and calories consumed

--Sites that include tailored or personalized information

--Sites with interactive features that allow users to communicate with each other and with nutrition and exercise experts

--Sites with accurate health information

527 million >> Dollars made by Nutrisystem.com in 2010

23.8 >> Percentage of dieters that used a weight loss website in 2010

Source: Market Data Enterprises

MISFITS SELDOM DO

October 3, 2011Read 1 Corinthians 1

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the one last picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So this week, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to the body God designed you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 4 MOVES 4 GREAT ABS

If necessity is the mother of invention then simplicity is it's wise, older uncle. When it comes to designing good, productive workout routines, the best strategy is often the most basic. So this abs program -- devoid of any cheap gimmicks -- is an invention born out of simply knowing what works. Using proven, effective exercises for the upper abs, lower abs and obliques, you'll provide your midsection all the stimulus it needs to change in just minutes.

>> Do This. Perform these four exercises in the order listed without rest. Do each move to failure then move to the next one. Rest 30 seconds at the end of the last exercise then repeat 2-3 more times. Use this routine at the end of any workout or do it as a stand-alone routine. Allow 48-72 hours between sessions to allow for better recovery.

Double Crunch

Standard Crunch

Crossover Crunch

Reverse Crunch

>> For exercise descriptions, click here.

>> For exercise demonstrations, click here. (VIDEO)

 

POWER & STRENGTH

June 6, 2011 QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength."

--Dr. Charles Stanley

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Strength & Cardio

Changing your body for the long term is due in large part to exercise selection and workout intensity. And if you're looking to strengthen, tone and build your heart health, this workout gives you a full dose of training for the week.

We're going to hit your upper and lower body using just your bodyweight in just a few minutes. We'll also work some high intensity cardio in the same spot to get the blood pumping and heart stronger. Once you go through the sequence, feel free to go through the exercises a second time. Remember to take each exercise to exhaustion unless otherwise noted and perform the workout 2-3 times per week for maximum results.

Walk in place - 1 minute Bodyweight squat - 1 minute Jump squat - to failure Stationary (isometric) wall squat - to failure Push-up - to failure Plyometric push-up - to failure High knee running in place - to failure Jumping jacks- 1 minute Walk in place - 1 minute

>> For details on how to perform many of PrayFit's core exercises, click here.