sedentary

Benchwarmer

"So Sarah laughed to herself." --Genesis 18:12

Read: Genesis 18

Benchwarmer. Not something that sat well with me. But during my sophomore year in high school, I endured it for the first time in my life. See, I was a baseball player, and a good one. But basketball? I probably should've hung up the Air Jordans as a freshmen. Sitting at the end of the bench during a blowout game, I hoped my friends and family would assume I was injured; maybe I twisted an ankle during warm-ups or something. But with a little over a minute on the clock, the unthinkable happened. Coach called my name.

"Reluctant" would be putting it mildly. I literally peeled myself off the chair. I removed my warm-ups from my cold body and joined the otherwise sweaty and necessary group of kids on the court. What's the use, I thought. Well, the clock ran out, we shook hands, and I put my warm-ups on as slowly as I had removed it.

Well, leaving the locker room that night to face the awkward "good game" from loved ones, Coach stopped me. He said something that I'd carry the rest of my life. He said, "I wanted to see your reaction when I called for you late in the game. Jimmy, it's never too late to make an impact."

Maybe you're wondering what kind of influence you can have. Perhaps you think it's way too late in the game for God to use you. That family member? Too far gone. That group of friends? Too set in their ways. No way God is calling me from the bench at my age, with my past. 

Folks, God has a way of doing the unexpected. And if He noticed Sarah laughing at the news of her baby on the way, rest assured He sees our reaction. So, take a minute to consider what the Spirit is whispering to your heart. If it's too lofty, too lowly, too late...God just may be looking for our reaction to His call. Carve this into your heart...If God calls for you, it's never too late to make an impact.

--Jimmy Peña

WALKING FOR HEALTH Just an hour of this low-impact activity per day can make you 50% healthier

Watch some TV? Just make sure you go for a walk after. New research put out by the American Heart Association showed that an hour of walking per day can cut your genetic tendency toward obesity as a result of watching the picture box by half.

"In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half," said Qibin Qi, Ph.D., study author and a post doctorate research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. "On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent."

The study included 7,740 women and 4,564 men from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Researchers collected data on physical activity and TV watching two years prior to assessing BMI.

>> For the full story, click here.

Be Healthy, Quietly

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” --Matthew 6:1

Read: Matthew 6

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the importance of our physical health as a means of praise, and if that has reached your heart, we’re so blessed. If the mere prospect of a new day is reason enough to praise God with smarter choices at the dinner table, then great. Because you’re right…it’s not about the body.

With that said, perhaps the challenge is to be healthy, quietly. In truth, if our health is praise, there’s no need for a declaration of independence from a sedentary lifestyle, and no need to sound the alarm against a less-than-stellar diet. No speeches, no “look at what I’m doing for God” announcements. Practice modesty. We’re called to take care of the body that carries the soul, period. So let’s allow the byproducts of our obedience do the talking.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Bolder Shoulders in 10

People’s motivations for exercise may vary but the desire for stronger, better looking or just plain healthier shoulders is pretty universal. This complex joint possesses of the most delicate and amazing musculature in the entire body, which is to our benefit because that allows for a variety of ways in which they can be trained. For this quickie shoulder routine, which will walks the line between strength and endurance, grab some light dumbbells or even a pair of soup cans. Trust us, this won’t take much weight. If you need a shoulder smash — a new challenge to set the foundation for a remade set of deltoids — then this week’s 10-minute workout is just for you.

A good warm-up is always important but it could be argued that it is most important on shoulder day. The wide range of motion with you shoulders is maintained by several small muscles that can injure easily if not properly prepared for the work ahead. For this, or any other shoulder routine, follow the prescribed warm-up as the bare minimum of your training prep.

Warm-up | Raise your arms out to your sides until they’re parallel with the floor. Make small circles with your arms for 1-2 minutes. Without rest, go right to into this routine. Rest as little as possible as you go from one exercise to the next.

Using your soup cans or light dumbbells: Lateral raises for 1 minute Alternating straight punches for 1 minute Front raises for 1 minute Alternating straight punches for 1 minute Bent-over lateral raises for 1 minutes Alternating straight punches for 1 minute Overhead presses for 1 minute Alternating straight punches for 1 minute

–To keep your alternating straight punches effective, simply focus on punching to full extension at eye level or just above.

>> DVD: have you committed to taking the 33-Day Total Body Challenge? Learn more by clicking here.

IN...DEPENDENCE

July 1, 2011 Read: 1 Peter 3

"So he went and preached to the spirits in prison." --1 Peter 3:19

This weekend we celebrate freedom. As a nation, we proudly hail the day we loosened the chains of tyranny from Great Britain. At PrayFit we want to salute the men and women who never lived to enjoy the freedom they fought to protect. Their memory is a reminder both in celebration and memoriam, that freedom is never free.

As believers, we too celebrate freedom; from our past, today's worry and fear of tomorrow. Those prisons have no key, but the cross stamps pardon on our hearts and the doors open. We're meant to live free indeed.

Friends, when it comes to our health, many of us have a burning desire to be free; from guilt, from diets, and from sedentary lifestyles. But no "how-to" guide or fitness guru is more able to help you achieve abundant health than the one who breathed it into our lungs in the first place. Because of His broad stripes, He's the only one we'll need when our health loses its final perilous fight with pain. Surely, we can trust Him with it in the meantime.

--J.P.

HEART HEALTH BULLETIN

Your heart is a muscle. And just like the rest of the muscles in your body, it responds positively to exercise. So it should come as no surprise that doctors are starting to turn away from long-held "rest and relaxation" approaches to heart health and rehabilitation, instead urging patients to train harder than ever. A more efficient heart, they rationalize, is better at delivering blood and oxygen to working muscles for everything from a walk to your car after work to a no-holds barred weight workout. This can fortify you against cardiovascular disease, help you recover from a heart incident and maintain a healthier overall weight.

>> ABC News delivers the details here.

>> RELATED: An introduction to high-intensity interval cardio

>> SHOP: Be sure to check out our newly-upgraded tees for men and women and take advantage of our clearance sale on selected apparel at the PrayFit store!

BE STILL AND RUN

December 1, 2010Read: Psalm 46 & Hebrews 12 "Be still and know that I am God." --Psalm 46:10 "Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." --Hebrews 12:1-2

If you've ever watched a track meet on TV, you've noticed that as the runners enter the starting blocks, there's a moment of absolute silence. After the athletes find their place, they kneel, bow their heads, then -- pow! -- off they go.

Well, if you're new to PrayFit, we're a lot like that. In a sense, we represent two bookends of the day -- stillness and movement in one. We believe God was as serious when He said "be still" as He was when He said "run the race." And at PrayFit, we take both orders literally and figuratively.

So welcome to the start of a new day. Find a good place to kneel, bow your head then run.

Lord, we love you. Give us clean hearts. Renew in us a longing to spend time with you, reading and studying your word and talking to you. We just need you. Amen.

--J.P.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Spicy Pulled Pork

Serves: 6

This pork is wonderful served with rice and beans, on grilled flatbread with cheese or in warm corn tortillas topped with shredded cabbage and diced avocado.

Ingredients: 2 pork tenderloin, trimmed (about 3 pounds) 6 fl oz dark beer ¼ cup apple cider or 2 tablespoons maple syrup Juice of ½ a lemon ¼ cup ketchup ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 1 cup barbecue sauce 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning* 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper puree (recipe below) ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced ½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced

Directions: Cut each tenderloin into 3 large pieces – set aside. In a large soup pot, combine beer, cider, lemon juice, ketchup, Worcestershire, barbecue sauce, adobo, chipotle, onion and fennel.

Bring mixture to a simmer over medium high heat – add pork, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to a clean cutting board and shred using 2 forks. Place shredded pork back into pot and continue to cook on medium-low heat, uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.

Bonus: Chipotle Pepper Puree 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo

Place peppers into a blender or mini food processor and puree. Store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Add small amounts to sauces, dips and marinades for a smoky and spicy flavor

*1 tsp of garlic powder can be used in place of adobo, but adobo seasoning can be found in the international foods section of most grocery stores

Nutrition Info Per Serving: Calories: 305 Total Fat: 5 Saturated Fat: 1.5 Carbohydrate: 14 Protein: 48 Cholesterol: 147 Sodium: 510 Fiber: 1

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer, and nutrition and fitness consultant for international food companies, restaurants and marketing firm. Dana is also the nutrition advisor to The Food Network.

>> GETTING STARTED?: If you're new to PrayFit and aren't quite sure where to start or how to let us serve you, click here.

DRAWING CONCLUSIONS

September 21, 2010Read: 2 Corinthians 3

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." -- 2 Corinthians 3:18

We recently took my brother and his family to Universal Studios in Los Angeles (Calif). He's got two young boys so naturally they wanted to hit the roller coasters, leaving yours truly holding the bags. But turns out, there's plenty to do with your feet firmly on the ground.

So while my family was busy doing loopdiloops, I had a caricature made of myself. "Why not?", I reasoned. The man said, "Step right up", so I plopped right down. Those passing by would take a look at the drawing, then up at me, then back to the drawing. I suppose they wanted to see if the picture being painted resembled the real thing. Well, after I paid Picasso, I walked back toward my family holding a cartoon of a stranger. But how could I be bitter? He only drew what he saw.

As Christians, we're supposed to resemble Jesus. Yet, I know in my own life, more times than not I don't look anything like Him. I'm a bad caricature of the real thing. And the conclusions people draw of me, aren't anything close to what I am (or who I have) on the inside. A show of hands for those who can relate...

Lord, help us reflect you today; in how we think, work and live. Help us paint for others an accurate picture of you. Amen.

--J.P.

SEDENTARY NATION More Americans spending their time doing anything but exercising

The epidemic continues. Is there an end in sight? A recent story published at CNN Health showed that most Americans spend a vast majority of their non-work and non-sleep time in sedentary activities like eating, drinking, or watching TV or movies. Just over 5% of subjects in the study reported doing any vigorous activity.

For the full report, visit CNN Health.