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"That's How Winning Is Done"

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine." --1 Peter 1:7

Read: 1 Peter 1

In 2006, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams by sitting down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with Sylvester Stallone. He was promoting a new product, and so my editor-in-chief -- knowing just how special the moment would be -- sent me to chat with him. The interview was scheduled just a few months before Rocky Balboa would hit theaters.

Walking into the host hotel, I remember Loretta straightening my tie before I headed up to the suite to conduct my interview. It was a moment I'd never forget. I even carried my master's thesis with me so Stallone could sign it where I had given Rocky praise nearly a decade earlier. Sitting there, just the two of us, was both surreal and motivating, to say the least. I remember wishing that I could convey just how much of an influence he had been on my life. But before I could, he said something that I repeat to myself to this day. In fact, you've likely heard it repeated in commercials or motivational videos. But to one of my questions, he said:

"Jimmy, in my next film, I wrote that the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. But you gotta...take...the hits."

Faith. That fireproof, battle-tested, unquenchable reservoir. It's why we take the hits, amen? It's how we move forward. It's not only the means we need to get back to our feet, it's the reason we try. Mustard-seed small, mountain-moving faith. Faith in Jesus. He's the reward of trust. It's our theme for the week. I hope you don't miss a day.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. He signed my book. Neat moment. He wrote, "Thanks Jimmy. Keep punchin." I am, Sly. I am buddy.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Lunge for Better, Stronger Legs Walking is a fantastic exercise that can provide a strong base of cardiovascular fitness, particularly when you push yourself to walk faster and farther each time. But those who can do more should in order to achieve higher levels of fitness and to force the body to continue changing. So this week, we’re adding a tougher twist to your normally casual stroll through the neighborhood.

>> Click here for the workout

ultralite-hat-back-whiteSHOP FIT: Looking for some new fitness swag to sweat up in your pursuit of a leaner, healthier body? We've got just the thing(s).

Click here to explore the newly updated PrayFit store!

Remember Mrs. Kravitz?

"Love thy neighbor as yourself." --Mark 12:31

Read: Mark 12

Sitting on our little porch, I'm watching Loretta add potting mix, dirt and water to plants and shrubs. The smell of barbecue from a nearby condo fills the air. Somebody's cookin' out. The neighborhood seems alive tonight. Sun-filled cheeks on neighborhood kids is evidence of a fast-approaching summer. It seems God has dropped me in an episode of Leave it to Beaver. Somehow you'd expect Wally to come strollin' by. But I know better. This is no Pine Street.

I know better because I know myself better. When was the last time we visited a new neighbor? Or went to see the widow down the street? Or invited the single dad to church? Not sure if you can relate, but we have more in common with Mrs. Kravitz than we do June Cleaver. In reality, however, our homes, apartments and condos are as much an opportunity to witness as gyms, offices and schools.

I write about this today, because yesterday I was paid a visit by one of MY neighbors. Mind you, he's never been to our place, but he knew my truck hadn't moved in weeks, and he was heading out for coffee; just wanted to see if I needed anything. I won't try to explain what that meant to me, but the smallest gesture can have an enormous impact. Reach out to someone today. They just might need a cup of coffee.

–Jimmy Peña

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

>> SHOP: Spread the health via your apparel at the PrayFit online store. Custom hats, cozy tees and logo wristbands are all available at the click of a mouse, with easy shipping. You can also pick up PrayFit books and DVDs to help you start living a healthier lifestyle here. Click to get started.

>> CHAT: Are you already a member of our forums? Get back in on the discussion by clicking here. Not yet signed up? All it takes is 20 seconds to get started. Click here.

>> SOWING: Plant the seeds of health and fitness in your church by arranging a visit from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. Learn more about his message by clicking here, or write us at info@prayfit.com to start planning dates!

Love Stepped In

"It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it and paid the price." --Romans 3:22 Read: Romans 3

Yesterday the boxing world received a staggering blow when it learned that the great boxing trainer Emanuel Steward passed away at the age of 68. Our prayers go out to his family and friends, including PrayFit endorser and boxing champion Robert Guerrero. You know, something Emanuel said while calling a fight last year was something I'll never forget. It came on the night of the much-anticipated fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.

In one of the night's earlier bouts, a fighter in the late rounds was taking too many blows, unable to defend himself. His corner didn't wait for the ref to stop it, but instead threw in the towel knowing their fighter had enough. Come to find out, the fighter's cornerman was also his dad. And then Emanuel Steward simply said, "Love stepped in. He just couldn't bear to see his son endure such a beating."

Friends, in the fight for our future, God could have stopped the fight. But since He knew that you and I could never defend ourselves, He let Jesus go the distance. I guess you could say, "love stepped in," until our fight was over.

--Jimmy Peña

NETWORK, SHOP, CHAT, SOW Take advantage of the many outlets and resources available to the PrayFit Nation

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

>> SHOP: Spread the health via your apparel at the PrayFit online store. Custom hats, cozy tees and logo wristbands are all available at the click of a mouse, with easy shipping. You can also pick up PrayFit books and DVDs to help you start living a healthier lifestyle here. Click to get started.

>> CHAT: Are you already a member of our forums? Get back in on the discussion by clicking here. Not yet signed up? All it takes is 20 seconds to get started. Click here.

>> SOWING: Plant the seeds of health and fitness in your church by arranging a visit from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. Learn more about his message by clicking here, or write us at info@prayfit.com to start planning dates!

"Being a big believer in Jesus Christ, PrayFit gets me on track to start my day off in the right direction. In boxing there is no room for error. You have to be not only be physically prepared but spiritually strong as well." — Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, 6-Time Boxing World Champion

Seeds Worth Sowing

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this will he also reap." --Galatians 6:7

Read: Galatians 6

My abuelo was an avid gardener. He could grow just about anything in the rich black soil he had cultivated for years. In the spring, I decided that this was going to be the year that I stopped wishing for a garden – it was time to make it happen. I wanted to learn how to grow my own food for my family just like he did. I was excited to research what types of fruits and vegetables would work in my climate and one day, while I was dropping seeds into the ground, a familiar biblical principle jumped out at me: Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.

Can I plant jalapeño seeds and get watermelons? Or plant cucumber seeds and get tomatoes? Of course not. If you grew up in the church like I did, this principle was likely applied to obedience and our conduct as Christ followers. But the principle applies to so many areas of life, including business and relationships, so it should come as no surprise that it also carries over into our health and fitness. Can we reap a strong body by being a couch potato? Can we expect to feel well and live abundantly by eating junk food? No. We will reap good health and increased energy if we sow clean eating and strength training.

Wishing and hoping do nothing for a garden or our bodies. If I do nothing, I can expect nothing. The basic law of reaping and sowing will bring us the harvest we have planted. So it’s time to take a look at our own lives. What will we reap in six months? A year? All you have to do is look at the seed you’re sowing today.

--Catrina Vargas-Cormell

An entrepreneur, Catrina Vargas-Cormell was one of the first members of the PrayFit community. Catrina is now a PrayFit executive committee member and PrayFit Group leader in El Paso, Texas. For more from Catrina, join her group, “Hungry!,” on Facebook or visit her PrayFit workout journal.

NETWORK, SHOP, CHAT, SOW Take advantage of the many outlets and resources available to the PrayFit Nation

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

>> SHOP: Spread the health via your apparel at the PrayFit online store. Custom hats, cozy tees and logo wristbands are all available at the click of a mouse, with easy shipping. You can also pick up PrayFit books and DVDs to help you start living a healthier lifestyle here. Click to get started.

>> CHAT: Are you already a member of our forums? Get back in on the discussion by clicking here. Not yet signed up? All it takes is 20 seconds to get started. Click here.

>> SOWING: Plant the seeds of health and fitness in your church by arranging a visit from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. Learn more about his message by clicking here, or write us at info@prayfit.com to start planning dates!

Work Backwards

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you." --Matthew 6:33

Read: Matthew 6

Losing stuff is easy. It's finding it again that takes a little work. But what do we do? We work backwards. Be it car keys, a book, maybe a wallet -- we mentally retrace our steps until...ahh, the lost is found.

You know, I think that's the way God intended us to live. He said to Seek first His Kingdom, because He wants us to secure our future so we can sing "Blessed Assurance" for a reason. When you look at it that way, you and I are just working backwards. After all, why would He ensure our final step, only for us to be unsure of our next one?

So if you're facing tough times, do just that: work backwards. Misplaced your courage? Lost your will for a healthy life? Well, you'll find what you've lost and what you're looking for, so long as you retrace His steps: The view of the cross changes everything.

--Jimmy Peña

THE SECRET LIFE OF PROTEIN

Almost universally, higher-protein diets are associated with greater muscle mass. While it's true that hard-training individuals should consume more protein to maximize muscle recovery and growth, protein also helps you to stay lean. A recent study published by the American Society of Nutrition showed that dietary protein stimulated thermogenesis (fat-burning) and promoted satiety more than high carbohydrate meals. While casein and soy protein were found to be more filling, fat-burning was higher after consuming whey.

Researchers at Skidmore College also found that when subjects followed a high-protein diet for eight weeks they lost significantly more body fat, particularly abdominal fat, than those following a low-carb/high-fat diet.

Minimum recommended daily allowances for children range between 16-28 grams per day. Healthy male adults should aim for 45-63 grams per day, while females should strive for 46-50 grams. Pregnant? You may need 60 grams per day for your growing baby. Protein requirements vary, of course. If you workout regularly or at higher intensities, you may need more protein -- up to 1-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight per day -- to help rebuild muscle and keep your lean body mass in healthy ranges.

>> SHOP: In need of the perfect stocking stuffer for your loved ones? Visit the PrayFit store for faith-and-fitness inspired clothing, books, wristbands and more!

WORKING BACKWARDS

November 29, 2011Read: Matthew 6

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you." --Matthew 6:33

Losing stuff is easy. It's finding it again that takes a little work. But what do we do? We work backwards. Be it car keys, a book, maybe a wallet -- we retrace our steps until...ahh, the lost is found.

You know, I think that's the way God intended us to live. He said to Seek first His Kingdom because He wants us to secure our future, and sing "Blessed Assurance" for a reason. When you look at it that way, you and I are just working backwards. After all, why would He ensure our final step, only for us to be unsure of our next one?

So if you're facing tough times, do just that: work backwards. Misplaced your courage? Lost your will for a healthy life? You'll find both what you've lost and what you're looking for, if you re-trace His steps and stop at the cross.

--Jimmy Peña

THE SECRET LIFE OF PROTEIN

Almost universally, higher-protein diets are associated with greater muscle mass. While it's true that hard-training individuals should consume more protein to maximize muscle recovery and growth, protein also helps you to stay lean. A recent study published by the American Society of Nutrition showed that dietary protein stimulated thermogenesis (fat-burning) and promoted satiety more than high carbohydrate meals. While casein and soy protein were found to be more filling, fat-burning was higher after consuming whey.

Researchers at Skidmore College also found that when subjects followed a high-protein diet for eight weeks they lost significantly more body fat, particularly abdominal fat, than those following a low-carb/high-fat diet.

Minimum recommended daily allowances for children range between 16-28 grams per day. Healthy male adults should aim for 45-63 grams per day, while females should strive for 46-50 grams. Pregnant? You may need 60 grams per day for your growing baby. Protein requirements vary, of course. If you workout regularly or at higher intensities, you may need more protein -- up to 1-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight per day -- to help rebuild muscle and keep your lean body mass in healthy ranges.

>> SHOP: In need of the perfect stocking stuffer for your loved ones? Visit the PrayFit store for faith-and-fitness inspired clothing, books, wristbands and more!

A CRY AT THE DOOR

November 6, 2011Read: Joshua 1

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." --Joshua 1:5

As a new dad, one of the toughest things to do was to leave my daughters. Each morning, when I would head out into the garage to depart for work, I'd have to endure the heart-wrenching sound of their screams from behind the kitchen door. They were so distraught that I was leaving that my wife's explanations of my eventual return seemed to do little good. But that was then. Older and more confident that I'll always come back, they hardly notice my departures now. Whether I'm heading to the store for milk, or dropping them off at grandma's for the weekend, I'm lucky to get a second look when I'm heading out.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss them missing me so much. I know they love their daddy but part of me wishes that they were always a little more aware of my absence, a bit more hungry for my presence -- anything to make for a more dramatic, lasting embrace when I return!

At times, it may feel as if we've been left alone -- like our desperation has us crying at door for a father that is ambivalent to our desperation. But our heavenly Father never leaves our sides. We are His work so while there's never occasion for such a conspicuous exit -- at least there hasn't been in 2,000 years -- just know that He still loves it when we hunger for His presence and that our eventual reunion with Him will be all the more sweet as a result.

--Eric Velazquez Co-Founder, Prayfit

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: RUNNER'S CORE

In an effort to become more efficient runners, people will often train their legs harder. A few more miles per week, a few more lunges in the gym -- legs, legs, legs. But as any experienced runner will tell you, legs are only part of the equation. Core strength and stamina are incredibly important for maintaining proper mechanics, whether you're training for a 5K or running out a double in a softball game. Muscles in your abdomen, such as rectus abdominis, obliques and deep transverse abdominis, help to keep the torso stable when running, allowing the legs to do what they need to. But simple crunches won't suffice. Your core needs deep and dynamic work in order to strengthen your stride. If you're a runner, or just someone looking for a more athletic core, this routine will come in handy.

Plank - 30 sec. Side plank - 30 sec. (each side) Ab rollout - 10-12 reps Bicycle crunch - 30 sec. Mountain climber - 30 sec. Medicine ball twist - 30 sec.

>> Perform all exercises as a circuit with little to no rest between moves. Do the entire circuit 2-3 times total, 2-3 times per week on non-running days. If you must perform your core work and runs on the same day, go running first -- doing your abdominal work first could compromise your running form, putting you at risk for injury.

>> SHOP: Looking for some awesome PrayFit gear to sport on your next run? Visit the PrayFit store today for hot deals on tees, hats, wristbands and more.

LION AND THE LAMB

March 24, 2011Read: Psalm 122

"I was so glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" --Psalm 122:1

Today, Team PrayFit begins work on its first line of DVDs with Lionsgate Entertainment. We're so excited, blessed and thankful to have been invited to partner with such an incredible company and to be able to share health as a means of praise in a whole new way.

If you're new to PrayFit or you've been with us from the beginning, we first ask that you would remember us in prayer. Nothing is more important. Secondly, we hope you'll stop here often, and if it's easier for us to come to you via e-mail, please sign up for our PrayFit Daily, your morning dose of delivered faith and fitness. And third, we hope you'll encourage others to follow us on Facebook or Twitter. We love our life's work -- helping you and your family get closer to Jesus and each other, while living abundant, healthy lives; exactly how we were designed to live.

In Jesus' name, we train.

Team PrayFit

>> READ: To order PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days, click here.

>> WEAR: To set yourself or a friend up with some cool PrayFit gear, click here.

>> PRAY: To pray with other members of the PrayFit community, click here.

Please also be sure to use our social networking features -- Recommend, Tweet, Share and E-Mail -- at the top of each page if you see something you like or want to share with others.

EMPTY-HANDED

July 27, 2011 Read: Matthew 19

"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man, this is impossible. with God, all things are possible." --Matthew 19:26

Yesterday, Eric and I were blessed to begin shooting a series of DVDs with Lionsgate Entertainment. To say we're humbled would be like saying that Mozart wrote music or that Monet dabbled in art. We'd both like to thank the community of PrayFit for your prayers and support, because today was not only for you, but it wouldn't be possible without you. Soon, countless more will be able to hear and "see" our fitness devotionals as a vehicle for abundant health.

Cool moment: When Eric and I were sharing how surreal the moment was to the make-up artist, she replied very matter-of-factly, "Oh, God's in control...even in Hollywood." Booyah. She was right. There's no reason to feel surreal in moments only He could have mastered. After all, one of the best ways for God to show us He's in control is to let us have it. And if our hands are full, surreal should be the least of our concerns.

Lord, may we be empty-handed in all we do. You're in control, and you get the praise. Help us be obedient in our walk, both physically and spiritually and leave the consequences to you.

--J.P.

KEYS TO HEALTHY WEIGHT GAIN

While weight loss is a popular theme here at PrayFit and other fitness websites, there is a population on the other end of the scale that needs help achieving a healthy weight. Those who are underweight are subject to a different set of problems including suppressed immunity, athletic performance deficiency and osteoporosis. In women, it can be an even greater concern since being underweight can result in the absence of menstruation, infertility or complications during pregnancy. In fact, mortality rates in underweight individuals is similar to that seen in morbidly obese populations.

PrayFit contributing nutritionist, Christie Menna, MS, RD, says that there are a few easy strategies for those who struggle to gain weight or maintain a healthy weight.

"One thing about weight gain is you really have to be mindful about making eating a priority," says Menna. "I find often people think they are eating much more than they actually are when trying to gain weight. With that being said, it might be a good idea to keep a food log for a couple of weeks. You want to try to eat every 3-4 hours to allow for adequate calorie consumption without having to overdo it at any one meal. "

Menna adds that documenting your daily eating habits makes it easier to make minor, gradual adjustments rather than going on a hardcore, high-calorie weight-gain plan.

Here are three more tips for adding healthy weight:

1 EAT MORE PROTEIN: Strive to consume more protein each day. If you are very active, you can aim for 0.75-1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, getting at least 20 grams upon waking and post-workout.

2 REST MORE: If you burn calories quickly, take more time between workouts to allow for greater recuperation. During rest periods, focus on getting enough food and sleep to fuel muscle recovery.

3 LIFT HEAVY: Using heavy weight triggers a greater release of your natural growth hormone (GH) and increases protein synthesis, or uptake, which makes you more efficient and building and repairing muscle.

UNDERWEIGHT: If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or less, you are considered to be underweight. To determine your BMI, click here.

Christie Menna, MS, RD, is a consumer safety officer with the Food and Drug Administration and personal nutrition coach based in Long Island, New York. For more on Christie, visit her at www.activeeatingnutrition.com.

 

HIGHER

July 14, 2011Read: Genesis 1

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." -- Genesis 1:1

Experts agree that with NASA's launch last week, man has officially traveled as high as he'll ever go. Thirty years after the shuttle's first mission to the final frontier, the program lifted off on its last.

Oh my friends, we may not be able to puncture space, but the composer and conductor of the universe will someday take us much higher. The galaxies we can't reach are not out of His, and what we call the final frontier is really just the beginning. Our limits are good reminders that He has none. Astrologists may tell us the sun is the center of it all, but if we want to go even higher, we'd be wise to seek the Son...the center of it all.

-J.P.

6 TIPS FOR MINDFUL EATING

A National Institute of Health (NIH) study on binge eaters examined how eating pace affected satiety but the results can be broadly applied by anyone looking to achieve or keep to a healthy weight.

According to the research, which was reported in the Harvard Medical School newsletter, digestion involves a complex series of hormonal signals between the gut and the nervous system, and it seems to take about 20 minutes for the brain to register satiety (fullness). If someone eats too quickly, satiety may occur after overeating instead of putting a stop to it. There’s also reason to believe that eating while we’re distracted by activities like driving or typing may slow down or stop digestion similar to how the “fight or flight” response does. And if we’re not digesting well, we may be missing out on the full nutritive value of some of the food we’re consuming. Use their six tips to maintain reasonable sized portions and to get more nutritive value out of what you're eating.

1 Set a timer to 20 minutes and use the entire time to eat a normal-sized meal.

2 Try eating with your non-dominant hand. If you're a righty, hold your fork in your left hand during meals.

3 Use chopsticks if you don't normally use them.

4 Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal, from the sun's rays to the farmer to the grocer to the cook.

5 Take small bites and chew well.

6 Ask yourself if you're really hungry before foraging through the fridge or pantry.

>> APPAREL & GEAR: Make a fashion-forward statement about your dedication to faith and fitness by shopping at the PrayFit online store.

LET FRIDAY BEGIN

June 3, 2011Read: Psalm 121 “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” --Psalm 121:2

It’s Friday. The ninth inning. The fourth quarter. The last period.

When coaches encourage their players to “leave it all out on the field,” it’s not to sure-up a victory or avoid defeat, but more so to prevent regret either way.

Of all people, Jesus understood Friday. If anybody ever had cause to hesitate before Friday’s first step, He did. But He finished the game. He suited up and took on the best the world had to offer by offering himself for the world.

Let's finish the week stronger than we began it. In Jesus' name, we train.

--J.P.

NAVIGATION STATION Today, we highlight some of the most visited pages on the site. Find everything you need to live abundantly in just a few clicks.

NUTRITION: Recipes, healthy eating tips and more

FITNESS: Workouts, exercise descriptions and the latest fitness news

FORUMS: Enjoy fellowship and accountability with the PrayFit community

STARTER GUIDE: Hear from the founder and learn what you need to get started...TODAY

STORE: Gear up with shirts, hats and wristbands or shop for others at the PrayFit store

>> QUESTION OF THE DAY: Just finding the time to moving is the hard part. Once you're up and about, what is your favorite form of healthy activity? Share in the comments section below and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

YOU'VE GOT MAIL

May 24, 2011 Read: Philippians 1

"Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." --Philippians 1:6

I bet Noah spent a good deal of time at the window when he was on the ark. If nothing more than for some needed fresh air, something tells me he often kept his eye out for land. After all, he built what he had to, and he was ready to deliver. So I'm guessing if he wasn't caring for his precious cargo, he could be found watching and waiting.

If you're like me, you spend a lot time at your window. Oh we're not at sea, per se, but you may often feel like you're drifting as you wait for that offer letter, that e-mail, that phone call. You've done everything in your power, but what you need most -- to land something -- seems nowhere on your horizon.

As for Noah, hope in the form of an olive branch finally arrived. The dove on the window sill was Noah's "You've Got Mail." No more waiting, no more watching, no more send/receive. Land was nigh. Yours just might be too.

--J.P.

COLORADO SLIM

It's not just a cool Old West poker name. In one of the most recent surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Rocky Mountain State was found to be among the leanest in the nation, with a prevalence of obesity below 20%. Only the District of Columbia joined Colorado below the 20% mark. Louisiana weighed in the heaviest, with a 34% obesity rate.

>> EXERCISE CENTRAL: Find out how to properly perform many of the key exercises presented in our workouts by clicking here.

>> 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!

 

 

"IT'S A RENTAL"

May 17, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 6

"You are not your own. You were bought at a price, so honor God with your body." --1 Corinthians 6:20

Somewhere, on some rental car lot -- with the sounds of inbound flights drowning out the hum of transit buses coming and going from the terminal -- an economy sedan sits in solitude, used, beaten and soiled. Coffee stains, cigarette ashes, Slim Jim wrappers. An inadvertent pen mark is making a home in the upholstery and the suspension on the car is aching from the accumulation of sharper-than-normal turns and a Dukes of Hazzard approach to the speed bumps on the return route to the terminal.

Why are we so hard on our rentals? Because we don't have to take it home with us, of course! Strangely, the same person who would put their Avis in peril prefers to park their high-priced Mercedes in the remotest corner of the grocery store lot at home.

Our bodies are rentals -- they are only ours for a fleeting moment of time in eternity -- but we need to treat them more like our own credit depends on the condition in which we return them. Today, take to cleaning out your personal make and model -- better fuel, a spotless interior and a shiny, polished coat. You'll feel better and the ultimate Lessor will be appreciative of the upkeep.

--E.V.

DARK CHOCOLATE PRE-WORKOUT?

It may sound like the most counterintuitive performance training advice ever, but having dark chocolate with approximately 70 percent cocoa pre-workout, can actually make your workouts more productive.

Subjects in a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition consumed a single, 100-gram serving of dark chocolate 2.5 hours prior to a cycling routine. Researchers found that consuming the dark chocolate before intense exercise caused an increase in antioxidant status and a reduction in a compound called F2-isoprostane, which is an indicator of oxidative stress.

For the full story, click here.

>> EXERCISE CENTRAL: Find out how to properly perform many of the key exercises presented in our workouts by clicking here.

>> 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!