In Genesis 1:28 & 2:15, we learn about our second principle of WELLNESS - Exercise. We read, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” In other words, God gave man his work.

Exercise is necessary to the healthy development of the human body. Muscles that are not used, atrophy. Bones that do not bear weight become weak. Exercise gives strength and vigor, assist in sleep and digestion, helps to eliminate toxins, improves your mood, helps manage weight, decreases heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, & osteoporosis, and aids the body in numerous other ways.

How much exercise do you need? Current guidelines suggest that adults need 2 ½ hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week, and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days of the week that work all major muscle groups.

Moderate intensity aerobic activity means that you could talk to someone else while you exercise, but you would be too out of breath to be able to sing. If you could sing or hum a tune while you exercise, that would be low-intensity. If you could not even talk while exercising, that would be high-intensity.

What activities can you do? Walking is best, but for those with arthritis or other joint problems, it may be easier to be involved in water aerobics, swimming, or using an elliptical machine. For other moderate-intensity activities, you could bicycle, jog, do gardening, rebounding, or go for a hike. It is best to get your exercise outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

What about muscle strengthening activities? These are activities that cause your muscles to strain against an opposing force. Examples include push ups, sit ups, lifting weights, and using resistance bands.

What if you have health problems or are elderly? Check with your doctor before you begin. Then start slow and work up to your goal over the next 1-3 months. If you can only go from the bedroom to the bathroom without getting short of breath, then do that. Then do it again, and again, and again. Then go from the bedroom to the kitchen, and then the front of the house, and then the neighbor’s house, and then around the block. Just keep increasing your exercise distance little by little as you can handle it, and you will feel the benefits. Anything you do more than you do now will give you benefits. So start exercising today!

God bless you abundantly as you learn to live God’s WELLNESS way.