Fitness and Health as Gifts

For me, I consider fitness/health both a hobby and lifestyle– God has given us one body as gift.

I loved running around since I was a boy. Basketball has always been my favorite sport to both play and watch. St Paul’s playground was where the kids in the neighborhood gathered for pickup games. Over the years, my tender ankles and shin splints have made full court hoops part of my history. Today, I can still play some half court ball if the right conditions present themselves.

I have lifted weights since high school. My dear friend David Schmidt had weights at his house so we would get together to workout. We called his basement “Dave’s Gym.” Even though we had limited knowledge about how best to lift and eat, these workouts had set a good foundation for the rest of my lifting and workouts. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu were our workout favorites. Jack Lalanne is my role model now that I am 57.

As a teenager, I practiced martial arts at the Seattle Kung Fu Club. As a young adult, I learned Tai Chi in Los Angeles and Berkeley. I strongly believe in the power of Chi in our lives and in the world. We do not realize how much power/energy exists in our lives and all around us. The importance of breathing and balance helps us develop this vital energy.

I have been pretty consistent these past ten years with lifting, cardio and chi gung for a number of years now. My workouts are an eclectic mix depending on my instincts I have been “anti-gym” for a number of years now and have worked out at home. I warm up with chi gung movements. I have simplified lifting and do primarily compound exercises for the four major body parts– legs, chest, back and shoulders. Because of this, I think one can get a decent workout in 30 minutes. I do cardio in the HIIT form a few times a week.

In terms of food, I try to be mindful total calories through intermittent fasting. Being between 150-155 lbs is ideal for me. Metabolism is the key; when we eat is as important as what we eat. Even though I believe that good, fresh food ought to be the base of one’s diet, I think that food also is to be enjoyed– especially with others. Rare is the event that I will turn down some of my favorites: steak, pizza, hamburgers, donuts, beer… Life is too short and joy is part of living too.

Spiritually, I think that fitness and diet are about stewardship of gifts. Overall, our body is a gift from God. God has given us only ONE body. The questions become: how do I care for this body that God has given me? How can I use my energies to best serve others in this world? I realize that each day is a gift; I want to live each day with as much positive energy as possible. This is all about the graces that the Spirit gives us too. How do we respond?

As our bodies begin to have ailments, these can become heavy crosses to carry. Physical suffering is real; each of us also works through this in unique ways too

These are some of my thoughts now. What do YOU think about health/fitness/diet?

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