Every year, millions of Americans make a New Year's resolution to lose weight and keep it off. If you want to achieve that goal, common sense exercise should be a part of that equation, in my humble opinion. But to really stick with it, make it fun.
Some people make a god out of exercise. They virtually worship their bodies. That's obviously wrong.
The Apostle Paul says that the body of a Christian is "the temple of the Holy Spirit." The clear context of that discussion is in reference to avoiding sexual sin.
Nonetheless, I think a case could be made that we should try to take reasonable care of our temples. Studies seem to consistently show that exercise is good for you, including walking.
Writing for the New York Times recently, Gretchen Reynolds notes, "The muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are indistinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds, according to an uplifting new study of a group of active septuagenarians."
For the last 15 years, since I began to run many 5ks, 10ks, and the like, I have found I am generally less likely to get sick. I remember one of the best compliments I ever received related to my health was when my doctor once looked at my EKG and said, "Wow, like a 21-year old." This was when I was 55, after several years of vigorous exercise a few times a week.
My earlier experience with competitive racing used to conjure up painful memories of always being last at the annual races as a kid. My dad would drag me to these races, where I would always be humiliated. One year, I was elated. Another guy tripped, and so I came in second-to-last.
Fast forward 40 years, and one day I was invited to run a race at our church-run school to help benefit Alzheimer's research. I did it, and I actually enjoyed it. Since that day in January 2003, I've run multiple races, even one full marathon. I've learned not to compete against the other runners — although they make me strive to go faster. I compete against myself, trying to better my time.
One of the runs is called a "fun run." A friend objected, "If it's a run, it's not fun." But I don't agree.