Daniel Plan 2/27/17: Active Games and Aerobic Activity


We've arrived at the end of the month already. It seems like we just started.

We are talking about fitness in this module and we have gone through the first two letters of the acronym PLAY. The first two were "prayerful movements" and "loosening breaks."

The A stands for "active games and aerobic activity." I am going to go straight out of the book on this one, pages 170-173, slightly edited.

Active games and aerobic activity are beneficial to not only your physical heart, but your social, mental, and spiritual heart. Playing outdoor or indoor games such as tag, jumping rope, or dodgeball are just a few examples of the many ways we used to play. Now you can begin to play again and reap the benefits.

Overwhelming scientific evidence supports the growing number of positive benefits for your body and health by performing active games and/or aerobic activity:

•increasing lung capacity, muscle tone and blood flow
•stimulating your brain, sharpening listening skills, improving problem-solving skills
•delaying age-associated memory loss
•creating social ties and friendships
•reducing risk of diabetes and high cholesterol
•lowering risk of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis
•strengthening the immune system
•lowering levels of depression, stress and anxiety
•increasing self-esteem and self-image
•managing stress
•increasing ability to burn fat for energy
•sleeping better
•producing more energy
•increasing productivity

Bottom line: Active games and aerobic exercise help your heart, lungs and body stay fit and healthy, empowering you to be young at heart. The good news is, since your heart is a muscle, anything that challenges it — whether it’s playing hopscotch, going for a hike, or walking up a flight of stairs — can strengthen it.
— The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life

And now, a few tips on getting into the rhythm of active games and aerobic activity. Again, quoting from the book:

When we think about aerobic exercise, we frequently think of things such as brisk walking, elliptical or stair climbing machines, step classes, aqua aerobic classes, running, or interval training — which are all beneficial and will improve your health and fitness. But what about other activities we haven’t played in a while that may bring that youthfulness and enjoyment back — games such as tennis, tag, handball, raquetball and dodgeball?

You can perform active games or aerobic activity every day of the week, but we recommend at least three to five days per week for twenty to sixty minutes. (If you don’t have twenty minutes, even performing one to two or even ten minutes of cardio can be beneficial.) Also, mix it up or cross-train, which is performing different types of activity on varying days of the week, such as walking on Monday, rope jumping on Tuesday, cycling on Thursday, and going for a hike on Saturday.
— The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life

One thing that we know about exercise physiology is that the body responds best to aerobic exercise that speeds up the heart rate followed by rest that brings the heart rate back down and then doing this again repetitively.

That's why it is good to work out hard for an interval followed by a couple of minutes of rest. An example would running for a block and walking for two blocks and then running again and walking again. Activities like tennis or squash have these intervals built into them.

Try something new and get into the spirit of play with your work outs, it will make them much more enjoyable.

Today's Bible verse:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
— Colossians 3:17