I reached my peak in strength stamina, and athletism when I was 25 years old, plateaued the next 10 years, and then lost 5 to 8% of my strength every ten years after that; at least that is the average, what most people do. The word for the natural downhill slide into wimpiness is called sarcopenia. The natural journey of old guys into sarcopenia can be arrested and even reversed with regular, systematic, and strenuous exercise. There are a whole host of other health benefits that come from exercise as well as muscle strength that will be key to my feeling well and accomplishing a lot in ministry and life in general as I get older.
With all the benefits of exercise it seems like everyone would be highly motivated to make exercise a daily part of their life, but the fact is very few do. Establishing a daily exercise routine that is long enough and strenuous enough to reverse the average reduction in physical fitness requires a high level of self-control. Our flesh hates exercise and is addicted to recliners, television, snacks, comfort, and living the easy life. Maintaining an exercise routine probably takes more discipline than dieting does.
The key to daily, routine, and strenuous exercise for me is the goals that I set. I will read them every day and share them with others to hold me accountable to be faithful to them.
Goal #11 I will ride a stationary bicycle at least one hour three days every week. I will try and maintain a heart rate of 120 bpm while I am riding. There are circumstances where I will not have a stationary bicycle available and on those days I will walk fast. I will keep very accurate records of this discipline and will maintain a high degree of accountability to others to keep from getting lazy on this essential discipline.
Goal #12 – I will lift weights using the “Strong Lifts 5X5” program two times each week. I struggle to maintain faithfulness to this goal, so I will get others to lift with me.
Goal #13 – I will maintain my body weight at or below 200 lbs. This is such an important goal in achieving my desire to run the race with endurance until the end of my life that I will use every means possible to succeed.
Goal #14 – I have observed that the foods that I eat have a significant influence on my mood, my sense of well being, my energy, and my health in general. I will eliminate as much as possible all refined sugar, wheat products, and other foods that I learn of that contribute to my wimpiness. I will make exceptions occasionally for celebrations. I will take a collection of food supplements and vitamins as I become convinced of their importance for my health. I will read and maintain a learner’s attitude regarding eating for health, attempting to avoid the kooky stuff that is written.