Monday, August 1, 2011

Beauty is in the Eye of The Creator: Part 2

In the last post of 'Beauty is in the Eye of The Creator' we discussed the over-all need for physical health as well as the divine calling to keep our bodies from being destroyed. In this post I would like to discuss several of the latest fads of the fitness world that are not only dangerous but also very illogical. When a young man or woman picks up a copy of the latest muscle or health magazine, most if not all, will have big, bold letters with sayings such as, 'Lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks', 'Gain muscle like the Pros' or 'Better Buns by Brunch', these sayings are meant to and are very effective at drawing the attention of a person wanting to believe in the dreams that are promised. These magazines and articles are mostly filled with rock-star dreams and the unhealthy lifestyles of rock stars to match. The amount of science, or should i say lack thereof, is horrendous. To a person that only wishes to stay in good health or maybe to even have some fitness goals they would like to attain by the end of the year, the fitness culture is offering mostly garbage. The nonsense that is fed to us continuously is supposed to be backed by 'scientific research' from people with the entire alphabet following their names indicating that they know what they are talking about. But I think Arthur Jones, founder of Nautilus training systems and grandfather of 'High Intensity Training', said it best over 30 years ago, "With the physical-training media having been dominated by commercial interests for the last thirty years, we have eventually reached a point where even self-evident truth is ignored, and where outright lies are published as scientific fact." -Iron Man Magazine Article November 1971.

When trying to decide which routine and dietary habits to choose a person can always use the old saying of, 'If it's too good to be true, then it probably is'. If the article or book you are reading about one of the latest fitness miracles says that you can achieve the impossible, it is probably just that, impossible. Fitness and dietary goals are just like any other goal, they should be realistic and well within your own reach. Just like trying to learn a new language, your long-term goals should never be affected by short-term dreams. Daily habits should be formed so that each day you make a little more progress towards the light at the end of the tunnel. For example, did you know that if a person subtracted an extra 100 calories a day, that's two Oreo cookies, that within one year, everything else staying constant, that person would lose 10 pounds in one year. 10 pounds in one year does not sound like much but if you think of it in long-term goals within 5 years that person would lose 50 pounds, simply by not eating those two after dinner cookies. (The science behind this is based off of the simple and easy rule of thumb, 3500 calories = 1 pound of body fat.) Throw in a little extra exercise, burning say 100 calories, by the rule of thumb you could lose 20 lbs in one year! So, a lot of the unhealthy dietary habits that are pushed through the media and 'fitness tabloids' is nonsense. We have to be very careful about the programs we choose to adhere to. If health and fitness were as easy as they claim we would all be able to wash our clothes on our abdominal muscles.

This being said, there are plenty of reasonable and very logical workouts that a person can use and see the real, lasting results we all crave. There are small habitual practices that we can include in our daily lives in order to keep our calorie intake reasonable. One type of exercise that I enjoy and am a big fan of is called 'High Intensity Training' or HIT for short. This type of exercise includes very brief, infrequent, yet highly intense workouts that are very well proportioned for a father or mother with busy lives. (If you Google 'High Intensity Training', there are plenty of articles and information for those interested.) There is no need to spend hours and hours in the weight room or long bouts of exercise, in fact, there s a possibility it could reverse the progress desired. So, when trying to find the best diet and exercise plan, take reasonable measures in account and keep from feeding into the lies of the current exercise culture.

Lastly, I would like to discuss the spiritual dangers of practices like Yoga. Webster's Dictionary Library gives this definition:"Yoga is a system of Hindu philosophy, strict spiritual discipline, practiced to gain control over the forces of one's own being to gain OCCULT POWERS, but chiefly to attain union with the Deity or the Universal Spirit." Fr. Amorth, who is the Vatican exorcist, says "Yoga, Zen, and TM are unacceptable to Christians. Often these apparently innocent practices can bring about hallucinations and schizophrenic conditions." While there are many beautiful things to celebrate from the eastern cultures, yoga and new age practices are not consistent with Christian values and beliefs and therefore should be steered away from. Many people say that the yoga practiced by many Christians today does not include the spirituality aspect of eastern mysticism, but those aspects have been a part of yoga since it's creation and so to try and remove those aspects would be extremely difficult, or for the 'not-so-advanced' practitioner almost impossible. Being a Kinesiologist from the campus of the University of North Texas, I can safely say that yoga has entered the 'core' of the exercise world as a praised routine in order to gain flexibility, but, every person that spoke of it in our classes could not leave out the idea of 'centering yourself' or finding your inner 'being', which is way too pagan for the reasonable Christian with a logical outlook on exercise. Even putting the key into Pandora's box allows for the evil inside to prepare for domination. We should keep our head on our shoulders and see exercise for what it is, the tending of a Temple the Holy Spirit given to us by a loving Creator.

In the next post of 'Beauty is in the Eye of The Creator' I will discuss the role of exercise within a marriage and how a healthy lifestyle can bring a husband and wife closer together.

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