Physical Fitness

Exercise…Frequency, Rest periods, What type, How long, Sedentary vs. Active lifestyle

Rest…Quality sleep, Circadian rhythm, Margin in life, “Re-creation”, Quiet time

Nutrition…Water, Vitamins, Fasting, Godmade food (Quality), Balancing God-made food, Quantity of God-made food.


“Diet” – Greek “diaita,” — “way of life.”

In English, we use the word “Lifestyle” for “way of life”.


Physical Diet/Lifestyle is:

WHAT, WHEN, and HOW MUCH we Eat, Move, and Recover on a daily basis.



What? It’s in the Bible!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”


Genesis 3:17-19, The Message

    He told the Man:

“Because you listened to your wife

    and ate from the tree

That I commanded you not to eat from,

    ‘Don’t eat from this tree,’

The very ground is cursed because of you;

    getting food from the ground

Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife;

    you’ll be working in pain all your life long.

The ground will sprout thorns and weeds,

    you’ll get your food the hard way,

Planting and tilling and harvesting,

    sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk,

Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried;

    you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.”


Until about 100 years ago, really even 50 years ago, we were pretty active in our daily lives because just living required it! Centuries ago we had to hunt and gather, cook over wood fires and wash clothes at the river. Now we have computers, machines, and systems to do the work for us. In the first few decades of the Industrial Revolution, we saw a decline in health and a rise in obesity. We got lazy and fluffy.



Sedentary Lifestyle Risks:

  1. Sitting for excessive periods has been shown to reduce the natural glucose and insulin response in the body. Furthermore, it increases risk factors for hospitalization, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all of these cause mortality independent of the amount of exercise one gets. 
  2. The cardiovascular system changes in response to sedentary behavior. Capillary growth (called capillarization) occurs only in moving body parts for the purposes of nourishing the cells that are in use. This is made possible by the presence of a protein called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). In non-moving body parts, VEGF is reduced and the capillaries retreat from those areas. The more non-moving parts we have, the less capillarized we are, and the less nourished our bodies will be. 
  3. Hypertension is a possible health consequence for lack of movement. The less we move, the less capillarized we will be, and the higher our blood pressure is adapted to be. The model, explained nicely by Katy Bowman in her podcast called “Cardio & Natural Movement,” describes your cardiovascular system as a container. All other things being equal, when that container gets smaller, your blood pressure must rise in response.


Immediate Benefits to Exercise: 

  1. BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) is a protein that creates and protects neurons (nerve cells) in the brain helps these cells to transmit messages more efficiently, and regulates depression-like behaviors.
  1. Endorphins are a type of chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that is released when we experience stress or pain to reduce their negative effects and increase pleasure throughout the body. Endorphins are also responsible for the euphoric feeling known as a “runner’s high” that happens after long periods of intense exercise.
  1. Serotonin is another neurotransmitter that increases during exercise. It plays a role in sending messages about appetite, sleep, and mood. It is the target of medications known as SSRIs or SNRIs, which are used to treat anxiety and depression.
  1. Dopamine is involved in controlling movement and the body’s reward response system. Due to its role in how the body perceives rewards, it is heavily involved with addictions. When amounts of this chemical messenger are low, it is linked to mental health conditions including depression, schizophrenia, and psychosis.
  1. Glutamate and GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) both act to regulate the activity of nerve cells in the parts of the brain that process visual information, determine heart rate, and affect emotions and the ability to think clearly. Low levels of GABA have been linked to depression, anxiety, PTSD, and mood disorders.


Consistency Benefits to Exercise:

  1. Weight management 
  2. Lowers risk for diseases like Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancers, & obesity.
  3. Strengthens bones & muscles 
  4. Quality of life
  5. Longevity
  6. Neuroplasticity
  7. 5 fold fitness


Connection between (Chronic) Stress and Exercise:

God designed us with the fight, flight response + there’s a freeze response! 

*like to run from a lion. But now these days we are doing this WAY too often! 


When the body is under stress, here’s what’s happening (FMRI Studies):

  1. CNS is in overdrive.
  2. No matter the stress (bad stress that is) there’s shrinkage in the prefrontal cortex (the executive function/adult brain). This is the same response as actual PTSD. 
  3. Hormones haywire.
  1. If we’re chronically stressed, we’re inducing an inflammatory state in our body and if we are inducing an inflammatory state our bodies are going to respond. And how are they going to respond, by producing cortisol. 


What are some natural ways we can battle stress, balance hormones and reduce inflammation in our bodies? 

  • Exercise
  1. Hydration
  2. Diet – (physical actions)


Bonus *Trauma:

Trauma is any event, experience, or situation that overwhelmed our ability to cope and process what happened to us. Whether it’s a one-time event or something that happens repeatedly over time, the trauma becomes so deeply devastating and hurtful on a mental, emotional, physical, and or spiritual level that we lose a sense of ourselves. 


In short, trauma causes stress on the body and we’ve just covered “stress on the body”.  Whether it’s a Big “T”, or a little “t”, most of us will endure trauma at some point in our lives. 


  1. Traumas can change us on a cellular level.
  2. Our traumas dictate how we view and interact with the world so especially in a Christian leadership position, we want to do that well! But it’s a graded scale.
  3. If trauma goes unresolved, it can get stored in our systems – our bodies, minds, and nervous systems – causing long-lasting effects in our lives. When trauma happens, multiple systems or even just one system assumes responsibility containing the overwhelm. If the trauma gets stuck in our brain it will consequently get lodged somewhere in our body, perhaps in the fascia or a specific muscle area of the body and not release because it’s too much to handle. But if it’s not dealt with in the body it’s going to turn into disease. 
  4. Trauma can generate a group of chemicals which leak or transmit into the brain which create an inflammation which we refer to as neuroinflammation that leads to the disruption of the chemistry of the brain and the function of the brain. 
  5. Furthermore, a reduction in hormones.


The Wrap Up to this segment: WHY Exercise?

  1. God says to. God designed our bodies to move and He expects us to take care of them. 
  2. LOT’S of health risks if we don’t.
  3. LOT’S of health benefits (physically, emotionally and mentally) if we do.  
  4. Combat Stress
  5. Combat Trauma



200 meter walk, jog or run

10 reps of each new movement with great form

Rest 30-60 seconds

3-5 rounds based on how you feel






Movement Physiology & Function:

Air Squat:

Muscles worked – Spinal erectors, glutes, abs, hamstrings, quads, calves, shins

Application – We do this many times every day and don’t even realize it – getting in and out of a chair, getting on and off the potty, looking in a lower cabinet, etc.




Muscles worked – pecs, abs, delts, triceps, serratus, coracobrachialis

Application – As humans, we are more inclined to push something than pull it.  We push baby strollers, the lawn mower and our car when it breaks down.  Beyond just sitting and standing, push ups put us in our natural position for many things.  We eat, drive, type and carry things in front of us with arms extended. It is the most common upper body movement.




Muscles worked – rectus abdominus and all support surrounding muscles

Application – Movement stems from the core, if our cores are weak, we’ll never be strong in other areas.



3 Engines:

There are three metabolic pathways that provide the energy for all human action. These “metabolic engines” are known as the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway. 


  1. “P” –  (-10 sec) – Dominates the highest-powered activities

Having more muscle helps you burn more fat. Plus you continue burning calories for days after this. AND this one is great for cortisol busting!


  1. “G”  (30 sec – 2 min) – Think Tabata squats, or short, intense workouts

Best one for balancing hormones.


  1. “O” – Provides energy for all longer, lower-powered aerobic activities, think 5K

You know that “ Runner’s High” everyone talks about? That’s serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that has a number of functions in your body, but it’s best known for the role it plays in regulating your mood. High levels of Serotonin are associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety and increase happiness. LSD work promotes builds serotonin.


*Total fitness requires training each of these pathways. 

**Furthermore, when we’re training all of these we’re more hormonally balanced overall.

***AND we’re building BDNF more and better because we’re not specializing.