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  • So why are you posting all this? Aren't you a Christian writer?

    Actually got asked that, as if you could separate being a Christian from being anything else. Perhaps once you are a Christian you are supposed to write about angels and near death experiences, and how God answers prayers.

    All topics of worth, no doubt. But in my humble opinion, the point of being a Christian is to witness to others about Christ in your life. Not through beating them over the head with a Bible or even through parading Christ out every time something happens in the world where people are asking “Why does a benevolent God allow that to happen?”. The whole point of being a Christian is to maintain a different aspect on the real world to allow others to see the changes Christ has made in your life and judge for themselves. Which is why I share my take on the scriptures and post those along with these blogs about my life. I'll keep doing my job, I'll let the Spirit do His.

    Anyway, free weights today, and a very nice workout with a lot of intensity. Worked from the outside in today (smaller muscles to larger muscles), so started off with the shoulder flyes and ended up at the bench press. While I did accomplish all 3 sets on the bench, the last set was eight reps, then three more. Like I said, there was a lot of intensity.

    I did vary the seated rows by using a static “bicycle” handle instead of the cable attached horizontal and vertical handles which added some variation and some intensity to the moves. With the static handle, the motion is more like actually rowing a boat. I did three sets with the handle grip pointed up, then three sets with them pointed down. The difference in the grip makes a lot of difference in the exercise and how it works the muscles.

    Also varied my situp routine on the exercise ball. After my 150 bounce ups, I shifted to situps, but varied by doing 10 reps forward, then 10 reps to either side, back and forth to 100. This works not only your lower and middle abs, but also your obliques. Believe me, you feel it.

    Ten minute run on the Gazelle, paced at easy (“Feels like the first time”) for the first 3.5 minutes, medium (“Dead or Alive”) for the second 3.5 minutes, and finished off with a quick paced run (“Hot Blooded”) until the end of the song. So a little over ten minutes. But fun.

    Yes, I said fun. Believe it or not, I look forward to my workouts. Why? Simple, because they make me feel good. Being physically active gives you more energy, since it releases the sugars that were stored as fat into your system. Once they are out there in the blood stream, your body wants to use them up. I've known people who go from their workout to the car wash, or home to clean the house. When your body is able and cooperating, you'll be surprised at the amount of work you accomplish.

    Not to be forgotten are the endorphins released in anticipation of exercise, and the ones released as you are exercising. Endorphins are your bodies natural pain killers and mood elevators. Not only do they help you heal, but they also lift your spirits. People with depression are often prescribed medicine that mimics endorphin release to combat their dark moods, but several more enlightened physicians now prescribe exercise as part of their treatment. Guess what? It works!

    Quick talk about equipment. Now I have a fairly top end home weight bench with a lot of variable positions, but you don't need a weight bench to do these exercises. There are many positions of free exercise that will work the same muscles and produce the same results. So what do you absolutely need to work out?

    I'm glad you asked. For the beginner, the list is pretty simple:

    A) A set of dumbbells with variable weight plates. (There are several sold which provide two dumbbell handles and about 20 or 25 pounds of plates for each handle in 2.5 and 5 pound plates.).

    B) A comfortable pair of workout shoes and clothes. These should be loose fitting, non-binding, and allow you to complete the moves without having to adjust your clothing. (NO Spandex...who are you trying to impress?)

    C) An exercise ball. There are several sizes depending on your height, and they are exceptional tools for doing exercises while providing a cushion for your back. VERY IMPORTANT!

    D) A place to do aerobic exercises. This can be a treadmill, Gazelle, elliptical, or a path through the woods or a local running track. Obviously the advantage to having the machines in your house is your workout will never be called on account of the weather. But you work with what you have.

    Where do you obtain this equipment? If you have the means, any sporting goods store will have a weight section. If you are on a tight budget, check your local yard sales and the ads in the paper. There are always people who buy equipment, use it for 30 days, and the next 5 years it sits around collecting dust until the spouse gets tired of looking at it.

    When buying weights, avoid concrete filled plastic plates as they are very susceptible to breaking and are very bulky and difficult to add on a dumbbell. You can either buy Olympic style plates or regular plates but not both. Olympic plates are usually more expensive and can be identified by the 2 inch hole in the center. Regular plates have a 1 inch hole.

    The nice thing about using dumbbell handles and not buying pre-made dumbbells is that you can add or remove weight as necessary. (Ladies and gentlemen, if you find the pre-made dumbbells are sufficient for your needs, by all means use them. Everyone has different fitness goals, and there is no need to keep increasing weight if you don't want to. The alternative is to add more exercise, more sets, more repetitions.)

    Now all of the links provided above are to WallyWorld, but that is by no means an endorsement of that establishment. And while some of them have very orderly and well-stocked areas, others do not. So the links are to give you a reference to what I am talking about and not an endorsement of any store or brand.

    That's about all for today. I hope you are all having a blessed day.

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