The Demotion of Exercise

By Neil Anderson

Exercising has one distinct purpose.  It's purpose is to serve you.  It is to help you live a richer, more capable life. A life not limited by self-induced capacity and/or disease. It is to help you enjoy life's benefits and reap its rewards.  It is to help you avoid the pitfalls of ill-health.  Exercise is meant to enhance your life in ways that promote a healthier lifestyle for you and those around you.  It is the conduit to creating health on every level.  It is noble to exercise. 

At GPP we workout so that we can attain better health.  Better health helps us to be better parents, better spouses and better children.  Better health helps us to be more active in our communities, our jobs and in our worship.  We exercise so that we may serve others.  We exercise so that we will have more capacity and energy to engage in rich and meaningful hobbies and crafts that interest us. 

Unfortunately, as exercise rightfully becomes more and more important among the masses, its purpose is becoming more and more bastardized.  Its effects are now being used by increasingly selfish people to become more and more UNHEALTHY.  People are now using it for looks only.  They are using it as sport.  They are using it as a way to feel superior.   People are turning to exercise as a way to build so-called "incredible" bodies and perform feats of strength and endurance that serve NO other purpose than to glorify themselves.   This is the epitome of ill-health. 

Folks have lost track of the knowledge that health through fitness occurs along a continuum.  On the far left side of this continuum there is no participation in fitness.  We all know the effects of ill-health that can occur from participating in a life devoid of proper exercise (obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, poor energy, and etc.).  On the far right side of the continuum is "hyperfitness."  The pursuit and attainment of which is no less unhealthy than no fitness at all.   Health occurs somewhere in the middle. 

As the world continues to use exercise for increasingly unhealthy pursuits, I think it behooves us to give exercise a mighty and humiliating demotion.  It is time to put exercise back into its place. 

Exercise is the servant.  For healthy people it always will be.  Its entire purpose is to strengthen the healthy capacities of those who participate in it.  These "healthy capacities" include service to our well-being, our employers, our employees, our families, our relationships, our community, our country, our society and our God.  Otherwise it has NO important purpose.