Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bodies as Temples

While using the gym in my Kansas hotel this morning CNN was interviewing a personal trainer named Jerry Anderson regarding how best people can lose weight. Quite coincidentally, during this interview I read an article in the local newspaper entitled, "Pastor calls flock to God, away from fridge," which focused on Pastor Steve Reynolds' campaign at Capital Baptist Church in Virginia to get his congregation to lose weight. Pastor Reynolds reportedly "lost 70 pounds by relying on God and low carbs" -- perhaps Pastor Reynolds has low carb bread for their Communion services :-)

Based on the CNN interview and the article I read here are my random observations on the subject of obesity in the USA:

  • Jerry Anderson noted that truck drivers "live, on average, 15 years less than other adults due to their lifestyle which lacks exercise and results in obesity..........." (paraphrasing here). Given the constant labor shortage the trucking industry has for over the road drivers perhaps the various trucking companies/trade associations should launch a coordinated corporate wellness program since it would be less expensive to simply help truck drivers live/work longer versus spending the money to recruit and train new drivers.
  • I am a regular church attendee myself but am always concerned with the "church ghetto" crowd who attend 3 or 4 services/study groups at their church weekly. My bias would be for them to replace one of these services with doing some good works in their community. Perhaps they could spend some time in a gym since Pastor Reynolds noted that "40 percent of you (his congregation) need to lose weight." A cautionary note to offer to these church goers would be to avoid making the gym your "new church" which is what the gym is for many of the muscle heads I see at mine -- strive for a healthy balance of church and gym like the Greeks taught us via their "everything in moderation" philosophy.
  • Sports - during my school years our athletic teams competed against several Catholic schools who regularly had very good teams. Since I have moved around a lot in my life I have belonged to a number of Lutheran churches but what I never saw was any focus placed on youth sports such as the Catholic basketball leagues. Not only does participating in sports teach children the benefits of good health but it also teaches sportsmanship and teamwork which are essential elements for good citizenship.

To your health,


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