Can you stand up without using your hands and knees?!

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I’ve just sent this thought for the week to our local newspaper…

I do love a good podcast. If you don't know what one of those is, it's a series of audio recordings usually on a single topic like true crimes, mental health, or sport. I've just finished season three of “A thorough examination” on BBC Sounds. In that podcast, two doctors who are also identical twins do a thorough examination of a topic. Season one was about ultra-processed food and the current season is about exercise. There is an epidemic of inactivity that is causing serious health problems. It's a fascinating listen, with plenty of facts and challenges to talk about. For instance, going from being inactive to exercising a little, immediately reduces the probability of a stroke, dementia and heart attacks by between 30-40%.

There are two tests the doctors talk about that have cause great hilarity in our household and with friends. The first is how many times can you stand up and sit down in a chair in a minute without using your hands. The more the better and the more likely you will be able to get out of chair unaided in old age. I can do 59 by the way! The second test is harder – sitting on your bottom can you get up without using your hands and knees? I can't! But my wife likes to demonstrate she can! It's a test of flexibility, core strength and balance. There's a more nuanced version that gives you a score based on whether you need to use one or two knees and/or one or two hands. The score is possibly a good predictor of life expectancy. The podcast has highlighted the important of getting more active to help staying healthy and mobile in old age – a fit person has a body that is 10 years “younger” than average.

The apostle Paul wrote that physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future. So how is your spiritual fitness? Physical exercise gives the most bang for your buck when you first start. Starting to walk more, doing the couch to 5k jogging plan are great starts. Spiritual exercise is the same. The starter is realising that Jesus death on the cross and resurrection gives you a brand-new start in life that has eternal consequences. Once you start following Jesus, you are starting to get spiritually fit. The spiritual exercise Paul is referring to is praying, reading the Bible, being active in a local church, being generous and kind and so on. That makes your fit for eternity! Up and at ‘em!



Andy planted the Gateway Church in Sept 2007. He and Janet love to gather different nations together to grow in Christ while eating good food! He also helps to shape and serve a couple of Relational Mission's church plants in mainland Europe. Andy and Janet run regularly, largely to offset the hospitality eating! He also runs a popular WordPress plugin Church Admin