Sitting on the couch is not exercise

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, the phrase “P90X” meant absolutely nothing to me. Now it’s part of my daily vocabulary. I was introduced to this fitness program by Monique, my oldest daughter. Now, let me stop right here for a very important note: Never take fitness or financial advice from me. Either could be extremely detrimental to your health or checkbook. Now, let me tell you about the P90X.

It’s tough. It’s designed to take you from “regular to ripped in 90 days.” I looked up the definition of ripped and found that it meant “an extremely defined physique; toned.” The thought of my name and “ripped” ever being in the same sentence is more than enough to make you laugh. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Another part of this program is Muscle Confusion, the trademarked name for routines and moves that prevent the body from reaching a plateau, or getting bored. I don’t know about my muscles, but I can assure you that this routine often has me confused, never bored, and far from a plateau.

Monique is probably getting more benefits from this program than I am because she can do more of the exercises. If I cannot do what the program suggests, I simply jog in place or do something else that is more appropriate for me. Because of my frequent adjustments, my husband refers to the program as the “P-Ronny-X.” My justification is that anything I do is better than sitting on the couch and eating ice cream. Immediately after each session, Monique has a protein drink while I take Aleve.

I have to admit that daily exercise, well, almost daily exercise, has left me feeling wonderful. Sure, the day after a workout, I may hurt in areas that I had forgotten about, but that’s okay. That pain just points out an area that I need to strengthen.

The apostle Paul told Timothy, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” I Timothy 4:8

The spiritual exercises of prayer, Bible study, and responding to situations like Jesus would can be difficult. Sitting on the sofa and eating ice cream is much easier. It takes discipline and strength to react to unpleasant situations with kindness, to exhibit peace when difficult people push your buttons and show self-control when you really just want to speak your mind. Sometimes this self-restraint and re-training even hurts a little. In my case, that pain is just pointing out an area that I need to strengthen. But it feels so good afterward.

I can make all the changes I want to an exercise program, but when it comes to developing the fruit of the Spirit, the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, there’s only one method. I must develop and maintain a relationship with Christ to have His characteristics become mine.

Ronny may be reached at