Torch, Summer 1980

j l develops through the discipline of regular exercise, helps to avoid or lessen emotional buildups and breakups that are prevalent today. Another condition that is at least partially related to inactivity is weight control. The formula is very simple: calorie intake equal to calorie use results in maintenance of weight; calorie intake greater than calorie use results in weight gain; calorie intake less than calorie use results in weight loss. Obesity is particularly damaging when it occurs during childhood. Excess calories consumed during the growing years increase the number of fat cells (as adults we only increase the size of those cells). Because of the additional fat cells, the child will have a tendency to gain weight. The overweight child tends to be inactive which adds to the weight problem. However, weight reduction is not as simple as it sounds. Forty miles of walking or running is required to bum up the calories in one pound of fat. Physiologists believe weight lost by diet and exercise is mostly loss of fat tissue, but weight lost by dieting alone is half fat tissue and half muscle. Loss of muscle tissue reduces the ability of the body to bum calories. Therefore, weight lost through diet alone tends to be regained as normal eating habits are resumed. Physical fitness is not a commodity that can be achieved and stored for a lifetime. It is a way of life. Establishing a fitness program does not mean setting a goal to making the Olympic team. It means gradually increasing the level of activity until enough fitness is gained to meet the demands of a job, with enough energy left over to enjoy your family and your leisure time activities. What is your concept of the activity potential of a person 40 years old? 60 years old? 80 years old? 100 years old? How do you plan to maintain or improve your fitness level to accomplish this? In response to a challenge from my cross-country team, I struggled to get in shape to complete a 15-mile road run. At age 36, and at 175 pounds, my first task was to lose 25 pounds of "excess baggage." I trained, Icompleted the run, and I was beaten by a 66-year-old man! This humbling experience changed my concept of the fitness level that could be maintained throughout my !ife, with necessary discipline and protection from disease or injury. Aging is not simply a matter of years, but rather a process within the body that operates at a slower rate when our body is given proper care. If you are challenged to embark on a fitness program, please adhere to the following suggestions: (1) Get a physical check-up with an exercise EKG. (2) Get your doctor's permission for the program you intend to follow. (3) If you are more than 25 pounds overweight, lose the weight first. (4) Dr. Cooper's program is strongly recommended. His book The Aerobic Way may be purchased at any bookstore. It is thrilling to read of Caleb in Joshua 14:10, 11: "I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me; as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out and to come in." We enjoy watching athletes set records as they seek to reach their goals in athletics. All of us can still face and meet physical challenges if we are realistic about setting our goals. Look at yourself as an older athlete. Following the four suggestions above, you can regain some of your youth and add life to the remaining years that God gives you. Mr. King is Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Cedarville College. His cross-country teams have won the NCCM championships the last two years. 7