This week is National Men's Health Week. The focus this year includes, of course, an encouragement to get your annual physical and PSA reading. However, the folks at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are also reminding men to get enough sleep (no less than 7 hours each night) and to increase their cardiovascular fitness levels.
I can think of no better "cardiovascular fitness" example to men than the Man, Jesus Christ. So for this week's blog, I'm sharing an excerpt from my book Go Forward: 28 Days to Eat, Move, and Enjoy Life God's Way about the Extreme Fitness of Jesus. Read Matthew 15 for the full story.
"To better understand the fitness level of Jesus, explore His journeys. Find a map of Palestine during the time of Christ, in the back of your Bible or on the Internet. Follow along Jesus’ route in Matthew 15:21 and 29.
Let’s pick up the story in Matthew 15:21. We find Jesus teaching in Gennesaret, which is located near the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. He leaves Gennesaret and travels northward to Tyre and Sidon. Between these two regions wind 35-50 rough mountainous miles. Jesus either covers the distance in a day, or He sleeps outside overnight, likely in the mountains. Either option is physically demanding. After healing a Canaanite woman’s daughter in the area of Tyre and Sidon, He turns around and walks back over the mountains to the Sea of Galilee, this time skirting the sea on the east side through the region of Decapolis (Mark 7:31)."
In a short time frame, Jesus walked 70-100 miles...an ultra-marathon. (Oh, and at the end of that, He had enough stamina to hold the anointing for healing a multitude.) "In addition, Jesus worked as a carpenter; this was a very physical profession, especially with the use of only hand tools."
So, men, take your cue this week and take care of your fitness and health.