Are You Fit For the Ministry? 3

Are You Fit For the Ministry? (Conlcusion)

THERE are at least three parts to any exercise routine properly performed: (1) the warm-up, (2) the actual endurance training, (3) cooling down. We would remind you again that before embarking upon an exercise program you should get your physician's approval. . .

-Pastor of Richmond, California, Seventh-day Adventist church at the time this article was written

The Exercise Routine

THERE are at least three parts to any exercise routine properly performed: (1) the warm-up, (2) the actual endurance training, (3) cooling down. We would remind you again that before embarking upon an exercise program you should get your physician's approval.

Warm-up. A person should never leap out of bed, throw on his exercise clothes, and begin a mile run as he leaves the back door of his house! A young man may get away with this without apparent ill effect, but such a course is not in harmony with the physiology of the body. It creates a hazardous condition that someday could be disabling. The body needs time to adjust its circulation, its blood pressure, its temperature, and its chemistry. The muscles must stretch and the ligaments need to limber up. Therefore, during the five-minute (or more) warm-up period, one can do stretching exercises; light, limbering calisthenics; and walking. This is a good time to do some posture-correcting exercises if a need is indicated. The brevity with which the warm-up phase is treated in this discussion is not in proportion to its importance. Warming up is very important!

Endurance activity (interval training). To most people in the United States over 30 years of age, the concept of "interval training" is new and will be a welcomed technique for physical conditioning. One of its major features is to obtain the greatest possible work load during a period of time with the smallest physiological strain (fatigue). This is the system used by the great runners of today.

Interval training employs alternate work and rest periods of short duration that can be varied to meet your own personal program. An example might be, after the warm-up phase, 30 seconds of running, 30 seconds of walking; or 10 seconds of running, 10 seconds walking; or 1 minute running, 30 seconds walking; or 1 minute running, 2 minutes walking; or walking 200 feet and jogging 100 feet and walking again 200 feet, and so on. This type of training is the key to cardiovascular endurance. By its use the individual can increase his tolerance for exercise over a period of time. The 30-second-work and 30-second modified- rest alternation is recommended from lab oratory experiments as the best intervals for the average person. 1

It is important that you individualize this portion of your physical training rather than to compare your self with another person. You should adopt that pro gram which does not place a strain upon you, one that you can enjoy and which meets your physical condition.

For example, let's assume you've chosen brisk walking (approximately 3.5 mph) as your form of activity and that your maximal exercise heart rate has been calculated to be 130 beats per minute. Your interval of brisk walking should be just vigorous enough and long enough to make your heart beat 130 beats per minute. A bit of experimenting will be necessary to find the right level of intensity and time essential for this to happen. Use care not to be too vigorous while establishing how much you should do.

When you have attained 130 beats per minute you should go into the modified rest (really lesser activity or slow walking) for a short interval of time until your heart rate has returned to at least 110 to 120 beats per minute. 2, 3 Then you are ready to begin the work phase again and walk briskly. As an individual uses interval training in this way for 30 to 60 minutes at a time and regularly (at least four times per week), his body adapts and endurance is increased.

After a few weeks one can warm up and then may be able to walk briskly for a full 30 minutes or longer without undue fatigue and without his heart rate exceeding 130 beats per minute. After eight to ten weeks of a brisk-slow walking program, one might choose to combine jogging-walking, again using the interval-training approach.

This interval-training method can be continued for quite a long time, but should never be carried to exhaustion or lasting discomfort. If you are fatigued an hour to two hours following exercise, you are over doing it. Cut down and gradually build over the weeks and months.

With interval training, more work can actually be accomplished by the body with much less strain. Research has shown that a work load that leads to exhaustion in nine minutes when performed continuously can be done for an hour when performed intermittently. A comparison of heart rates revealed the following: continuous work---204 beats per minute; 3-minute intervals of work and rest---188 beats/ minute; and 30-second work-rest intervals---150 beats/ minute. 4 The interval-training method uses the same principle God has employed in the operation of the heart: work-rest, work-rest, work-rest.

Endurance is developed by gradually and progressively increasing the intensity and duration of exercise. 5 After the first few weeks of a regular exercise program, the work period should be no less than 15 minutes continuously to produce positive functional changes in the heart and lungs. This improvement is then maintained with a regular exercise program.

Exercise should continue until a noticeable change of body temperature is experienced. This is usually manifested by sweating. It is at this point that the peripheral capillary system begins to open (vasodilation). This is the body's "radiator effect" to maintain temperature control. At this point training effect begins and circulatory improvement is obtained; it usually happens sometime after four to six minutes of an endurance activity.

It bears repeating over and over again that the severity of exertion is not the key to developing good physical fitness. The key is moderate exercise carried over a long period of time at each exercise session and over a period of many weeks. Cooling down. Following the endurance activity, a gradual slowing down is a must. Two things must be kept in mind.

1. Do not stop performing a vigorous cardio vascular exercise all of a sudden. The return of blood to the heart is dependent upon the muscular pumping movements of the muscles of the legs forcing the blood through the veins back to the heart. A sudden stop can create a blood debt to the heart and brain, precipitating fainting. This is because the circulatory system hasn't had time to adjust.

2. "NEVER SPRINT THE LAST PORTION!" 6 Young men can get away with this practice for a while, but it is unwise. Sprinting is an anaerobic activity creating an oxygen debt. An anaerobic activity uses oxygen from the blood and muscle tissues faster than it can be replenished through the lungs, as in sprinting or lifting heavy weights that may produce localized fatigue or pain. The body's metabolic needs for oxygen during the sprint, especially when it's following a long endurance activity, may signal the heart and lungs for additional oxygen with such violence that the heart cannot meet the demand.

In both of the above-mentioned unwise practices, the runner will experience what seems to be more rapid and labored breathing at cessation of exercise than he experienced during it. This hyperventilation is the body's effort to restore tissue-oxygen levels that were reduced below normal during the anaerobic activity.

If this cooling out is not done, venous return to the heart which has been largely supported by the muscle pump drops too abruptly, and blood pooling may occur in the extremities. This, in turn, may result in shock, or at least in hyperventilation, which causes lower levels of CO2 and muscle cramps. 7, 8

Five to ten minutes should be spent in walking, stretching exercises, or calisthenics, to loosen up those muscles that have become tight during the endurance activity and to allow the body's circulatory and respiratory systems to return to near-normal levels of operation.

While still perspiring from a vigorous workout, one should not immediately take a HOT shower or bath. The heat of the water will stimulate the body to dilate the peripheral vessels of the body in an effort to cool it, creating a blood demand and blood dispersal through the body that may decrease the blood supply to the brain, which may cause one to get dizzy or faint. Wait until after the cooling-down process and then take a moderate to cold shower direct from the tap--unless you live in Alaska.

In summarizing the points that we have attempted to present in this series of articles, I'd like particularly to note the following:

1. Initiating a physical-fitness program without an adequate physical evaluation is poor judgment. A physical-fitness evaluation should include especially a blood pressure and stress test, i.e., electrocardio gram during exercise.

2. The type of exercise for optimum health and longevity is one that develops endurance, an exercise of low intensity conducted over a long period of time. Such exercises as running, cycling, swimming, and so on, qualify, but walking can accomplish just as much for the average person.

3. The purpose of an exercise program for the minister is not one of developing a competitive musculo-skeletal physique, but rather a strengthening of the central systems of heart, circulation, respiration, and related metabolic processes so as to provide a long life of efficient service.

4. An exercise program should be such that it can be enjoyed and conducted on a daily basis. The level of exercise of each day's routine is determined primarily from the physical evaluation and should progress from a general adaptation of the body to exercise to a level that is producing training effect. Interval training is recommended as a means of per forming more physical work with less strain on the system.

5. Each exercise routine should include a period of warm-up, an endurance activity by means of interval training, and a cooling down. The above principles of exercise carefully followed in combination with other principles of health, such as dietary discretion, adequate rest, and a firm reliance on the buoyant hope of Christ's coming, will provide a tone to the system that will yield a spring in the step, an erect carriage, and a reserve of strength that characterizes the "patience of the saints."


1. Per-Olaf Astrand and Kaare Rodahl, Textbook of Work Physiology (New York: McCraw-Hill Book Company, 1970), pp. 286-315.

2. Fred W. Kasch and John L. Boyer, Adult Fitness Principles and Practice (Greeley, Colorado: All American Productions and Publications, 1968), p. 45.

3. Herbert A. de Vries, Physiology of Exercise (Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown Company Publishers, 1966), p. 335.

4. I. Astrand, P.O. Astrand, E. H. Christensen, and R. Hedman, "Intermittent Muscular Work," Acta Physiologica Scandinavia, 48:448-453, 1960.

5. De Vries, op. cit., p. 335.

6. Kasch, op. cit., p. 27.

7. De Vries, op. cit., p. 103.

8. Kenneth H. Cooper, The New Aerobics {New York: M. Evansand Company, Inc., 1970), pp. 36-38.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-Pastor of Richmond, California, Seventh-day Adventist church at the time this article was written

March 1973

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

The Spirit in the Wheels

EZEKIEL saw a fiery cloud, living creatures, wheels, and wheels within wheels. It was all "so complicated that at first sight they appeared . . . to be all in confusion." But then the prophet observed a wonderful harmony, for "when they moved, it was with beautiful exactness and in perfect harmony." --Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 751.

Lift Up Your Eyes

JESUS was standing beside Jacob's well in Samaria. From His vantage point the Saviour could look out over the fields of waving grain about Him. As the golden sunlight touched the tender green stalks Jesus knew that it was but a few weeks until harvest-time. . .

Using Illustrations in Preaching

THE great British preacher Charles H. Spurgeon once referred to America's Henry Ward Beecher as the Shakespeare of the nineteenth-century pulpit.1 Doubtless the encomium was in recognition not merely of the rich variety of his gifts, but particularly of a Shakespearean faculty of perceiving all aspects of human life and character, and of presenting these in vivid images to the minds of people. It is generally admitted that no preacher before or since has used the illustration so successfully. . .

Pastoral Care and the Sick

OUR day is a transitional period in Christian pastoral care, characterized by confusion as to the nature, purpose, and function of the pastor. . .

The Challenge of Secularization for Seventh-day Adventists

MANY people think of secularization in its negative sense. For instance, a secularized world as a world that is not interested in God, a secularized church as one that has lost its identity as a dwelling place for God, or a secularized idea as a concept (such as Marxism) that has been completely separated from its religious origin. . .

Planning For Guest Speakers

DOES the pastor have a responsibility to the guest speaker as well as to his congregation when planning for a guest speaker? Does the guest speaker have a responsibility to the congregation to treat it as a unique group even though his standard preaching procedures have fared well elsewhere?

Seventh-day Adventist Apologetics

The following message was delivered to students attending the Andrews University Extension School at Newbold College in England, July 15 to August 17, 1972.

Today's Religious Music Scene (Conclusion)

TRULY there is something about a perfect marriage between a text and its musical setting that raises the power of the words to a completely new level. . .

The End of an Era in Biblical Archeology

THE purpose of this essay is to provide the busy pastor and evangelist with a brief introduction to the most significant scholarly books produced in 1971 that have a bearing on our understanding of the Old Testament, with particular reference to archeology, geography, and history. In harmony with the objectives of this feature of The Ministry, its compass does not include books on Old Testament language, exegesis, and theology. Depending on a minister's individual interest, those works marked with an asterisk (*) are suitable additions to his general library. Other volumes are either more technical or more restricted in their scope and therefore of greater value to the specialist, though the minister should be aware of their availability.

Preaching on Bible Biographies

ELLEN G. WHITE declares, "As an educator no part of the Bible is of greater value than are its biographies." --Conflict and Courage, p. 10.

Plymouth England: Land of Hope and Glory

ENGLISHMEN who hove never before heard of Seventh-day Adventists will join the church four weeks after attending their first evangelistic sermon. . .

Can Diet Create Alcoholics?

ALTHOUGH it may seem strange in our enlightened age, there are still areas in the world where beriberi is common. It has been known for some time that this disease is due to a diet which is deficient in thiamine (vitamin B1). . .

The Call to Complete Ministry

FOURTEEN verses of the Old Testament are pointed to in the Spirit of Prophecy writings as being especially pertinent to Adventist spiritual living and last-day witness. These are found in Isaiah 58 and among the numerous references to these in the Ellen G. White writings we will refer to three. . .

Losing With Leo

IF YOU think that the basic cause of overweight is some psychological problem such as over eating as a way of compensating for feelings of inferiority or a form of repressed hostility, you may be only half right. . .

Incarnation and the Latter Rain

THE latter rain will never fall upon the church except as members are prepared to receive it. Reception of the Spirit at any level of experience always represents relationships based upon personal decisions. Many talk "about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. . .

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated


Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600