Strong Tower – week 2

Session two – Love the Lord with all of your heart (part 1) – this is the leader’s guide for week 2 in the Strong Tower Men’s study

Opening question:
Which events of the Olympics do you like to watch on TV?
Read Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Ask:
What are the obstacles you must overcome in running the Christian race?
Discuss:
The heroes of faith are pictured as a cheering section of former runners in a race urging us to not give up. Do you have encouragers in you life? Maybe they would give the same advice as the writer of Hebrews: cast off what is slowing you down! Runners in the Greek games would run with no clothes in order that they may not be slowed down. We are also encouraged to cast off those negative habits and attitudes which would slow us down and hinder our attaining a high level of wellness. Like in a race, we must fix our eyes on the goals we have established for ourselves and not grow weary in our efforts to improve our health. We must also fix our eyes on Jesus to help us achieve those goals. Consider the words of Isaiah in 40:28-31:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Ask for prayer requests and take some time to pray for the needs of the participants.


Briefly discuss the assignments from the previous week

Protecting your heart

• Briefly discuss cardiorespiratory endurance using the following questions as discussion points:

A. What are some of the most common reasons people give for not maintaining
an exercise program? (i.e. not enough time, too hard, makes me sweat, etc.)
What are some ways to counter these reasons?
B. Which of the four components of health-related fitness is the most important?
(Body composition, Muscular strength and endurance, Flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness) Why?
C. What are the benefits of cardiorespiratory endurance training?

• Have participants complete the Exercise Readiness Questionnaire. Inform them that a form like this is used by doctors and many fitness professionals to determine readiness for exercise. They should bring this back next week.

(This is Activity #1 this week)

• Discuss the ways in which cardiorespiratory endurance can be measured. Ask participants to complete the 1.5 mile run test or the 12 minute walk/run test. Encourage participants to increase their level of performance during the weeks of this study and test again at the end of this study or at the end of an established time period.

(This is Activity #2 this week)

• Demonstrate the proper method for checking pulse. Have participants check their pulse in both the carotid artery and at the wrist. Discuss the effect of high pulse rate (tachycardia) on the heart by using the following comparison:

Compare the heart rates of two individuals. Jason has a heart rate of 60 bpm.
George’s heart rate is 75 bpm. Jason’s heart beats significantly less than
George’s. If we compare the total number of beats for both men, a striking
discovery occurs:

beats per hour beats per day beats per year
Jason 3600 86400 31,536,000
George 4500 108,000 39,420,000
Difference 900 21,600 7,884,000

George’s heart beats almost 8 million more times in a year than Jason’s. If we
were to extend that out over 70 years, George’s heart would have beaten
551,880,000 more times than Jason’s heart. A lower resting heart rate
demonstrates a stronger heart (usually) and one that will not have to work as
hard to keep the body going over those 70 + years. Encourage participants to
exercise to experience this positive change.

• Prepare a mini-lecture over the principles of exercise. These principles are part of the FITT formula (Frequency, Intensity, Time or Duration, and Type of Exercise). Spend an adequate amount of time on each component in order that the participants will be able to create their own exercise prescriptions. Subjects which should be included are: ideal number of exercise sessions, determining maximal heart rate and training heart rate, ideal intensity through exercise, rate of perceived exertion, and the best modes of developing Cardiorespiratory fitness.
• Direct participants to the variety of aerobic activities available to them. Thoroughly describe the activities with positive and negative issues for each. Emphasize the need for cross-training to reduce injuries and encourage muscle stimulation and development throughout the body.
• Have participants create their own exercise prescription. The Exercise Prescription should include all elements of the FITT formula (Frequency of exercise – how often it is done, Intensity of exercise – how hard the exercise is perceived to be or what intensity the heart is working, the Time or duration the exercise took to complete, and the Type of exercise or mode used).
(This is Activity #3 for this week)

• Address the following questions:
o How much aerobic exercise is required to decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease? (approximately 15 minutes per day)
o Do people get a “physical high” during aerobic exercise? (some receive the benefits of endorphins during prolonged exercise)
o Is exercise safe during pregnancy? (yes, most exercises are not only safe, but recommended)
o Does exercise offset the detrimental effects of cigarette smoking? (No, but exercise will encourage a smoker to stop in order to continue exercising – the lungs will see to that)
o What type of clothing should a person wear during exercise? (light, “breathable” clothing is best in warm conditions, layers are best in cold)
o How long should a person wait after a meal before exercising strenuously? (at least two hours if consuming a large meal)
o What time of the day is best for exercise? (whatever is a good time for the individual – mornings work best for getting the day off to a good start, while evenings work best for stress reduction and weight control)
o Why is exercising in hot and humid conditions unsafe? (high humidity can cause the body to retain heat and moisture and raise temperature to an unsafe level)
o What should a person do to replace fluids lost during prolonged exercise? (most individuals need water – if one is exercising in the heat for more than one hour, additional electrolyte substances may be needed)
o Can I exercise when I have a cold or the flu? (it is generally recommended to exercise with cold symptoms, but not with the flu)

• Briefly discuss exercise-related injuries. Describe the RICE method of treatment (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), muscle soreness and injuries, and bone injuries due to exercise. Discuss the need for prevention. Your material may include the following:
o The four most common causes of injuries are:
 High impact activities
 Rapid conditioning programs; doing too much too quick
 Improper shoes or training surfaces
 Anatomical predisposition (body propensity)
o If an activity causes unusual discomfort something should be changed to keep it from getting worse. Consider these recommendations:
 Decreasing the intensity of exercise
 Switching activities
 Substituting equipment
 Upgrading clothing (such as proper-fitting shoes)
o Acute sports injury during first 36-48 hours is to minimize swelling by:
 R = rest
 I = ice or cold application
 C = compression, or splinting
 E = elevation of the affected body part
o Acute soreness may be due to:
 Lack of blood (oxygen) flow
 Fatigue
o Delayed soreness
 Tiny tears in muscle or connective tissue around muscles and joints
 The cure: mild stretching, low intensity exercise, and warm water

• Encourage participants to consider the words of the writer of Hebrews (12:1-3) as an exhortation to maintain an exercise program.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Dismiss with prayer and discuss the activities for the week.

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