We all know that our heart receives physical benefits from exercise; but do we know what those benefits are? Through exercise, you can improve your cholesterol and fat levels, reduce inflammation in the arteries, help with weight loss and keep blood vessels flexible and open, reducing risk of heart attack and plaque in the arteries. Basically extending your life!
Exercise is the most beneficial way to clean-out and protect your heart from all sorts of junk that we tend to put into our bodies. Some studies suggest that for the greatest heart protection, it is not the duration of a single exercise session that counts but the total weekly amount of energy expended; 3-5 times a week of some level of exercise. Longer isn’t better, a little every day is.
We also need to clean and protect our hearts spiritually. We are bombarded daily with junk that can clog our spiritual arteries; inappropriate jokes, gossip and rumors, images on TV and computer pop up ads. I heard a friend of mine once say “garbage in-garbage out.” That totally resinated with me. I was around people who were dumping garbage into my life daily with negativity, language and down right inappropriate behavior, and I didn’t even know the damage it was doing to me.
A few summers ago I began to start my mornings off by reading a short daily devotional before beginning my day. Through the first week I began to recognize many things that were garbage deposits in my life and I knew I needed to clean those things out. As I continued to read throughout the summer I was able to fore see things that could cause potential damage to my heart spiritually, and I was able to avoid those things and keep my heart protected. I became aware of what types of conversations I would have, what I watched on television and what activities I allowed myself to become involved in.
Proverb 4:23 says “above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”
We all need some kind of cleaning. What things can be cleaned up from your life? What can be removed, reduced or maybe added to your life to help clean-out and protect your heart?