The international research, led by the University of London, found that aerobic exercise does not benefit everyone in equal measures, and its usefulness is determined by a person's genes. According to the results, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology today, 20 per cent of people do not receive any health benefits (in terms of weight loss) from aerobic exercise.
This may be because their bodies already, naturally, maintain a certain level of metabolic activity. The study, however, clearly indicated that there was always an increase in muscle tone and general fitness with exercise, a point that the journalists of the article below seem to have missed.
If a patient is not likely to benefit much from aerobic exercise, the physician could turn to other types of exercise or alternative therapies. For example, sometimes weight-bearing exercise to increase muscle strength may be more appropriate for some people. This would be one of the first examples of personalised, genomic-based medicine, explained James Timmons of the University of London who headed the study.
The outcome of the study was a hope that before too long, doctors and physiotherapists will be able to target those who may stand a greater chance of benefiting, and prescribe more effective preventive or therapeutic measures to the others.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson 58, a Baptist minister and portly gentleman who was a triple jumper and hockey player in his twenties, says that the Apostle Paul was quite right when he said that exercise does help a little (I Timothy 4 verse 8).
In the context of the message, although exercise helps the physical human condition, there is another sphere entirely, the spiritual condition that demands far more of our attention. Jesus said that what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul.
There are nonetheless passages in the Scriptures that seem to adhere to a physical well-being. We are temples of the Holy Spirit inferring there is a responsibility to maintain good health. When sick, a little wine is a good medicine says Paul who on his missionary's journeys was accompanied by the medical physician Luke. And Paul makes reference to sports competitions.
It seems that 'balance' is the all important sentiment that is emphasised in the Scriptures. Just as there is today, a well adjusted balance required for physical well-being, so too there is a balance needed for spiritual health.
There are also more and more studies showing the benefit of moderate exercise on a range of health conditions, including keeping the mind active and the brain alert well into old age.
The London study illustrates however that this physical balance can be put out of sync by engaging inappropriate and detracting forms of physical exercise, and the Scriptures warn likewise of the same 'spiritual' maladjustments. Much of the Apostle Paul's letters and the Letters of the Epistles deal with these issues.
The Apostle Paul also focuses on healthy harmonious marriages and having a good family life and a good attitude in the work place. In the whole scheme of things physical fitness is like oil in a car, it is essential to keep it moving but it is also important to service the individual parts, according to the make and style of car, as well as its age and mileage.