Thursday, 27 February 2014

Guest Post // Some Thoughts on Fitness

Firstly I’d like to thank Bonnie for the opportunity to do this guest post.

How fit are you?

I’m someone who really likes playing sports (basically any sport: soccer, cricket, rugby, tennis, etc - but particularly basketball). I’ve found that I need to keep fit to play well and I’m going to tell you on this guest post some of the ways I enjoy (or sometimes don’t enjoy when I’m in the middle of an exercise) keeping fit.

There are a lot of benefits (:P) to keeping fit, such as emergencies where perhaps you might have to run for a while to get help or lift someone out of a burning building. Also it will help with heart health, flexibility, and just overall healthiness in your life.

I have listed several exercises below that I find are really good ways to keep fit. All are easy movements that can be done with minimal equipment (except maybe for the one involving a rope) because all are body-weight exercises.


The squat is one of the exercises I do every day in warming up for basketball. I do it to warm up my knee muscles but it is also good for core strength, flexibility, and balance. You know how you see babies squatting down on their heels? It’s easy for them because they’re flexible but as you get older you can lose this skill and actually find it hard to squat all the way down without losing your balance. They are one of the most useful exercises you can do, and you’ll really appreciate being good at them when you are 80 years old and want to get up off the couch.

Start in a standing position

Squat down until the crease of your hips is level with or lower than the top of your knee. Keep back straight and chest up.

The push-up is not just good for your chest and shoulder muscles but also your torso and some of your leg muscles. A thing I like to do every-now-and-then is check how many I can do in a row without stopping. (My basketball coaches make us do these all the time :P)
Check how many you can do without stopping. J

Start with chest touching or almost touching the ground

Extend your arms until they’re locked out. Keep your back straight

This is a really good exercise that I guess could come in handy in a number of situations. Hold onto a bar, lower yourself until you’re dangling and then try and pull yourself up and get your chin over the bar. This can be quite challenging at first but with a bit of practice it’s not too hard to get five or more in a row. There is also another way you can do pull-ups which is called the Kipping Pull-up. Basically you swing your body and use the momentum to pull yourself upwards. It’s much quicker and less energy consuming this way but it takes a little while to learn to get your timing right.

Start from a hanging position

Pull your body upwards until your chin is over the bar

Rope Climb:
Another really good exercise is the rope climb and this too, I’m sure, could come in handy in emergencies. To climb a rope you need a mixture of both your legs and arms - probably more your legs than arms in fact, if you do it right.
We have plaited together a rope and hung it from a tree and all the kids in our family enjoy climbing (or swinging on) it.
Hannah and Stephen climbing the ropes    J

So there you have four body-weight exercises; all of them will help you get fitter. But the way I most enjoy keeping fit is by playing sport (namely basketball).

Sport is the most fun way of keeping fit, particularly if you are on team (like in basketball). And just practicing whatever sport you play (unless it’s bowling) will really help. Maybe learn to run longer distances, or short distances faster? Maybe you should try out basketball if you’ve never played it before!

Me shooting a jump-shot  J

Also I would like to learn what types of exercises and sports other people do. Thanks for reading this and I hope you have fun keeping fit.

When you’re thinking about exercise though, just remember this too:
“for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).


About the author // Matthew:

I'm 15 years old and the oldest child in a family of 8 kids. I live near Christchurch, New Zealand, and I love being a Christian in the Catholic Church. I enjoy basketball, writing, reading, and a variety of other sports. I am writing a book at the moment. I play basketball for a club called Gators and I really love the game. I am also a homeschooler, and I enjoy being able to spend the whole day with my family.


  1. Helpful post. Good work, Matthew!
    Nice photos. (Except maybe decrease the lighting on the last one as it is rather harsh/bright.)


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