I’ve been jogging and exercising regularly since 1983 and I can personally attest to its benefits. The enormous physical benefits affect the cardio-vascular system, the digestive system, the skeletal system, the immune system, as well as the psychological and emotional dimensions of life. The benefits so far exceed the personal discipline that has been necessary to keep this habit going all these years.
As wonderful as exercise is, it is not nearly as beneficial as spiritual exercise. Notice 1Timothy 4:8 (Amplified): For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.
Years ago I began a journey of discipling myself to spend time daily in the word and in prayer. As much as I’ve benefited from the physical exercise, it doesn’t hold a candle to the benefits I’ve gained from tithing my time to the Father each day in time spent with Him alone. It’s affected every area of my life, and has made me what I am today.
Spending daily time in the word and in prayer keeps the flesh under, magnified spiritual values, helps you keep the proper perspective in tests, elevates the fruit of the spirit to the forefront of personality, keeps you attuned to the heartbeat of God for your life, warns you of impending danger and prepares for storms that may be ahead, minimizes stress, keeps faith and hope burning brightly, enables the love of God, manifests the peace of God, and keeps the world, the flesh, and the devil at bay.
And the godliness produced by spending time in the word and prayer has benefits not only in this life, but will bring eternal rewards. The spiritual exercise of godliness makes deposits for you in the eternal realm where you are going to spend the majority of your time. As much as I benefit physically from jogging, it doesn’t hold water to what happens when I daily spend time with the Father.
I’d encourage you to practice both physical exercise and godliness. That way, you gain the maximum benefit in this life and the next!