To stay healthy and fit, many people go to the gym. Also to lose weight. I don't want to talk about the benefits of losing weight and staying fit. Nor about the nutrition involved. I am talking about whether you necessarily have to pay for the gym to stay fit and healthy.


When you get to the gym it smells like sweat and people are listening to music with earbuds to train themselves. One group is doing it to train muscles and another group is trying to burn as much fat as possible. I did go to a gym once to train my muscles, but my fast metabolism made me lose way too much weight.


Because I never actually do sports, I had to find another way to exercise. So I found a wonderful way in this that makes me and my body work and do good for society: Volunteering in church.

Church may seem dull and you sit there quietly for one hour and then you go again, but it is more than that. There are numerous activities in the church. Today, for example, there was a deacon ordination. For this ceremony, all kinds of things have to be arranged. Last night we climbed the 265 steps of the tower to hang out the flags. Since this is quite a job at such a great height you may be glad when you get home and hope you don't get sore muscles.


So today is the big day. In the early morning you set out for the feast. Then you arrive at the church and find that (as always) the flags have been blown wrong so you get to go up the 265 steps again to hang the flags correctly. Then again, you are lucky to be able to look at the city from a great height.

After the party there is also cleaning up to do. So this means placing the extra chairs all out of sight. Since you are already tired from all the walking and don't want to go back and forth 100 times, make sure you have a cart on which you can move the chairs. Moving the chairs by 20 at a time makes it go a lot faster. However, it does mean that you have to lift such a stack of chairs again. So you're going to be sweating nicely.

After that, when you start lifting the other heavy things, you'll be lucky if you can have a chat with anyone. So you are not in a closed world listening to your own music, but listening to someone else's story.

(Sweaty) smells

As I wrote, in the gym you have a foul smell of sweat. In the church after such a feast you have the smell of incense. I will explain to you how that smell spreads. While reading from the Bible and at other times, the censer is waved. This seems easy, but to make it smoke neatly and with precision takes a nice effort of the upper arm. If it's a long Bible text then your arm can start to sour. So you think: oops, that will be muscle pain again.


So if you prefer to work on your own body lonely in the smelly gym nice and selfish then that is an option. The choice I make is to go to church, volunteer, socialize and as a bonus work on my body.

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