Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV)
God created you as a whole person and so you need to take care of your whole self, not just the individual parts. There is a direct relationship between physical and spiritual health.
A healthy body will give you the energy and enthusiasm to carry out the purposes that God has for your life. Practicing healthy living is a way to glorify God. God created your body to be built for action therefore activity is needed to keep you fit. His law in nature is to exercise, eat right, and serve God. You need to take care of yourself and obey the law of nature.
There are two types of exercise: cardiovascular and strength training.
Cardiovascular activity (aerobic exercise) helps you to increase energy and keep moving. It is good for your heart, lungs and circulatory system. Regular cardiovascular exercise helps you burn calories faster, even when you are sitting still. It does this by raising your metabolism (the rate you burn calories) up to 15 hours after exercising.
Strength training (weight lifting) helps keep your muscles strong, reduces bone loss and improves balance and posture. It is not only for men or for younger people. Women of any age can also benefit, particularly those most likely to suffer from osteoporosis. Strength training helps you to better deal with everyday tasks.
Discover the many benefits to exercise including feelings of accomplishment and well being, increased energy, reduced stress and improved sleep patterns. You need to include both cardiovascular activity as well as strength training into your exercise program.
12 exercise strategies that work!
1. Take it slow and steady
Remember that fitness is not a “quick fix.” This is a lifestyle change and you may experience setbacks and plateaus.
2. Schedule exercise in
Take an honest look at how you spend your days. Schedule exercise in your daily planner just as you would with a business meeting or a doctor's appointment.
3. Track your progress
Keep a chart of your progress and small improvements will become noticeable.
4. Follow the 10-minute rule
Decide to do only 10 minutes of exercise and then you can stop if you want. Generally, once you have started exercising you will not want to stop.
5. Team up with a friend
A partner can make workouts more fun and push you to try harder. You will be more likely to stick to your plan if you have a partner. Join a walking club, a sports team or an aerobics class.
6. Do something else at the same time
You can read or listen to books on tape while riding a stationary bike. You can also watch TV, listen to music, talk to God or think about a Scripture reading.
7. Create space
Create an area to call your own and make exercise so accessible that you have no excuse. Buy some low-priced equipment: an exercise bike, a resistance band, a set of dumbells, a stretching mat, a jump rope and an exercise video.
8. Look the part
Put on workout clothes – do not just change into running shoes. If you look the part, you will feel the part.
9. Time it right
Remember, if you do not have the time for a full workout each day, break down your workouts into three or four smaller chunks of 10 minutes each.
10. Vary your routine
You may be less likely to get bored or injured if you change your routine. Walk one day and bicycle the next.
11. Have fun
Take the “work” out of workouts. Try something new and experiment until you find one that you like doing. The best fitness plan is one that you can easily include in your busy schedule and not just another thing to add to your “to-do” list.
12. Celebrate goals reached
Every time you reach a goal, celebrate. Reward ideas may include making a long-distance phone call, treating yourself to a bubble bath, getting a pedicure, buying an extravagant bouquet, or subscribing to a magazine.
Learn to include simple activities into your daily routine. Park your vehicle over a block away from work. Once at work, favour the stairs over the elevator. Pull out your bicycle and ride to pick up your mail. Roller-blade around the neighbourhood with the family dog. Hike through the fields and pick wild flowers to make floral arrangements for gifts.
If your schedule is full of everyone else’s extra-curricular activities, incorporate personal fitness during these times. For example, kick the ball around the field at your child’s soccer tournament. Or toss a ball on the sidelines at your spouse’s baseball game. You may want to help out a worthy cause by joining a walk-a-thon. A mother-daughter walk is an example of one way to combine fitness with family bonding.
You need to set aside time everyday to exercise, to pray and to bask in God’s love. Having a consistent time will help establish a routine. This may mean rising a little earlier in the morning while the rest of the family sleeps. Or it may mean closing your office door and turning off the phones at lunch. It could mean taking time between when the children return from school and dinner. Or it may mean spending time in the evening instead of watching television. It does not matter when, as long as you find a time to do it consistently.
Walking is one of the most flexible and relaxing activities. You do not need any special equipment or skills – just a good pair of shoes and sensible clothing. You can do it anywhere and anytime with a friend or by yourself. Walking offers less risk of injury, with many of the benefits of more strenuous activities.
Before you begin, it is important to check your physical condition. You should receive your doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise program.
May God bless your journey towards improved spiritual and physical health.
(Excerpt taken from “Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual & physical health” by Kimberley J. Payne)