My desire to support those with weight-loss, nutrition and other health issues developed from my own struggles with sugar addiction, emotional eating, and wicked self talk (yes, I said wicked and we’ll get to that on a later post).
One of the greatest struggles for me on this health journey is exercise. Amazing how close that word is to exorcist, hee hee. I know I NEED to workout. I know how important building muscle is to strengthening my heart, to protect and strengthen my bones, to burn fat…so many things! But you see, I am inherently lazy and exercise is just SO MUCH WORK! However, with a little determination and a lot of grace, I’ve managed to stay committed. So if I can, I know YOU can!
There is no need to join a gym, if that’s not your thing or not in the budget. There are plenty of activities we can do right from home.
I wanted to share some ideas that have helped me and might encourage you to commit to an exercise program FOR LIFE!
Set Short Term Goals
- You can never reach what you don’t aim for!
- A short term goal could be, “I’m going to walk 15 minutes of my lunch hour, Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, and do 10 pushups every night”, or, “I’m going to ride my bike for 30 minutes Tuesday and Thursday after dinner”.
- Make your goal specific. If you say “3 days this week”, it allows you to keep pushing the days back until you run out. (Oh how we have to outsmart ourselves, wink)
- When you reach that goal, make sure you set another one.
- Write your goals down and post them where you and others who can keep you accountable can see them.Set Long Term Goals
- A long term goal could be,”By the end of this month, I will be able to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes”. Or,”In 8 weeks I’m going to run this 5K fun run”, AND THEN ACTUALLY SIGN UP FOR THAT RUN!! Invite friends to do it with you. Please read my friend Leah’s story about training for a 5K. (click here)
- Again remember to reset and write down your new goals!
Have the Proper Equipment
- Make sure to have good shoes, proper clothing (especially if you are in extreme temperatures), a good water bottle, a bike helmet, a set of light hand weights to walk with or use with DVDs, a new bike, just kidding, but that WOULD be cool!
Get an Accountability Partner
- There has been so many times I would have opted out of my morning walk if I didn’t know my partner was waiting for me. Preferably try for a friend or neighbor, some of us might balk at having our spouse rebuke us. (big grin)
- Exercise is work, but it really can be fun and just think of the work it’s getting us out of! From Biblical times until as recent as the beginning of the twentieth century one didn’t need to exercise because they walked everywhere, scrubbed clothes, ground their wheat, plowed their fields, and of course much more. Today, most everyday duties that require strength and endurance, we now have modern appliances that do that work for us. I AM grateful for that, and would take a 30 minute workout over scrubbing on a washboard any day.
- Jesus walked and that is my exercise preference, but do whatever works for you. If you enjoy bike riding, kayaking, hiking, swimming…do it!
- Great music, new workout clothes, fun friends, dance class, community runs…try to add things on a regular basis to keep you motivated.
- Apps – If you have a smart phone, there are an abundance of free and/or inexpensive apps that are great for motivating us and helping to keep track of our goals. A couple I like are:
Ease into 5K– This app helps you build up to a 3.1 mile run. It gives you prompts when to walk and run and slowly builds the distance and endurance you need. It incorporates your own music as well. Very handy!
Nike+ Running– This app allows you set goals and gives you mile marker prompts and cheers along the way. It tells you the time of each mile as you go so you can adjust your pace accordingly and improve daily.
It’s always helpful to have a backup workout planned if you normally workout outdoors or if your partner can’t make it. I love Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred. It doesn’t take a lot of space to execute, and is a TOTAL body (cardio, strength and ab) workout in 20 minutes! If you purchase the DVD it has 3 levels of workouts and is under $10. The level one workout is also on YouTube here which allows one to use a computer or iPad in a hotel, resort or anywhere it wouldn’t be convenient to pop in a DVD.
Music is a VERY helpful tool while exercising. Being able to use the time as a praise/worship time is uplifting and beneficial. I found this Christian Workout CD and love it! There are several available for download through iTunes.
To make using apps and music effortless, I bought this arm band to hold my iPhone. It was under $3 and I can still operate all the functions of my phone while it’s on.
The time of day you exercise is not critical as long as you DO exercise. I have to exercise first thing in the morning, before I’m actually awake really, because I will have a million excuses why I CAN’T exercise if I wait.
Friends, YOU MUST schedule your workout time. It will not just happen. Very rarely do we have a spare 30 minutes in our day when we will say, “Oh I have nothing to do, I think I’ll exercise.”
These rebukes are helpful for many aspects of our health journey. We can apply them to exercise, meal planning and our time spent in God’s word. I know I’m usually the encouraging one, and rebukes aren’t my style. But goodness sake, sometimes we just gotta hear it!
Proverbs 6:9~ How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
Proverbs 13:4~ A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
Proverbs 22:13~ A sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!” (Ha! I think I’ve actually used this one about the dogs in our neighborhood)
Happy muscle building (your heart and all the others)!!
So Abundant Life Can Be Yours,