Never has there been a time when so many women were sporting exercise clothes as their daily wear, without ever actually exercising in them. Yoga pants, sweats, spandex…they’ve replaced the old staples of casual wear in many wardrobes.
And yet, who has time to actually sweat?
Exercise takes time. It takes motivation, determination and decision. It requires something of us; something we often either don’t want to give or that we think we don’t have time for. But the truth is, exercise also gives back.
You put a little in and then it pays in dividends.
You see, we were designed by an endlessly brilliant Creator, to heal ourselves. When we study the laws of natural health, and then implement them, we find we have much less need of physicians and medicines. Because cooperating with His perfect design will give us health that is increasingly uncommon in this imperfect world.
Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand with spiritual wellness. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of fitness from a health perspective.
Exercise is an invaluable tool in the pursuit of wellness. Physical activity creates greater resistance capabilities with regard to disease. With chronic disease, such as diabetes, obesity and heart troubles, the ability to produce energy on a cellular level is compromised. This has been termed mitochondrial deficiency.
And while that sounds scary (as it should!) it is reversible. Regular exercise…even on a moderate, low-impact scale…slows the heart rate while also improving cholesterol levels and keeping arteries healthy and elastic. But there’s more! It increases the number of white blood cells which in turn aid the immune system in the fight against disease.
But before you panic because you’re overweight or out-of-shape or old or experiencing pain in your joints or creaks in your bones, let me assure you starting slow is just fine. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t try to) jump into training for a marathon. If your lifestyle has been more sedentary, then just re-learning to create intentional movement is an excellent first step.
Walk to your mailbox and back if you usually stop for the mail with your car. Get a fitness tracker, such as a Garmin or Fitbit, if your budget will allow (if you look, you can find some pretty that are pretty inexpensive) and start setting mini goals for yourself. Perhaps begin with 2000 steps a day and gradually increase it until you’re consistently hitting 10,000-12,500. It’s easier than you think, I promise!
Once you’ve built up a little endurance and walking isn’t such a chore, add in some resistance work. Muscle not only burns fat, but it takes up less space than fat and it prevents premature aging of the body. It isn’t necessary to do heavy lifting to get good resistance training in. Light weights, or even just your body weight, is very effective at building and preserving muscle mass.
Aim for 30 minutes of intentional movement a day. An hour is even better, but for some people it’ll will be a process to get to that point. And again, this doesn’t have to be an hour of sweating it out in the gym, although if that’s your jam, go for it.
I’ll share with you what I’m currently doing in a week, just for reference. However it’s important to remember that we’re all different and we’re all in various stages of our fitness journey. I’m not in the league of crossfitters or marathon runners, and honestly, I’m not interested in getting there. It’s perfectly fine for each of our fitness routines to look completely different since we have unique preferences and styles. The best exercise is whatever you’ll do consistently. And really, that will likely change from time to time.
- Walk 4-5 miles, roughly 3 times a week. This takes just over an hour and I take various members of my family (including the furry ones) with me.
- Do an endurance run once a week. I run for roughly 30 minutes or a 5K distance.
- 30 minute workout focusing on lower body (leg day)
- 30 minute workout focusing on roots and trunk (core day)
- 30 minute workout focusing on upper body (arms/shoulders day)
- Gentle stretching most days for a few minutes
So a typical week looks like this:
- Monday: Arms/Shoulder Day, gentle stretching
- Tuesday: Endurance Run, gentle stretching
- Wednesday: Leg Day, gentle stretching
- Thursday: Walk 4-5 miles, gentle stretching
- Friday: Core Day, gentle stretching
- Saturday: Walk 4-5 miles, gentle stretching
- Sunday: Walk 4-5 miles, gentle stretching
Many days, I go for at least a short walk of a mile or two in order to get my steps in and because my kids ask me to. 🙂 But the above schedule is a general idea of what I’m presently doing. It doesn’t happen like that all the time, but it gives me a framework to use as a guide when life gets busy. And let’s be honest, with kids in the home, when isn’t life busy?
I use three apps regularly right now. I have the IOS versions but I think they also have them for Android. Here they are:
And one I’ve used in the past that was an awesome bridge back over to incorporating some running into my walks was:
They also have one called Walking for Weight Loss, but I haven’t used it.
Tap into the incredible healing wonders of the body by simply utilizing the restorative power endowed to us by the God who designed us to be living and active. With a healthier body comes a clearer mind. And a clearer mind helps one more easily discern the voice of the Holy Spirit as He whispers to us throughout our busy days.
It does take time and it’s a process to establish a new habit. But you are worth it. I know, because He says so.
Be sure to check out these other related posts:
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