I enjoy exercising to Michelle Spadafora’s Faithful Workouts. Several times a week I get up early so I can start my day with one of her videos. They’re not long (25 minutes) and most people, regardless of your physical level, can do the exercises. She mixes up cardio and strength training for an overall, total body workout. I especially like her core exercises that focus on strengthening the abdominal, back and hip muscles.
Michelle also points out that even if you’re exercising reluctantly, think of it as a praise and worship activity and thank God for being healthy enough to exercise. She encourages viewers to think of others who have physical limitations preventing them from exercising, or even simply walking. When you think of that person, compare your current physical health to theirs. Be thankful that God has blessed you enough that you have physical strength to exercise. Thank Him even if you’re only able to sit on the couch and do leg lifts and bicep curls.
Simply put, we need to change our thinking about exercise from an attitude of moaning and groaning, “Do I really gotta?” Have an attitude of “Thank you, God; You have blessed me enough that I get to exercise!”
Maybe you’re at the point now where you’re in pretty good shape. You don’t think about exercise that much because you don’t feel you need to. If you’re in this category, you need to reconsider your attitude toward exercise and view it as preventative maintenance. If you have ever heard the phrase “use it or lose it,” it applies especially to your body when it comes to fitness.
Exercise is a way to get your body strong and keep it that way. If and when you are faced with medical issues, the severity and recovery time will probably be less than someone who has not stayed in shape. It will also help to give you a better quality of life as you age. Who doesn’t want to be able to keep up with their children and grandchildren? You don’t want to become easily winded, tired or unable to go on a nature hike with them.
The miracle of everyday health is just as great as any miracle we’ve read about in the Bible. Consider the parting of the Red Sea, making a way for the Israelites to cross. Remember the twelve hours of mid-day sun so Joshua could battle the Amorites. Consider the iron axe head miraculously floating in water. The difference is these things only happened rarely, but we have the benefits of a healthy, functioning body every day. Even in elementary school we learned what an incredible miracle our bodies are. Because of this, we should be motivated to consistently exercise because we “get to” take care of and keep in shape the miracle that is our body.
Nutritious eating is only part of being physically healthy. If you still have not committed to an exercise schedule, make one today. Remember to start off simply, choose forms of exercise that you like and make it a routine part of your day. If you are exercising regularly, increase the amount of your workout time by just a few minutes. Up the intensity just a bit to get more out of your workout.
I don’t want to give you the impression that I don’t have these struggles just like you do. My writing is based on my own experiences with struggles, successes and failures. I am vulnerable to the very same issues. I have days, sometimes a couple of weeks, where I look for justification to get out of exercising that day. I make up all sorts of excuses to binge on something I’m craving. I have learned that the first step down a negative path starts as a thought. If I stop it immediately and ask God for a right spirit and attitude toward exercise and food, and really give Him the control of those thoughts, I’ll make the healthy choice.
Most of the time I succeed, sometimes I don’t. Lately the devil has been using a lot of circumstances (working 10 – 12 hour days, my little bit of free time is crammed full of other obligations, house cleaning, yard work, no down time at all) to chip away at my resolve to live a Godly, healthy lifestyle. He’s tried to wear me down and wear me out so I’ll feel justified in running through the drive through for some fast food or not sticking to my exercise schedule.
The only way I have been able to stay on course is to one, stop those thoughts before they take root and give them to God. Two, change my thinking and attitude. Three, remember how good I feel after exercise and eating right, and how pleased God is with my obedience. I’ll regret eating junk or not exercising; I’ll never regret pushing to make the right choice!
Make it a goal to change your thinking about exercise. The next time you begin to groan and complain because you “gotta” exercise, don’t take your health for granted, praise God for what He has given you and that you “get to” exercise!