If you are like most people, you probably made some resolutions this year regarding your health. So, how is your fitness regimen coming along?
To make sure we’re on the same page, let me define fitness and regimen. The The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary defines fitness as the state or condition of being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition. Regimen is defined as a regulated system, as of diet, therapy, or exercise, intended to promote health or achieve another beneficial effect. For the purposes of this article we’ll focus on getting into a regular exercise routine.
It’s March now, three (3) months into the New Year and you’re in one of these categories concerning your current fitness regimen:
- You made a New Year’s resolution to start working out . . . oh, it’s March already? You never started.
- You keep starting and stopping. You’re having a tough time figuring out what will work for you.
- You started working out, but your enthusiasm is beginning to wane; or, you’ve been so busy with work, home and family that you’re slowly finding reasons why you can’t exercise.
- You’ve been working out, you’re seeing results and you’re feeling pretty darn good about life.
- Exercise is and has been a crucial part of your life; it’s one of the things that helps keep you centered and energized.
Now, these categories may seem oversimplified, but the fact is I’m sure you can identify with one of these scenarios. Hopefully this article with inspire you to get on track, get back on track, or help solidify what you already know you’re receiving from your fitness regimen.
Let’s keep it simple. Here are four strategies I believe will help you to start and maintain your fitness regimen.
1. Many people want to know what kind of exercise works . . .WHAT WILL WORK IS WHAT YOU WILL DO. Simply speaking . . . FIND SOMETHING THAT YOU’LL ACTUALLY DO. You may not enjoy traditional exercises, but do you like to dance, roller skate, or ski? Was there anything you enjoyed doing as a kid, such as jumping rope, bicycling, or swimming? Do you enjoy exercising with others? If so, try basketball, soccer, softball or volleyball. The key is to find something you enjoy so you’ll keep doing it.
2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE AND SURROUNDINGS. Look for opportunities in your daily routine to add exercise. I know that many of you may not have the time or finances to join a gym. If this is the case for you then try incorporating basic movements into your daily activities. Using some of the exercises we’ve told you about on our site. Try doing squats while you brush your teeth, do sit-ups while watching TV, walk up and down your driveway or walk around your apartment complex, walk up and down your stairs at home for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night, etc.
3. A THING DECLARED SHALL BE ESTABLISHED. I know you’ve heard this before, but you have to talk to yourself. Declare what you are going to do so that you can become a healthier you. Find scriptures or sayings that help motivate you. Place them on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, in your car, or on your computer at work. Tape record yourself or find recordings from some of your favorite ministers or speakers and play them while you drive or exercise. Some of my favorite scriptures and sayings when I’m exercising or when I need to motivate myself are:
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 – NKJV)
- For every mountain you (Lord) brought me over, for every trial you’ve seen me through, for every blessing, hallelujah, for this I give you praise (a line from For Every Mountain, sung by Kurt Carr) – this is especially effective for me when I am doing outside hill work. It helps me focus on not only getting up the hill, but it reminds me of all of the wonderful things God has done for me and what He has brought me through.
- ·I will not grow weary while doing good, for in due season I will reap, if I do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9 – NKJV)
- Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:14 – NKJV)
4. Determine and make up your mind that there are some pretty good reasons why you should be exercising. God created us to be mobile, active beings. We were created to walk. The word walk is used over 390 times in the King James Version of the bible. You may be saying, “The Lord wasn’t referring to exercise.” To walk refers to the physical ability to take steps or how we conduct ourselves. I tell you that just as we have to walk (move) with Christ daily, our physical bodies require exercise to function in an optimum state. Do you see the correlation? Nothing is stagnant in God.
Stagnancy (Showing little or no sign of activity or advancement; not developing or progressing; inactive-The American Heritage Dictionary of English Language) causes things (our relationships, bodies, careers, spirit) to become stale and foul. We have to move.
In Him we live, move and have our being [Acts 17:28 KJV] …three dimensions in God. He takes us from existing (living), to acting out our faith (moving) to fully becoming who we are in Christ (being). Your body thrives on activity. So, SET YOUR MIND that you are going to move and work to become a healthier person. There’s so much that God has for you to do. Don’t let inactivity hinder your ability to do what God has called you to do.
If the above strategies didn’t do it for you, here’s a list of additional benefits you receive from exercising (besides strengthening your heart muscles, increasing your endurance and helping you lose weight and inches):
- Lifts your spirit and gives a general sense of well being
- Reduces tension and enables you to handle stress more effectively
- Helps relieve constipation
- Eases menstrual cramps
- Helps relieve arthritis pain
- Gives you strength
- Reshapes your body
- Improves your sleep
- Slows down premature aging
- Promotes healthier looking skin
Ask the Lord to show you what you can do to help achieve your fitness goals. God is concerned about everything that relates to you. Isaiah 2:3 (NIV) says, “He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” You are a spirit living in a body. I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV) says, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Remember, whether you’re 25 or 65, it’s never too late to get back in shape. Happy exercising!