There was a time when I spent literal hours at the gym working out. My evenings consisted of teaching fitness yoga or spinning, and a part of me loved to sweat. Driving home drenched meant that I accomplished something -- I worked my heiney off.
Eventually, my love for working out waned as daily responsibilities piled up and my energy level plummeted. Someone who once whipped a cycling class in shape with an extra measure of pep now found herself dreading the idea of an elevated heart rate. I could list all of the obvious downfalls to my lack of exercise in great detail -- among them, the fact that my clothes no longer fit. But there were other things, too. During the months spent in lack of exercise I felt lethargic and constantly craved a nap. I couldn't concentrate at work. My complexion was a mess, my anxiety levels increased and I suffered pain in my back due to weak muscles. By letting the responsibilities of life take over my daily calendar, I neglected my responsibility of caring for my health.
Women often put the needs of others before our own. We also often get caught up in things like logging hours at work as we neglect the benefits of getting in shape. This verse in Colossians gives me permission to make time for myself in areas like exercise:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..." (Colossians 3:23)
In order to work with all of my heart in my everyday tasks, I must work out with all my heart physically. Exercise is a tool to keep my body in tune so I can take on life's responsibilities 100%.
Before you start freaking out thinking your full to-do list won't allow extra time for such a thing, let me share my secret to how I've made my healthy turnaround:
~Carve out a manageable amount of time for exercise: For me this is 20 minutes, four days a week. But it also means that I have to seriously sweat if I'm only working out for 20 minutes! Figure out what amount of time reasonably fits into your schedule. Consistency is key in fitness success.
~Change it up: Sticking with the same old routine causes boredom and exercise drop-out. I like to change it up by playing cardio-heavy Wii games and trying new machines at the gym.
~Be realistic: Keep yourself motivated by simply giving yourself a break. If you miss a day of exercise, try not to obsess over the missed opportunity to burn calories. Instead, get back out there and sweat after a good day's rest.
I'm still on the journey back to fitness and I won't act like it has been easy. In the past several months I've learned that I love the perk of feeling energetic and focused as I do life to the best of my ability for the LORD. Oh, and the good night's sleep after a kickin' workout doesn't hurt either!
How about you? Have you found tricks toward fitness? Let's chat this week and encourage each other in giving ourselves permission to make time to care for our body, to care for our health, and to work to our fullest for the LORD.
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Sarah has a weird obsession of buying workout DVDs. Many of them collect dust on her shelf while a few are tried and true favorites. Check out her website for a list of Sarah's favorites: www.liveitoutblog.com
© 2011 by Sarah Martin. All rights reserved.
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