Physical exercise is the cornerstone of good and lasting health. Study after study has proven that healthy eating habits and regular exercise are the keys to living longer and with more vitality. They are the only true fountain of youth.
TYPE: Choose an activity you think you might enjoy. Anything goes! Get physically adventuresome and try different ways to move your body. Dance in your living room. Go outside and walk, run, bike or hike. Kick box, punch, swim or cross-train. Do you need to go somewhere to participate in the activity, and if so, are you willing to sacrifice that time for the payoff of living well?
Remember, in the end, it’s not about the exercise. Moving your body is a spiritual discipline—a space for the whole you to connect with the One who insists on moving you toward wholeness and transforming you into more Christ-likeness.
FREQUENCY: Start with the goal of exercising at least three times this week. If you are just getting moving, don’t overdo it! Be kind to yourself as you set and work toward the goal of getting your heart rate up at least three times this week.
If you are already physically active and feel ready for more, go ahead and add a day at a time, a week at a time, working yourself up to six days a week. Always take a day of rest during the week. Your body needs it, and God really likes it. If resting makes you anxious, I bet God would love to talk to you about that—and not while you are moving your body. Sometimes resting is one of the most difficult things we can do. Do it anyway!
INTENSITY: This is key! Make your exercise matter. If it’s been a while since you deliberately moved your body, establish a steady baseline level of cardiovascular exercise. Go for a 30-minute walk at a steady, heart-pumping, but not too strenuous pace. God will give you the grace, I promise! Just ask Him to walk with you. He’s been waiting to do so.
After two weeks or so of establishing a baseline fitness level, you will be ready to start turning up the intensity. On one of your workout days, you might begin incorporating intervals into your 30 minutes of movement. Intervals are set periods of time when you increase your level of exertion beyond what is comfortable before returning to a more relaxed pace. An interval can last as little as 10 seconds and as long as three minutes, with a recovery time equal to or greater than the length of the interval work.
With an increased workout effort, be sure to let the Spirit lead you. Have fun as you willingly go into the deeper and harder places the Holy Spirit often uses to release us from the things that hinder and hold us back.
Lastly, be real.
You have to show up, do the work and be completely you. Our good God sees it all, and He is not offended by our messes. Achieving wholeness is possible only when we bring all of our insecurities and mistakes to the table. And we cannot heal what we are not willing to reveal, so please do yourself a favor and just
be real. You are safe in His presence.
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