The Freshman 20. Unfortunately, I was too familiar with that weight gain phrase. I numbly watched the scale inch upward as my waistband stretched outward. I knew the verse,
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
As I nodded in agreement to the truth in this verse, I would stuff another cookie in my mouth as I sat on the couch like a lump. It was as if I was silently telling the Lord, “I know all about that 1 Corinthians 6:19 verse. I don’t do _____________, so don’t mess with my food or lounging around choices.”
When I graduated college, I had a choice to make: I could continue the upward climb on the scales, or I could get off the couch and do something about it. Now, years later, I’m so glad I chose the discipline of exercising.
With our busy lives, why should we make exercise a priority?
1. Exercise Keeps Us “Young” - Dr. Daniel Amen declares "exercise is the fountain of youth in so many ways.” in his book Use Your Brain to Change Your Age.
- It boosts blood flow to the brain;
- it increases chemicals that are important for learning and memory and
- it stimulates the growth of new brain cells. 1
2. Exercise Elevates our Mood - The Mayo Clinic has found that when we exercise “feel good” chemicals are released into the brain creating
- a sense of calm and
- a sense of joy. 2
3. Boosts our energy - While we might think exercising will tire us out, it has the opposite effect helping us
- get stronger by building muscle strength.
- be able to do things for a longer amount of time by increasing our endurance. 2
4. Kingdom business ready - The three previous reasons combine for the most important reason: energy and strength to do what God has called you to do!
I love the charge found in Romans 12:1:
And so, dear brothers and sisters,
I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you.
Let them be a living and holy sacrifice— the kind He will find acceptable.
This is truly the way to worship Him.
With our busy lives, how do we make exercise a priority?
1. Schedule - find a time that works for you and write it down on your calendar each week until it becomes a habit. Depending on my stage of life, I’ve worked out in the early morning, after work, or in the evening. The clincher is to schedule it and be consistent.
2. Location -. There are oodles of resources from multi-priced health clubs to low cost workout groups to free at home workouts. The key is to find a place where you’re comfortable and will be consistent. I’ve tried them all and found what works best for me in each season of life.
3. Preference - Some like weights, some like machines, while some like aerobics, or a walking track. There are so many fabulous exercise choices out there that we are without excuse. Find what type of exercise you like to do and do it!
4. Anytime, anywhere - I’ve developed an anytime, anywhere mentality. Whether I’m brushing my teeth, or pumping gas or microwaving my water, if I find myself standing still (and alone ;-)), I work some part of my body. Whether it is leg lifts or arm pumps or glut squeezes, there’s always something I can do to strengthen my body during the day.
With my busy life, here is how I make sure exercise is a priority:
During this season of life, working out in my home is best. So, when my alarm clock goes off on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I force my lazy bones out of bed and exercise. Sometimes I’ll rotate thru my Leslie Sansone walking videos, while other days I may pull up a YouTube walking workout. I’m always glad I did it when I’m done.
The Freshman 20 are history. All these years later, I feel stronger and have more energy than I did in my college years in large part because I choose to regularly workout. Motivation?
- I want my man to still look at me and say, “Ooo, la, la!”
- I want to be able to laugh and play with my kiddos.
- I want to meet sweet Jesus girls at the walking track to talk about the deep issues of the heart.
- I want to glorify the Lord by taking good care of the body He gave me to serve Him and others.
Therefore, by faith, I will do my best to maintain and keep my body healthy until I see my Jesus face to face.
“For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
How about you? What seems to hold you back from exercising? What exercises do you love? What tips help you make exercise a priority?
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, lively laughter, deep talks and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.