Wednesday, December 9, 2009

how I exercise (2) restarted

Why do I exercise? Why does a Christian women try to exercise for half an hour every day?

The Bible says that "physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Tim 4:8). Now there's a verse which appeals to me. Love, service and obedience are far more important than exercise. Yes!

But the older I get, the clearer it becomes that when I don't exercise, it's these more important things that suffer. Lack of exercise hampers my joy, energy, and willingness to serve. I'm more tempted to irritability, laziness, and despondency. I'm no exercise-worshipper - far from it! - and I don't want to waste too much time and money on exercise. But when it's within my control, I want to keep my body suited to cheerfully serving God and my family.

So here it is: one busy woman's personal exercise program. Interrupted, restarted.

  • I aim for half an hour's exercise most days, after the morning school run while Andy watches Playschool (the key, I've found, is to discover a time that works well in my day)
  • when I can, I go for 30 minute's brisk walk (and have done so regularly for many, many years!). I let my thoughts drift, or pray and meditate on the Bible, or memorise a Bible passage, or listen to a talk on my iPod, or just enjoy God's world and allow it to catch up my thoughts to him.
  • twice a week I get out my weights and do this set of exercises from Strong women, strong bones:
    Chair stand
    Biceps curl
    Upward row
    Overhead press
    Side arm raise
    Back extension
    Abdominal curl
    Pelvic tilt
  • on the days when it's too wet for a walk, I get out Wii Fit and do some aerobic and balance training. (Shadow boxing and step are FUN! Jogging on the spot is not so fun, but good for the soul. Skiing down a virtual slalom course, and tipping virtual balls into holes with your feet, are definitely too much fun to be left to the kids.)*
  • I'm also discovering that when exercise does get interrupted by illness or busyness, the key is to start again as soon as I can: starting slowly (after the flu, walking was all I could manage), then building up gradually.
Okay, that's enough from me. I'm going to brush the cobwebs off my box of weights. Playschool's nearly over (oops!) and I have some exercising to do. Now.


Done. And I really do feel better for it.

*I love swimming laps too - such a meditative experience, all in watery blue, and it leaves you so deliciously all-overly relaxed! But my hair and timetable don't like me doing it often.

images are from toughkidcst and Frodrig at flickr

1 comment:

Rachael said...

Hi Jean, I had an injury earlier this year which has made it difficult to do much exercise this year. I have learnt how important it is for general health and well-being. Thanks for encouraging us.