“God, help me. Help me regain my strength so I can be the wife and mother I need to be…the wife my husband deserves…the mother my children need.”
Two years and four months ago I gained a new perspective on exercise. Nearly four months after losing our son, I sat in my backyard crying out to God for the will and the wisdom to regain my emotional, spiritual and physical health. In response, He led me to a two part plan: memorize and meditate upon Scripture and run again.
I had been a runner but had stopped. The diagnosis and all that entailed in dealing with our son’s suffering and death took its toll on me – not only emotionally and spiritually but physically, as well. I had no appetite. I walked stooped over as if protecting my heart from more pain. I felt fragile, weak and drained.
When I began to memorize scripture, my spirit grew stronger. As I ran, my body and emotions responded like a dry plant to water and sunshine. God had shown me one of His greatest gifts – the ability to move.
Movement of the spirit, soul and body takes a person from death to life.
Previously, running was primarily my way to maintain my weight and accomplish a personal goal. Now it’s much more than that. I find joy and communion with God when I run. When I run I often pray and meditate on Scripture. Running has helped me manage stress and even occasional bouts of depression. Since adding strength training to my exercise plan, I have a new confidence in the capabilities of my body. I see the difference in my body but even better I feel the difference.
My hope with action step #3 of “Water the Camels” is that if you are not already exercising, you will begin. Or if you are inconsistent in working out, you will formulate a plan that fits you.
I realize that because I work from home (writing and preparing to speak and teach), I have more flexibility than some when it comes to scheduling my work outs. Each of us has to work within our own lifestyle choices and responsibilities. However, when you make exercise a priority you can find ways to incorporate it into your weekly routine in a way that will work for you. It may be a challenge but if you rise to that challenge, you will find your energy level and confidence rises, too.
A sedentary lifestyle
A consistent exercise plan
It may seem counter intuitive to exercise when your energy is low and you are tired, however, you can boost your energy even with moderate exercise. From my research, at least twenty minutes of exercise 4 – 5 days a week is the minimum routine that provides some positive results. However, if you are serious about seeing results that truly make a difference in your daily outlook and energy level, make a greater commitment to work out most days a week for a minimum of thirty minutes. Mix up your routine with some cardio and strength or resistance exercise as well. Happy “moving”!
Good: Exercise for 20 minutes 4 days a week.
Better: Work out more often – most days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Best: Combine cardio exercise with a strength training plan.
My exercise plan includes working out five to six days a week. I include cardio and strength training. Here is my typical week of work out sessions:
Monday – 3 to 4 mile run
Tuesday – one hour of strength training in a group class at the Y
Wednesday – meet up with a friend to run/walk/talk (3 – 4 miles)
Thursday – one hour of strength training (working every major muscle group)
Friday – 3 to 4 mile run
Saturday – 4 to 5 mile run or longer
Sunday – rest day!
To change things up a bit, sometimes I take a one hour spin class in addition to my regular work-out schedule.
Refresh Your Spirit.
“I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.” (Isaiah 58:11 MSG)
Perhaps you are in a dry season of your life. As you walk, bike, run or whatever you choose to do to move your body, consider meditating on Scripture as you press toward your goal. God’s promise is that He will lead you to a full LIFE and He never breaks a promise.
© 2012 Melanie Dorsey
Share your exercise plan and the benefits you have gained from remaining consistent. Do you workout even when you are tired? Do you feel more energized afterward? What is your greatest barrier to a consistent week of working out?
You can get my blog posts in your email. Simply click on “Home” below my blog header. In the upper right corner is the “subscribe” box.