Giving Up

What do I do when I feel like giving up on this fitness stuff?

Keep on keeping on! We all have days where we just don’t feel like doing our new desired behavior. During those times, we can feel like the old patterns were okay. Write down the pros and cons of your fitness goals. Documenting helps us achieve our goals. Keep this list someplace where you can see it regularly. Changing our lifestyle is not easy. Living a healthful lifestyle is worth the price of change.

When I need help pushing through a lifestyle change I remember this verse.

Matthew 7:13-14 NKJ “Enter by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Bad Knee

I have a knee issue and it is going to take awhile. I find myself “pity binging”. I know I need to just trust in God. I still end up with pity binges. I feel like throwing in the towel. What can I do?

Concentrate on what you can do and do it well. When you focus on the problem the problem expands. With a bad knee you can still work your upper body. After my knee surgery I did ball aerobics with the V-bells and that worked great for me. Isometric exercises are excellent if you have mobility issues. Whole body vibration training can be great for this condition. If you cannot exercise at all you most likely can still do laughing exercises or breathing exercises focusing on your core. You want to make sure you are doing at least one beneficial thing for your body each day. Focus on the positive and the positive will grow.

Nutrition is a key factor in our health. If you end up binging on foods that are high in calories, sugar, fat, sodium or artificial additives you will feel lousy. These types of foods are like poison to our bodies in the first place. Binging on them is like insanity. Most of us know this but our emotions take control and we do it anyway, thinking we will do better tomorrow. Focus on eating your required nutritional needs first each day. Tell yourself that you can eat the ice cream but not until you have properly feed your body. This takes discipline. The first three days are the hardest. Jesus descended into hell for three days. Use that thought to motivate you. Change starting this moment! All things are possible through Jesus Christ who strengthens you. You can focus on getting in 2-3 fruits, 5-7 vegetables and 3-4 lean protein sources before you eat anything else. Always chose foods that are natural and fresh. Feed your body remembering it is His temple.

To avoid the pity binge, focus on what you can do, do it and get good quality nutrition. Trust God.

Mathew 19; 26 “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Proverbs 23:6-8 “Do not eat the bread of a miser. Nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you. But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words.”

What Exercise is Best?

What type of exercise is the best kind?

The best type of exercise is the type you will do! Chose an exercise program you’ll enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle. A good fitness program includes strength, flexibility and endurance. We are all unique and one size does not fit all when it comes to fitness. Educate yourself on what strength, flexibility and endurance training entail. There are many exercises you can do, in each of these categories. Set up a program that is right for you. Fitness trainers are an excellent resource. During exercise, as in life attitude is everything. Educate yourself on which exercises that you can and will do. Decide to do it with a happy heart. These two scriptures help me seek knowledge and be happy in all things.

Proverbs 10:13 NKJ Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding. But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.

Philippians 4:11 NKJ “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in.”

Toning Exercises

I have a pretty good figure except for my butt and my stomach. Do you have some exercises that can shrink my gut and butt?

I do have exercises that can help tone your gut and butt. There is no such thing as spot reduction. This means you can not do exercises for those two places and think that will change your body type. If you carry weight in your stomach and your buttocks and no where else, then when you lose weight you should lose it there. You will lose the fat where you carry it. Combine a nutrition plan with an exercise plan. A good exercise plan includes cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, and flexibility. Spot training doesn’t work. Whole fitness training does. There are great exercises to tone one’s gluts (buttocks). I use squats, lunges, leg curls, and leg presses. For my abdominal area I combine crunches, leg lifts, planks and ball transfers. These tone my abs. You can tone specific areas, you can not spot reduce. Teach yourself to be knowledgeable in your fitness goals.

Proverbs 10:13 “Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.”

Strength Training

I want to strength train, but I can’t afford to join a gym. What can I do at home?

You can strength train in your home with no weights. Isometric exercises are great! Isometric exercises are contracting your muscles in a static pose. An example of this would be flexing your bicep, to show off your guns(like Popeye did for Olive Oil). Isometrics strengthen and tone your muscles. I use isometrics in my Grace class and participants love it! The nice thing about isometric exercise is that it is very easy on your joints. To get a full body workout using isometrics simply go through each major muscle group of your body tighten it up for 8-30 seconds, rest and repeat. Major muscle groups would be chest, back, abdominal, buttocks and legs. There are contraindicates for isometric exercises like high blood pressure. I recommend that you speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have any health risks. Strength training can be so much more then the gym. Isometrics is just one form of strength training. Strength training is important for your health.

Psalm 27: 14 NKJ
“Wait on the Lord:Be of good courage,and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Sedentary Job

I have a sedentary job. I know I need to exercise. I don’t have time. The time I do have at home, I devote to my husband and my children. How can I possibly fit exercise in?

Super Cool! Sounds like your priorities are on track… Keeping God, your husband and your children first is a basis for inner peace. Your health is also part of this equation. I think of Matthew 6:33 Seek Ye first the kingdom of God, and 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In order to take godly care of your husband and children you need to take care of your relationship with God and your physical body. When we are empty we have nothing to give.

A big dilemma today is how to fit it all in. I suggest time management. Plan your day. Schedule in prayer time and workout time. If your time is packed try to incorporate your family in this time. Family devotionals and family fitness produce happy families. Family fitness can be: playing soccer all together in the backyard, sledding, walking or doing a circuit training workout in your living room. Having the family involved in a fitness routine aids in motivation. This also helps the family stay on track nutritionally.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NKJ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to you children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

No Time to Exercise

I know I need to exercise. I really do not have time and I don’t have the money to buy new fitness equipment. What can I do that will benefit me?

Move more! Exercise is cumulative. If you do it five minutes at a time throughout the day, you still derive benefit. (Cardiovascular conditioning needs to be done continuously.) Most of us can squeeze five minutes in, on the hour. If you do it at work, you are likely to feel more energized and productive the other 55 minutes. Take a five minute break and walk around the office, your home or to the corner and back. You can also stretch or strength train during that time. Everything you do counts. You will derive benefit from these short bursts of exercise. You just have to do it!

Proverbs 10:4 “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the diligent makes rich.”

Is Exercise Necessary?

I really don’t like to exercise. Is it really necessary?

Absolutely! Our fitness level is important. It is a major indicator of our mortality. Most of us have heard the statement, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” It’s true! Muscle starts to atrophy (lose strength, deteriorate) within the first 48 hours of rest. Our muscular strength is necessary, not only to maintain our fitness level, but to support our skeletal system and internal organs. Increasing muscle (even just toning) increases your metabolism. This is especially important if you want to lose weight. Regular exercise is an important part of living a healthful, fit, well rounded life.

1 Timothy 4:8 NKJ “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Exercise at Work

I don’t feel right getting up from my desk on the hour. What else can I do to get exercise into my regular day?

You can easily add more exercise into your daily life by doing simple things. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car in the back of the parking lot (provided there is not a safety issue). Sit on a stability ball instead of a chair. March in place when you are standing in line. Practice core strengthening by pushing your back against the back of your chair. You can also work on your core through breathing, inhale through your nose, fill up your lungs. Exhale through your mouth and say “haaa,” at the same time pull your tummy in, and exhale the air out of your abdomen. Practice sitting and standing up straight, with your shoulders back and down. Pull your belly button in toward your spine, as you exhale. These are simple things, you can do, to help your fitness level. These things can easily be added into a busy schedule. Think of things you can fit in and do then.

1 Corinthians 3:14 “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.”

Busy Teacher

I am a teacher and getting back to work. I am easily able to exercise during the summer months but I can already feel time crunch getting in the way of my work out program. How do I fit a workout into my busy schedule?

First decide that eating nutritiously and getting regular exercise is a priority for you. It needs to be! People that have inactivity as part of their life style are more likely to suffer from depression and get adult onset diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type two diabetes and metabolic disease. If a person stays physically fit they are more likely to ward off those types of problems. If you are fit you will have a plethora of health benefits; sleep better, empowered attitude, weight control, less aches and pains and an increased life expectancy and quality of life. Make taking care of yourself a daily priority! Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19)

The American Heart Association recommends that each of us get a minimum of 20-30 minutes of cardio vascular exercise 3-5 times a week. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that we get an hour of physical activity in every day! Get moving even if you do not think you have time. I recommend that you take time before work, at lunch or immediately after work. Get a pedometer and make sure you are getting in 10,000 steps a day. Start with something you can fit into your life. If you have a sedentary job, take a five minute walk around the office on the hour and an additional 20 walk at lunch. This will get you an hour of exercise during your work day. Many people argue they cannot justify getting up from their desk and walking for 5 minutes on the hour. If you do get up and move on the hour you will have more energy and focus when you sit back down and will be more productive in your other 55 minutes. You can also practice good posture and core strength while you are sitting at your desk. It is not the same as riding your bike around a lake but it is a very effective way to beat daily stress and stay healthy!

1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profits the body a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of life that now is and of that which is to come.”