Exercise Made Simple

 

Exercise Made Simple

My motivation to exercise tends to go through highs and lows. Some seasons, I exercise to excess and others, not nearly enough. I read the latest article telling me what the new “best” way to exercise is. And that seems to change from year to year. Its cardio – no its weights – no its cross fit –no its… The truth is – any activity is better than no activity. So don’t worry about the latest fad exercise program.

If you struggle to be consistent in your activity plan, like me, here are a few ideas that may help.

  1. Use exercise as a way to feel better, healthier and have more energy. Many studies have shown that weight loss is much more tied to what you eat than how many hours you are putting in exercising. In fact, when I was training 12-15 hours a week for a half-ironman, I actually gained weight. No – it wasn’t muscle either. Since I was training so much, I unconsciously gave myself permission to eat everything in sight. You can’t make up for a bad diet with exercise!

 If your only motivation to exercise is to lose weight, it will be hard to stick with it especially if the scale isn’t moving. So, workout for your health and wellbeing. The rewards will be longer lasting than just working out for weight loss.

  1. Pick an activity that you enjoy. I have a son who really enjoys weight lifting, another who loves long distance running, and another whose favorite is hiking. They do those activities because they like them. And all three of them get the benefits of regular exercise, even though they do very different things.

I love walking, biking and swimming – hence triathlon. Except that triathlon includes running, and running quite honestly, is generally miserable for me. Once I realized that, and switched to race walking, I found that I am much more excited about my workout every day.  Also, if you hate the gym, don’t think that paying a bunch of money for a membership is going to motivate you. You might force yourself to go for a few weeks, but soon your money will just be going to waste.

  1. Pick an activity that is convenient and simple to do. Swimming is another sport that I enjoy, but the closest lap pool is 40 miles away, so it is not something I can do very often. I’m just not going to drive into town 3 times a week to hit the pool. So be a realist when you plan your fitness program. For years, I have used exercise DVDs because – wait for it – they are convenient and simple to use. Right there in my basement, with no worries about who is going to see me, or cleaning up to go workout, I can exercise in peace.

That being said, you may be a person who is energized by working out with others. If so, find a walking partner, or an exercise class. Join a challenge on Fitbit or Garmin. There are a lot of ways to use technology to help you get motivated. One place I used to work had a yearly step challenge where we all wore a pedometer and got prizes for improvement as well as most steps.

  1. Any activity is better than none. It’s better to start small and build up, than it is to go too hard and too fast and end up quitting a couple of weeks later. There are lots of great beginner exercise plans on the internet. Just be sure to choose something simple that you know you will enjoy.

The benefits of regular exercise make it worth the effort to get it done. Your improving health and your higher energy level will be the best reward!

 

True Prosperity

 

 

It’s hard to be content in a world filled with new stuff and non-stop advertising. In fact, it’s a constant struggle for me to not be greedy and covetous.  I see the newest shoes, or car, or book, and discontent rises up in me. I see it and I want it. It doesn’t matter that I have 20 pairs of good shoes sitting in my closet (I know that’s small for some of us but I have really worked on getting to less). I see the ad, and I covet. It’s one thing to need new shoes – really need them because your old ones are wearing out. It’s quite another to collect dozens of pairs just because you want them. By the way, you can take out the word “shoes” and put in just about any other thing that you happen to love to own.

In the news recently, there is a story about a televangelist who “needs” $54 million dollars to buy a new jet. Seriously! He already has a jet – and it’s not worn out! He manages to put all kinds of spiritual sounding reasons to his request that you fund his covetousness. But when you examine his reasoning, it is clear that greed is the root of his desire for bigger, better and more.

Sadly, many people are deceived by these kinds of people. We are warned about them over and over again in Scripture. But, these so called “preachers” don’t preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. They only attach a verse here and there that seems to support their claim that you need to send them money. Peter warned us about these people. He says “and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep”. 2 Peter 2:3.

In 2 Peter 2:2, he says of the false prophets that will arise (and have), that many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. When people are deceived by these false teachers, not only are they exploited, but even worse, the gospel is blasphemed. If you don’t think the unbelieving world is guffawing over this one, think again. These greedy teachers are ultimately blasphemers.  The entire book of Jude lays out for us the lifestyle of these ungodly people who pervert the grace of God into sensuality.

The gospel is good news. The good news is not that we are supposed to be healthy and wealthy. The good news is that we, who are sinners, separated from God, lost, hopeless and helpless can be saved to live a life that truly glorifies our God and Savior Jesus Christ. We are loved by Him. We are kept by Him. We have freedom from the power of sin now and eternal joy away from the presence of sin awaits us. Now that is good news!

So don’t sell the gospel for a prosperity message. Seek the truth of God’s Word to protect yourself from the deception that is rampant. True prosperity is found only in Christ. And it has nothing to do with how much money you have, how healthy you are or how many jets you own!