Many Christians love to quote 1 Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (KJV). Sorry, this one verse is not an excuse to avoid physical fitness. The benefits of exercise are proven, they are not the “profane and old wives’ fables” that Paul speaks about here. True, godliness should be at the top of our priority list, but there is something to be said, too, for taking care of our bodies in a way that honors God. In a culture where many people spend the majority of their days indoors and behind desks, purposeful, physical exercise is imperative.
Rigorous exercise—combined with my new eating plan (see previous posts)—helped change the way I feel, both physically and emotionally. Once I implemented a workout strategy, I quickly ditched the medications that I had been enslaved to for so long. My specific program consists of a combination of weightlifting and cardio, at least four days a week. This is an area that must be tailored to each individual’s body type/athletic ability; it is NOT one-size-fits-all. Below are some general recommendations to help you succeed.
1.) Start with your Primary Care Physician – Before attempting any exercise regimen, I recommend talking to your doctor. Skipping this step could be detrimental to your physical health.
2.) Join a Gym- Working out at home seems ideal, but it can be tough to get (and stay) motivated. Home workouts can be monotonous and they lack accountability, which is vital to success. By joining a gym, you open yourself up to the company of people that share common goals of being healthy.
Gym memberships are very reasonable these days. I have recently seen dues as low as $10/month. A good workout facility will have all the machines and weights that you need, as well as the staff to help you on your journey. This leads me to my next piece of advice…
3.) Get a Trainer- Most gyms have personal trainers to help you get started with a workout regimen. With improper form, you can do more damage to your body than good. A certified trainer can assist you in achieving your health goals. There is an abundance of good information on the Internet, but don’t believe everything you read. This information is NOT a replacement for a trainer.
4.) Work Hard or Go Home- Turn your phone off, get rid of distractions, and commit to focused, intense exercise. I see people piddle around in the gym, and then they wonder why they aren’t getting results. If you are going to spend time working out, get the most out of it that you can.
5.) Set Goals and Track Your Progress- Have a specific goal, write it down and work towards it! Track your progress on a weekly basis; it is motivating to see how far you can come in such a short amount of time. When one goal is reached, shoot for another one.
6.) Find a Workout Partner- Working out with a friend provides accountability and added motivation. Choose someone with your body type and similar goals. I don’t work out with my wife because she lifts so much more than me :). Push and encourage each other, it is likely that results will come much quicker.
I can’t begin to tell you how implementing an exercise plan has transformed my life. I have sustained energy and am able to focus throughout the day. Incorporating a fitness regimen into life is no easy task. You will come up with every excuse not to make it to the gym. After a few weeks, though, it gets much easier, and in a few months you will dread rest-days. Now get moving!