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January 5, 2012
Ways to exercise without going to the gym
By Richard Murphy
Church Health Center
For most of us, it is no secret that we need to move more to be healthy. Getting more exercise helps us physically, lowering our blood pressure, increasing our heart health and helping us to manage weight. But exercising also helps us in other areas of our lives. When we exercise, we feel better. We are happier, less stressed and more positive. Finally exercise can help us to connect with God in unexpected ways. Getting regular exercise helps us to feel more connected to our bodies — the very bodies that God created. We are reminded when we move that God is working in our lives.
For many of us, however, getting enough exercise (or even a little exercise) is a challenge simply because it is difficult to find the time to get to the gym. The good news is that there are many ways to get moving without buying a gym membership:
1. Use a pedometer.
A pedometer is a device that measures how far you walk and will help you to keep track of how many steps you are taking each day. Once you know how many steps you take each day, you can try to “add steps” by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing a couple of laps around your house or taking a walk around the block. Ideally, you can build up to about 10,000 steps each day.
2. Make the most of running errands.
When you drive to the store, park as far away from the entrance as you can. Even better, try walking to the store. Once you get to the store and have loaded up your cart, take an extra “lap” around the store. That lap will add around 100 steps to your day (depending on the size of your store).
3. Walk around your neighborhood.
Four to five times a week, try to block out 30 minutes to an hour to go for a walk around your neighborhood. This can be a great activity before you have dinner. As a bonus, walking around the neighborhood is a great way to enjoy the company of friends and family as well as the changing seasons.
4. Work out while you work.
If you work at an office, try replacing your office chair with a large exercise ball. This will keep you moving throughout the day, as well as give you better posture. You can also bring some small hand weights and do bicep curls when you have a bit of down time.
5. Have fun.
Find ways to enjoy yourself as you exercise. Turn on music and dance around your living room. Find a place where you like to walk or find friends to join you in a walking group. The more you enjoy your exercise, the more likely you are to stick with it.
God created us to move, and exercise is one important aspect of the model of healthy living, which includes faith life, medical concerns, work, emotional health, family and friends, nutrition and movement. But exercise need not always include going to the gym. Instead getting regular exercise can be built into our lives, just as good nutrition and an active spiritual life can be built into our days.
To find out more about the model of healthy living and living a wellness-oriented life, check out 40 Days to Better Living at http://www.healthcareyoucanlivewith.com/40DaysSeries.
Do you have too much stress?
You might if you are skipping meals or eating on the run, feeling run-down, having frequent headaches, having trouble sleeping or feeling out of control.
Start the new year committed to resolving the negative stress in your life.
Some ways to relax:
• Throughout the day, take a few minutes to breathe deeply.
• Do some stretches at your desk or at the kitchen counter.
• Maintain a regular exercise routine.
• Eat a healthy snack rather than something with sugar or caffeine.
• Take a break — go for a walk, listen to some music or close your eyes for a few minutes.
• Share your feelings with someone or keep a journal.
• Write out a to-do list each morning and prioritize the items.
From Terry Newberry
Birmingham, Ala. —
I was talking to a friend not long ago, and he talked about how many Mickey Mantle baseball cards he had thrown away as a kid, because he was so interested in getting to the gum inside the package. That set me to thinking about how many times I missed an opportunity because I was in a hurry. I began to wonder about value and how our values affect our decisions.
I asked myself: What do I value?
Our values extend into every area of our life. Relationships, moral views, work ethic, faith, family — the list is long and varied. Our values are just that — things that have value to us. A value is a belief, a philosophy, a viewpoint — something that has meaning to us. A value influences our decisions and guides how we spend our time and resources. Values provide a foundation upon which we build our business, our relationships and our life.
Do your decisions reflect your values?
To read more, visit Terry’s blog at Terrynewberry.com.