I want to state right up front that I am no expert when it comes staying fit. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed good food way too much, and I have enjoyed bad food even more. Most of the time, I sit at my desk at the office, or sit at home, and live a low activity life. So when my doctor told me some things needed to change, and my wife confirmed it, I decided to take some action steps.
I am no expert, but I have found a few things that have worked for me, and I want to share them with you.
God created each one of us to become something incredible, a godly man, a loving husband, a great dad. But if we don’t pay attention to our health, to our bodies, we can short circuit that process. We may even cause ourselves to experience an early death, or a greatly reduced ability to be those things due to poor health. So it’s in our best interests, and for the sake of God’s glory, that we practice good stewardship when it comes to maintaining our health and fitness.
The first change I made was centered around my diet. I’ll get to that in the next post. For now, I want to share a couple of things I have done in the area of exercise and fitness that have helped me get back to a better state of health.
I started simply walking around our town. As I improved my ability to walk for longer times, I mapped out a route around our community that is about five miles in length. With the twists and turns, around blocks and different sections around town, I can reduce this or increase it as necessary. I find that, right now, I can walk this route in just over an hour. This has probably had the greatest impact on my fitness, because it gets my heart rate up and going pretty good. There have been a couple of times I have had to call my wife to come get me, but that hasn’t happened for a while.
While I walk, I do one of two things, I listen to podcasts and sermons on my phone with a set of earphones, or I spend time praying for the community, for the homes and businesses I pass. I split between these two thing pretty evenly. And as a result, I have seen some improvement in my spiritual fitness because of it.
This summer, I found that there is such a thing as a virtual 5K. You can register for it, and there are several sites where you can do this, and then walk or run the distance on your own schedule, submitting your time. And if you do, you usually get a pretty cool medal. This has proven to be a great motivator for me, and I have completed several over the past few months. Check out the Virtual Running Club for starters.
I used to ride a bike a lot, but that faded as my health deteriorated. I eventually sold my mountain bike, which I kind of regret now. I still have a Cannondale Criterium, with very narrow tires. With the debris on the roadsides around here, and the lack of paved biking trails of any extent, I can’t use it outside much. So I found a trainer to mount it on in my basement. If I can’t walk, I spend some time riding it.
One other area of fitness I work on is the area of calisthenics. For me, this initially came in a challenge from a men’s group to do 3000 pushups in a month. I hadn’t done pushups since college, so this was a big deal for me. I made it, and then some. The next month, I decided to do situps. And then jumping jacks. Now I use a more rounded routine, like the ones you can see over at Men’s Fitness.
As a result of these changes, I have seen my body shift into something better, and I feel better too. Knowing that I am taking care of myself more like I ought too has been an encouragement to my wife and kids as well.
If you aren’t maintaining your fitness, I encourage you to start a routine that will put you on the road to a healthier lifestyle. And don’t wait, you need it now.
Be deliberate, men!
What kinds of things do you do when it come to the area of physical fitness? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.