“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (First Corinthians 9:27)
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to keep from running on empty, is to keep yourself moving.
To the contrary, we tend to think the more we slow down and the more we sleep, the more energized we’ll feel. But, don’t buy the lie. Being sedentary makes us more sedate. Sleeping longer makes us more sluggish. On the other hand, the more we move, the more we’ll be able to. The more energy we expend now, the more we’ll have later.
I share in my book, When You’re Running on Empty, that most of us don’t feel energetic when it comes to the idea of exercise. I don’t get a sudden burst of energy every afternoon for my Jazzercise class. There are days I drag myself there, thinking I’d rather sit home and write or read a book than jump around and lift a few weights for an hour. But once I’m there – and I see all my friends, and the music starts, and my instructor gets us going – then the adrenaline kicks in. I’ve got the energy. And the next day, it’s much easier to get there.
Studies show that the more you exercise the more you raise your metabolism and resting heart rate, meaning your body will continue to work, even after you’ve stopped. It’s one way to keep from feeling run down and to keep your body in shape.
The U.S. Surgeon General now reports that failure to exercise at least three times a week for a duration of at least 30 minutes each time is the equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! If that isn’t enough motivation to get moving, I don’t know what is! With that statistic in mind, not only is it healthy to exercise, it’s extremely unhealthy, not to. So exercise is no longer an option; it’s a necessity of life!
Plan the Exercise Into Your Day
Because regular exercise is just as important as eating regularly and sleeping regularly, you must have a plan to make it happen. It needs to be written into your day or scheduled, like a do-or-die appointment. (In reality, because of its importance to your health, exercise may very well be a do-or-die scenario). Here are some simple ways to prioritize exercise so you’ll keep moving:
- Invest in some exercise videos ($10-$20 each) that include stretching, aerobic activity, and resistance training.
- Take an early morning or early evening prayer walk — and remember to walk briskly enough to raise your heart rate.
- Find a local park or lake where you can walk. When the weather’s bad, walk the mall….just don’t get distracted and tempted to shop!
- Find a buddy and set some personal exercise goals together. Join a class or club together. Plan to walk a few times a week with each other. Hold each other accountable and reward each other for your successes. Try to out do each other with extra exercise slipped in during the week. Like the Bible says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down (or off of the exercise routine), his friend can help him up. But pity the man who has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
Make it a point today to look for an opportunity to keep moving, whether it be taking the stairs instead of the elevator, calling your friend to work on your exercise goals, or doing whatever it will take to get you moving in a different way today.
Keep fit – and keep from running on empty – by keeping your body moving.
What do you do to keep moving and how has it helped you from feeling run down? I’d love to hear from you.