“She makes herself ready with strength, and makes her arms strong” (Prov. 31:17, NLV).
Yep, prepare yourself. I’m one of those weird people who think fitness is important and that taking care of your body can be another way to worship our Creator. If you’re already rolling your eyes, I really don’t mind.
This is the perfect time to point out that I am not by any means the fittest person in the room. I don’t look like I pump iron at the gym on a regular basis nor do I care to. I simply maintain a healthy weight and can manage to grind out quite a few push-ups on command. Not that many people ever ask me to do push-ups. But this seemed like a great moment to highlight the fact that I can indeed push myself up (and I’m not talking about those knee push-ups).
Fitness has looked vastly different in various seasons of my life. There was a time in which I could spend a couple of hours a day at the gym (shout out to you single people lifting the heavy weights). However, my current fitness routine looks like me with a few dumbbells in the dark living room at 5:30 am, hoping that no one wakes up before I’m done. It’s YouTube videos and walks behind a double stroller. It’s spontaneous and hardly ever goes as planned (shout out to you mamas with littles).
People often ask me how I manage to stay any kind of fit with four kids, working part-time, homeschool, and ministry. My answer is always that I cannot afford to not fit in fitness. A fitness routine (no matter how little or how much) keeps me sane and healthy enough to juggle all the wonderful blessings God gave me.
Sometimes the goal with fitness is to simply fit it in! Maybe you’re single but you don’t feel like you can squeeze one more ounce of work into your fully-loaded schedule. Maybe you’re a mom of 6 kids who feels the same way. Maybe you’re new to fitness altogether and just don’t know where to start. Start by fitting it in. The key word being: start!
Fitting in fitness is achievable if you want it badly enough. If you don’t want it yet, let me quickly give you a few reasons to want it.
- It lowers the risk of diseases. Yes, I know “by His wounds we are healed” (Is. 53:5, NIV), but I don’t necessarily want Him to have to rescue me every other year. I’d like to partner with my Creator in keeping this temple He gave me as healthy as I can.
- It gives you energy. No matter what journey you’re on, you’re probably busy. Moms, dads, students, employees, and bosses all have full plates. If you’re feeling drained in this, maybe your body needs a little more strength to run your race.
- It keeps you fitting in your clothes. This may sound vain but we all know we like to fit in our clothes. If you think this is shallow, that’s awesome! Skip this one and keep reading.
Now that you may want it more, how can you fit it in? Here are some ways that I’ve managed to fit it into my schedule. I’m not a fitness expert, so don’t take my word for it. Try some things out and come up with your own creative ways to encourage yourself in your fitness journey.
- Remind yourself to fit in fitness. It might be a sticky note in your bathroom that reminds you to take the stairs at work or walk after dinner. Maybe it’s a note in your car that reminds you that you really do want to go to the gym after work or class. It could even be an alert on your phone at the same times every day to make you stop and do a few jumping jacks.
- Take a look at how you spend your time. This is most likely not the first time that you’ve heard this, but it’s just the truth. We have more time than we think. Take an inventory and look at the facts. Chances are there are some Netflix shows that can wait or some social media scrolling that can be eliminated.
- Remember that something is better than nothing. Do you ever want to work on a project but you’re scared you won’t finish it so you just don’t start at all? This happens so many times with fitness. Don’t think about what you can’t do each day; think about what you did do! If you manage to do squats every day for a week or take a walk after dinner three times, that’s much better than doing nothing at all.
- Keep realistic expectations. This is something that often keeps people immobile or unmotivated. Their goals are to have fitness-model physiques in 2 months. It just won’t happen. The most realistic goal we can all achieve is to be intentional about fitness and do our best to fit it in! The lost pounds or added muscles will come in time.
- Choose discipline. This is probably the least favorite on the list for most people but discipline is a beautiful thing. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7, NIV). You are not a weak vessel. You may have tried to convince yourself that you just can’t be motivated or that you are not a “disciplined” person, but God says you can be with His help.
No matter where you are with trying to make fitness work for you, be encouraged that you’re not alone. Fitting in fitness can be challenging, but you can do it. God created something incredible when he created humans. Our bodies are beautiful and capable of running the race He gave us. We may just need to partner with Him and use the muscles He gave us to our advantage.
Featured Image by Bruno Nascimento