By David Bush
A post titled “Spring Fitness Makeover” would probably sell better, but it’s just one of many title options we decided against in the name of honesty. The fact is, January’s Super Bowl Party, February’s Valentine’s weekend, and Easter’s post-church feast have typically waylaid the health and fitness goals you set the first week in January. Now, perhaps you’re wondering if there’s still time to take another run at a lifestyle do-over that will produce results by June.
Nothing that involves changing our diet or normal routine is easy or comes without a cost; but by following our 3 choices and 3 routines, you can see dramatic changes to your weight, your energy, and your overall health before summer.
Choice #1: Commit to getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
Most people are chronically fatigued because they don’t know when to hit the “stop” button at night. Whatever it is that keeps you going past 10:30PM, it’s robbing you of a host of energy-giving benefits that only REM sleep provides.
Choice #2: Don’t drink your calories.
Water is always a better choice, over high-calorie coffee and soda. If you’re desperate to spend money on drinks, there’s no end to expensive bottled water.
Choice #3: No snacking after 8PM.
For some, this will be the hardest habit to break, but it will pay the most dividends.
Routine #1: Park in the farthest spot and take the stairs.
If your employer doesn’t already require this, pretend they did. This routine could also save you from innocuous elevator banter, claustrophobia and staring at floor numbers.
Routine #2: Stand up when talking on the phone.
You will burn extra calories and look more important.
Routine #3: 10 minutes of exercise three times per day.
For those who have the typical mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and lunch, take the opportunity to walk outside. If you miss the socialization that these breaks can provide, ask someone to join you.
For most people, the combination of these six relatively small choices and routines will make a dramatic impact on their level of health. While attaining a bikini-ready body will inspire some to make changes, for most followers of Jesus other appeals will need to be brought to the table. How about this:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
It’s never too late to rethink our perspective of worship to include the place the Apostle Paul says is the most logical place to find it practiced: in our bodies. God’s grace and mercy always makes room for do-overs – in both the spiritual and physical challenges of our lives. May this spring find you worshipping well!