Women of Strength – a devotional to improved spiritual & physical health
|Women of Strength|
Just Do It
It looked like a gorgeous day outside. Fresh snow covered the landscape and trees were heavy with a blanket of white. The sun reflected off the field in a splash of sparkles – it appeared to be another beautiful winter day. But the thermometer stood at minus 20 in the sunshine. I cancelled my walk (yet again) because of the cold.
For months, my routine was to get my children ready in the morning, walk them to the bus stop and then walk around the neighborhood by myself. However, my routine became interrupted when I started a new work schedule and so instead of walking to the bus stop I drove the children. Then other days in the week seemed to become busier and I found myself itching to get to my office to clear away the things of the day. Instead of starting my day with a walk around the block, I started to weigh it up against other conflicting priorities. Now, the act of walking had to convince me of its worth. Each day a battle raged – walk or not walk?
What I learned is that when I didn’t give myself the choice, I went for a walk regardless of temperature or mood. However, when I made walking an option, I had to think each day, “Am I up to it? Do I have time for it? Is it warm enough or cool enough or dry enough?” Each day I put myself through a dance of questions, instead of just doing it. “Just do it” (the saying made famous by Nike) has tremendous impact. If I would walk in the morning, instead of giving myself the option, I wouldn’t have to worry about what’s more important on my list of things to do. I would return from my walk refreshed and ready to face the day.
This reminds me of time spent in prayer and Bible study. When I make it a regular part of my routine then there is no question that I’ll do it. For months, I had dedicated thirty minutes from 4:00-4:30 p.m. to quiet time with God. The kids were home from school; I reviewed their homework and fed them a snack. Then while they had free time to play – before chores, supper and evening extracurricular activities – I’d steal away to read my Bible. The kids knew that this was, “Mommy’s time with God.” And they left me alone for thirty minutes. However, now my job requires that on some days I’m not home until after 4:30. My routine has changed. On days that I am home I’m no longer disciplined to take the time in prayer. Instead, I wonder about what to make for supper. I tidy up the house and finish up details on the computer. My quiet time with God is now competing against my to-do list. Whereas before I would “just do it” now each day becomes a battle of what I feel is more important at the moment.
My lesson? Just do it! I need to plan out my week in advance knowing my work schedule and my “to do” list; make contingencies for those days that my regular walking and devotion time gets interrupted, and then do it without further thought.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).
Exercise Your Funny Bone
When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out all right.
Q: My heart rate is 50 bpm. Is it better to have a higher resting heart rate?
A: A normal resting heart rate can vary from as low as 40 beats per minute (bpm) to as high as 100 bpm, with an average of 75 bpm for women. Physical activity helps the heart muscle to pump more efficiently for an optimal resting heart rate.
Dear God – I pray that You will help me to see myself as You do, to see my own worth and respect myself. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
I’m an avid walker and love to hike through our local woods. But recently I tried some interval training. I walked for a bit, then jogged for a bit. I did this the whole way of my regular walk for 45-minutes. My heart and lungs handled it well. But I felt as if I weighed 800 pounds -- my calves were on fire, my hips ached, my upper body itched from the bouncing. Not a pleasant experience. When I told a friend, she encouraged me to continue practicing and said that it'll only get better. I’ll take her word for it and continue with my new routine.
What new activity would you consider trying?
Create space – Create an area to call your own and make exercise so accessible that you have no excuse. Buy some low-priced equipment: an exercise bike, a resistance band, a set of dumbbells, a stretching mat, a jump rope and an exercise video.
“The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25 NIV).
Try a new routine, a new exercise, and/or a new time of the day to exercise.
Praise Move: Shoulder - Side Raise
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides, palms facing side leg.
Lead with bent elbows and slowly raise the weight out to your sides to shoulder height without rotating the arms.
Your palms should face the floor at the top position with arms parallel to the floor.
Pause briefly at the top of the move, than slowly lower the weights to the starting position.
Repeat 10 times.
1. Keep your arms straight without locking your elbows.
2. Avoid swinging the arms up using momentum to lift the weight.
3. Keep your neck relaxed and your shoulders stationary.