Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” implying that our physical bodies and energy levels do have an impact—for better or worse—on our spiritual lives and ability to be there for others. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your spiritual life is to start exercising.
New to exercise? Here are five activities and resources to get your blood moving and body going. These five activities are rated among the very best for heart, lung, and joint health. What is stopping you from starting to exercise?
Always check with a doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Bicycling. Biking is a favorite of so many because it is simple, reminds us of our childhood, is super easy on sensitive knee and hip joints, and is just plain cool. Plus, you can actually go somewhere. Seeing the countryside or urban landscape on a bike slows the world down. Get a bike and get going somewhere. Bikes are available. They come for riding on both roads and off-road trails, whatever suits your fancy. Oliver Roberts. (2003). How to Get Wheely Fit. Barron’s Educational Series. (Nice introduction to getting fit with a bike.) A wealth of information on all things related to bikes.
- Walking/Day Hiking. As long as your joints are in good shape, walking can be one of the very best activities; some studies say it is better than jogging. Walking a woodsy trail or open field increases the total experience. Check out this New York Times blog article for deciding between walking and running: Walking vs. Running
- Swimming. Swimming is one of the very best of all aerobic activities. It is also great for those who suffer from arthritis pain. The water supports the body well by taking pressure off sensitive joints so you can focus on fun and fitness. Swimming is terrific for heart and lungs.
To learn more about the benefits of swimming: Swimming
- Cross Country Skiing. For those in northern climates, you can find no better exercise for heart health and a full body workout than cross country skiing. This also gets you in God’s outdoor cathedral breathing refreshing winter air. There is nothing like being in the woods on a bright sun-shiny day skimming across a layer of fresh snow. It is invigorating both physically and spiritually. To learn more about cross-country skiing: Cross Country Skiing
- Ellipticals & Rowers. There are an endless variety of great indoor classes and exercise programs these days. Check out your local gym for what they offer. But these two pieces of equipment are fantastic for providing a full body workout without stressing joints. Try them in a gym first before investing in one at home. For more about elliptical machines: Elliptical workouts. For more about rowing machines:Rowing Machines
Curator of content: Dave Higle