Submitted by Kae Tritle, RN Well-Being Coordinator
Now that warmer weather has arrived, we all have the itch to get outside and become active. We want to shake off the winter blahs, enjoy the sunshine and get our bodies in shape. Most people believe that being in shape and fit is someone who is thin and athletic and can run for miles and miles. What fitness really means is your heart, lungs, and muscles have the ability to function effectively and efficiently. God designed our bodies to be active. Our sedentary lifestyle prevents our bodies from being used as God meant them to be. There are three basic types of physical activity.
ctivities that increase your breathing and heart rate, improve your stamina, endurance, and cardiovascular health. Health benefits include a reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Aerobic activity increases your energy, promotes weight loss, restful sleep, and decreases depression. Examples include: walking, running, bicycling, dancing, and swimming.
—activities that strengthen the posture muscles (legs, back, and abdomen), increase your joints' flexibility and range of motion, and assist in maintaining your balance. Health benefits include preventing falls, injuries, and joint pain and will allow for a better range of motion and quality of life. Examples include dancing, court sports, martial arts, yoga, Tai-chi, Pilates.
activities that build muscle tissue and strengthen bones. Health benefits include raising your metabolism, weight, and blood sugar control. Examples include working with weights, hiking, calisthenics, and manual labor.
The biggest obstacle to regular physical activity is making it part of your lifestyle. Integrate physical activity into your day through several small choices and actions.
Wear a pedometer or other popular fitness device. It gives you a concrete measurement of how much activity you are actually doing and increasing your awareness. Aim for 5,000-10,000 steps/day.
All active clergy and their spouses are eligible to participate in the Virgin Pulse Activity program. Go to www.join.virginpulse.com/wespath
to join. Here is a PDF
of Virgin Pulse information and enrollment instructions.
“Examine me, God, from head to foot…Make sure I’m fit inside and out. So that I never lose sight of your love, but keep in step with you, never missing a beat.” (Psalm 26: 2-3 The Message)
- Start small; go for 10-minute walks twice daily. After a week, increase it to 15 minutes. Then increase the number of sessions.
- Dress for the weather to help keep you on track doing outside activities.
- Avoid the closest bathroom. Use one further away.
- Make a habit of parking towards the back of the lot, use the stairs when going down floors in a building.
- Write your workout appointment in pen on your calendar. Be intentional about keeping it.
- Make sure you enjoy the physical activity that you choose. If you want the activity, you will keep doing it; dancing, fitness, walking, tai-chi or yoga, cross-training, weights, all work. Think about activities you enjoyed while growing up.
- Use the buddy system; it’s challenging to let someone else down.
- Team your workout time with your prayer or meditation time. Both body and soul will benefit.
I invite you to look at your physical activity patterns and make a covenant with yourself and God to improve. Both your body and soul will benefit.