What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. —1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
This verse from Corinthians is a commonly used verse in all sorts of discussions. Many Christians believe this means we should not drink, smoke or get tattoos because all of those things dirty our bodies which are temples of God.
Other believers do not go that far, but merely interpret this verse to mean we should care for the bodies God gave us and make sure we do not drink in excess or become gluttons. Most Christians would agree that the verse does give people guidance and warns against abusing our bodies. So, where does regular exercise fit into this discussion?
There aren’t too many people out there who would say exercise is a bad thing. Most would agree that it is good for you and is something you should be doing. So the question is not, “Should I exercise?” The question becomes, “How do I find the time to exercise?”
There are two simple answers to this question that will help you reach your goals. First, you must find the motivation to exercise and then you will be able to find the time. You would be amazed how easy it is to find an extra half an hour in your day three or four times a week when it is something you really want to do.
Think about some of your favorite hobbies or things you enjoy doing. Do you find time to watch football? Do you find time to golf? Do you find time go to the hair salon? Absolutely. Those are easy to squeeze in. So, why can’t you figure out a way to add exercise to your busy schedule?
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. —Colossians 4:5, KJV
The second answer to the question is to find an exercise or program that you enjoy, something that is not too hard on your body but still gives you the benefits of a workout. For many people this is running. Why? It is incredibly cheap and you can do it anywhere. It is also a great way to relieve stress and get all the worries of the day off your mind for a little while.
Grab the headphones, lace up the shoes and hit the street for 30 minutes a few times a week and you will feel 10 times better than you did before. Start off slowly. If you have not been exercising for months or years your body will not be ready for a tough workout on day one. Ease into it. The first day you may have to walk for 10 minutes, do a light jog for 10 and then finish with a 10 minute walk to cool down. Then, increase the times and speeds gradually. Before you know it you’ll be hitting those eight-minute miles and be feeling great.
Running is not for everyone. Some people have knee or back issues that prevent them from enjoying that particular exercise. Get a free day pass to a gym and try some of the machine alternatives. Try the elliptical machines that simulate running with much lower impact. Maybe a treadmill would even work. Try a stationary bike to see if cycling would be an alternative for you. If so, hop on Craigslist and find a nice used bike and get out on the road to work up a sweat.
If all of those are still a little too much for you try things like CrossFit or Pilates. You would be amazed at how great a workout those things can be. They are not nearly as easy as they look and they engage your entire body.
As with any new endeavor you embark upon, pray to God to ask for strength and guidance. Find some friends to join you and encourage you. The time to exercise is there. You just have to find it!