In the following dialogue between a group of church members and me at a walk to get fit session, I share an excerpt of the dialogue I believe will help you to shift your thinking and get your temple fit-ready.
“Coach! I know fitness is a lifetime commitment. At the age of 46, I started exercising and have been doing so off and on for the past three years. For some reason, I struggle with consistency,” Adain shared.
“Coach, it’s hard for me to exercise because of long days. Once I get home at seven o’clock in the evening, I’m too tired to exercise,” admitted Sharon. “All I can do is get ready for the next day, which starts around 5:30am.”
“I’m a single parent whose life revolves around my kids. On most days when I get off work, I have to pick up my youngest child from daycare, then take my eight-year-old to his athletic practice,” Millicent shared.
“I don’t like to exercise alone,” another lady commented.
Another lady yelled out, “I know I’m tired of feeling disappointed and disgusted because I lack self-control. I’m tired of big clothes. I hate feeling like my husband doesn’t want to be close to me because of the way I look. I eat all of time to the point I that disgust myself.”
“Your same sentiments are shared worldwide,” I said. “Excuses and barriers preventing you from making your health and fitness a priority require a personalized recipe for change. Before we get started, I want to make sure everyone gets an annual physical examination this summer if you haven’t already done so. Among the many reasons for doing so, it’s critical that you are cleared by your physician to exercise. Now for you Sharon, consider walking around your office building during your lunch break and/or after work, or at your local park or mall on the weekends. For you Millicent, consider walking around the stadium/practice field, instead of sitting in the bleachers during your child’s athletic practice. I can provide a listing of walking groups each of you can join that will provide camaraderie and support. They are excellent for people who don’t want to exercise alone, or for someone like you, Adain, who may need a challenging exercise activity like running with a group that offers structure, and fosters consistency and accountability. If you don’t like the way you look or feel, consider my five Cs: choice, change, commitment, courage, and control.”
“A running group sounds interesting,” said Adain.
I continued, “Optimal health requires the right attitude and willingness to make necessary changes. Now, let’s talk about what’s necessary for an effective walking session. Your session should include a warm-up, flexibility exercises, and cool-down.”
“Why do we need to warm-up?” Millicent asked.
“The warm-up phase helps your body adjust slowly from rest to exercise. It reduces the stress on your heart and other muscles, slowly increases your breathing, circulation (heart rate), and body temperature.”
“I thought stretching was the same as warming-up,” Adain commented.
“A lot of individuals have been led to believe that to stretch is to warm-up,”I explained. “But stretching is not the warm-up. It’s a part of the warm-up. It should follow the activities that help your body become exercise-ready such as walking slowly for five to 10 minutes. The warm-up will help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility.”
“I heard you have to exercise at the right intensity level,” asked Sharon. “Why is intensity important?”
“The intensity at which you exercise reflects the amount of oxygen your body uses to do an exercise and the number of calories you burn while doing it. During an aerobic exercise such as walking, intensity translates into how hard exercising feels to you. It’ll impact how successful you are with burning body fat. So when walking, make sure you do so at an effective pace.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 NIV)