Tips for making an exercise and prayer plan

blossom1Spring has finally sprung in New England. And, the weather is perfect—warm and sunny, with a gentle breeze and no mosquitos. Although I know for some of you, this is allergy season.

I got up this morning and opened wide the doors from our kitchen to let in the fresh, crisp air. A bird was singing at full throttle. I knew the little creature was as happy as me this May morning.

It is so much easier to hop on my bike and get some exercise when I don’t have to shiver and shake from biting cold.

Now, is the ideal time to make an exercise and prayer plan and develop those healthy habits.

Here are some pointers to help you:

1. Choose a place outside to walk which you will enjoy visiting regularly. It could be a secluded path through the woods. Or perhaps, like me, it is the running track in your town. Maybe, it’s a route around your neighborhood. If it is, make sure you are not distracted by neighbors wanting to chat.

Make this location your special go to place. When the location is pleasant, you’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes a habit.Picture of the footpath to the beach at Embleton Bay, Northumberland.

2. Choose a time of day that fits your schedule. It may be early in the morning, in the evening or even during your lunchtime at work.

3. Decide how much time you can devote to your workout. You can always start with 5 or 10 minutes. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise five times per week. However, they also say something is better than nothing.

Dream big but set realistic goals. If you set a goal too high and you fail to achieve it, you will be less likely to try again next time. Instead, don’t give up. Alter your goal. Make it fit your life. Set yourself up for success.

3. Aim for 5 days a week. If this is too much, choose any number of days that will help you be successful. Start slowly. Small victories will convince you larger accomplishments are achievable. Being successful will make you feel like trying again. If you miss your goal it can be disheartening.

4. Devote your time to prayer. Even if your mind wanders, just turn your thoughts over to God by saying “Lord, I give you all my thoughts.”

5. Find a friend to walk with. By all means chat, but make sure you devote some of your time to prayer, either silently or for each other. Read about my experience last summer.

6. Write journal entries about your exercise and your prayer time. These are great to look back at and see how much you have progressed and how God has answered your prayers.

Most of all, take pleasure in spending time with the Creator of our beautiful world as he delights in being with you.

Leave a comment here about your achievements. Some of you already have a routine. Tell us what it is. This will be a great encouragement to everyone. Remember, it’s easier to learn in community.



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