13 October 2013

Exercise in the Open Air (A Habit for Day 13)

Yep, there I am.  Attempting to hop over each of those wooden planks without stopping--all the way one direction, all the way back again.
It's a harder game to play than you might expect.

 I'm not going to attempt to try to give you a scientific or medical breakdown of what exercise does for you, or why you should still try to exercise when you're stressed.  You can find way more sophisticated scientific and medical sources out there than piano-teacher-me.

I will tell you what I think exercise does for me, and why I would include it in a series about finding Jesus in the roughest times of our lives.  I believe, and have found it to be true in my own life, that my physical health has a profound influence on my mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  And I can't imagine pursuing health without pursuing exercise in some form, in whatever way(s) are open to us.

So here goes.  A few reasons I try to prioritize exercise, in the open air as much as possible, which I find to be even more invigorating.
  • Exercise clears my mind.  I think that's because it gets my blood working better, which helps even my brain work more efficiently.
  • Exercise makes me feel good about myself.  When I've exercised, I experience what it's like to conquer something, and it gives me courage to keep trying in other areas of my life.
  • Exercise, especially in the open air, gets me out of the rut of trying to solve everything all at once.  The things I see out walking in nature, for example, force my mind away from the other things that might be causing me stress that day and remind me there's more to life than my problems.  Nature calls my mind to the Creator, who is also my helper in time of need.
  • Exercise keeps my digestion working efficiently.  If my system is overloaded with food, I'm sluggish, and not good for much!
  • Exercise increases my energy.  Sure, I get tired from exercising sometimes, but my mental energy increases, and over the long term, so does my physical energy.  Energy is something I need more of when I'm stressed, so exercise during stressful seasons becomes especially important.
  • I sleep better when I've been getting exercise.
  • Exercise is a great physical outlet for mental or emotional weariness.  My life is quite sedentary if I'm not careful, and it includes a lot of brain work.  If I can spend time exercising, it gives my mind a break and brings my mind and body to a place where both are more ready to rest (see the point about sleeping better above).
  • All of these things--clear mind, more energy, better, rest, etc.--bring me to a place where I have more mental room and focus when I come to my prayer and Bible study time.  I'm more alert to the things God has for me to learn.
I don't know what kind of exercise works best for you.  I know a little of what it's like to go through a season in life where I couldn't exercise, so if you're there, you have my fullest sympathy!  But most of us can get creative and find some ways to increase our activity levels, and I believe we'll experience blessings in return.

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Grab button for LADDER OF MERCY (Photo by Barbara Frohne


  1. Hi Heidi~ I hope you are doing well! I started back walking 5-6 days a week about 6 weeks ago and I can sure tell a difference in how I feel. I am still working at getting back into decent shape but oh is it worth the work.
    God bless, Lisa :O)

  2. An inspiring post. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get back to my daily walks in the woods. I'm always a nicer person when I keep to that.


Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.