It has been almost a full year since the shutdown of the world when everyone was sent home. Last year business, sports, gyms, and churches had to close their doors. Crazy how that was a year ago. Out of the pandemic, what was great to see was all the physical fitness posts such as the push up (see 10 and do 10) and plank challenges. Others decided to go for runs in their neighborhood. I believe it is still important to workout at a gym for community purposes, but I hope others found the value of working out at home. We even saw over the past year gym equipment such as the Peloton and Mirror take over.
Incorporating fitness at home is amazing, but even better to initiate faith within training. Both faith and fitness can happen at the same time. Remember the world can shut down, but the Lord never stops moving. He is working no matter our circumstances. As a believe working out is worship. We our dedicating our bodies to the Lord and willing to physically sacrifice it to the point of temporary suffering, which helps us rely on the Lord when trials come our way. Both faith and fitness can happen at the same time. It just takes a mindset shift to see both simultaneously not separately. Once you realize working out is worship your workouts will ignite to another level. Everyone does it differently. Some might play worship music as their playlist on a run. Others might pray as they are lifting weights. I do both of those and love it. One of my favorite songs to run to is called The Blessing by Elevation Worship.
Maybe you are struggling and need help. Maybe you are desiring to incorporate faith into fitness and just don’t know where to start. Well, that’s what this blog post is all about. Below is a list of faith and fitness initiatives:
1) Worship Walk/Walk of Wisdom
Go for a walk and play worship music. Take time to talk to God and seek His wisdom for a situation in your life. This walk can happen during your lunch break or on a Sunday afternoon after church.
2) Pray and Planks
As you are on the ground take time to pray like Daniel. He would pray face down in a humble position. Pray as you take breaks between sets of front and side planks. You can also pray as you are planking for strength and stamina. This will help you shift your focus from your physical pain to God. You might see that you can hold a plank longer that way.
3) Run for Rejuvenation/Jog for Joy
Majority time when I run it is for a psychological unload and to clear my head. At the end of a run, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed mentally. Run at your own pace. Others might go for a slow jog, which brings them joy. Remember the joy of the Lord is our strength. Take time to go for a run via a specific duration (ex:10-30 min) or distance (ex: 3 miles or more). Specifically use this time to clear your thoughts and try to hear what God is saying to you. If you prefer to bike or swim that is fine also!
4) Get Ups
Life can hit us right in the gut a lot. Maybe you have been knocked down and have trouble getting up. Remember in proverbs that the godly stand up again. When Jesus would heal people there were times He would say “get up.” No matter what you are going through know Jesus is calling you to get up. This pairs great with the planks. Planks work anterior chain, but the get ups will focus on the posterior chain. Here you can do exercises like push-ups, glute bridges, lunges, and the Turkish get up. Honestly, any exercise that helps you get up from the ground back to standing completely up right. Make it a circuit of exercises (pick 4-5), chose between 4-5 rounds, pick between 6-10 repetition range, and rest between 30 to 90 seconds between each round. A future post will come with more bible verses about getting up and standing up.
5) Cross Carrier
Jesus carried the cross and as well as our burdens. We are commanded to pick up our cross and follow him. Picking up our cross is denying ourselves and willing to endure whatever may come our way. This can be done by doing any sort of carries. Such as farmer carries, single arm carries, and overhead. Incorporate a sled that you can drag or push as well. This will help get you into the mindset of what Christ went through by carrying and dying on the cross for us, so we can be made right with God. Pick up a weight and carry it for a certain distance. Take time to rest then pick it up again for a total distance or duration.
6) Armor Building
This final initiative focuses on the Armor of God. If you speak to most individuals about working out, they will say something like “its leg day” or “back day.” Here as you are training for body building. Take time to meditate on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6). When doing upper body training focus on the breast plate of righteousness. When doing lower body training focus on the belt of truth. Even when you do conditioning focus on the gospel of peace. There is way more to this initiative that can be explained at Armor Building.
These initiatives help create a mindset to focus on the Word, prayer, and self-reflection time. These also help as fuel for your training and to help you realize that the Lord is your strength. Rely on Him alone for your stamina and energy. You might find you have more in the tank than you realized because you are looking to the Spirit without limit, The Holy Spirit. The One who never becomes weak or weary. May God become the source of your strength and 2021 be the year you incorporate worship into your workout.
Option A: Pick one that draws more of your attention and be consistent for 2-3 days/week for 1 to 2 months. Such as pray and planks or get ups.
Option B: Incorporate all into this training week example: