Caring for our Bodies

Move your body!

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-7

I love to exercise! Or I should say I used to love to exercise, but now and for many, many years, it exhausts me. Although there have been periods of time that I was able to do a somewhat “normal” exercise routine, it was only a matter of time before I would start feeling really worn down. I would get so tired that I wouldn’t be able to continue with the exercise if I wanted to be able to do anything else, like cook or clean or shower, that kind of tired. Needless to say, exercise has been low on my list of priorities. But, I am trying to change that. So, even though I cannot exercise to the intensity or duration that I used to, there are still many things I can do to make sure I am moving my body.

Here are a few ideas of low impact (or low exertion) activities that I either already do, or aim to start doing. (Some of these contain affiliate links.)

  • Rebounding – Even though you are bouncing, it actually is low exertion, meaning you don’t have to put out a lot of energy to reap the benefits. If you don’t have a mini trampoline, you can use an exercise ball to sit and bounce.
  • Walking – This is very low impact and you can choose the length and duration that you walk. In the winter you can use a treadmill, walk around the mall, or there are actually walking videos (I have several) to walk to.
  • Stretching – this is one of my favorite things to do. If you need ideas you can find great videos on Youtube. I’m also enjoying using my foam roller. It facilitates better and deeper stretching.
  • Sit and Be Fit – Yes, you can sit and exercise. This is a great idea if you have an injury or just need something very low impact.
  • Gardening – Of course this is seasonal, but has great benefits. It’s low impact and you are outside getting valuable Vitamin D. If you’re able this also might include cutting grass (higher impact and intensity), or trimming bushes, etc.
  • Household chores – I know this seems like a no-brainer, but deep cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and laundry (especially if you have stairs like we do), gets you moving and you can rest (if necessary) in between chores.
  • Weights – This is something I want to implement. I plan on starting slow, with very light weights and cautiously, seeing how I feel as I go.
  • Pilates – This is a medium intensity, but low impact workout. When I decided to give up yoga last year (for various reasons, which I may share more about later) I wanted to find a good replacement  for it. Pilates implements both stretching and strengthening exercises that are not to strenuous on your body. I really want to get into the habit of doing this at least twice a week.

This is just a short list of more gentle ways to move your body. If you are able, do more and if you are not able, do what you are able to do.  What are some beneficial, low impact, or low intensity, exercises that you have found helpful?

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28

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