Fit to Serve: Exercising in Your Second Half


If you're ready to take your health seriously, here are 5 things to remember when starting an exercise program.

We all know that our health plays a significant role in our ability to finish well. Why is it then that so many people, especially those over 50, do not exercise regularly? The most common reason people list when answering this question is lack of time.

No one has ever been able to make more time or to find more time. In reality, we all have 168 hours a week. When we say we don’t have enough time to exercise, what we really mean is we don’t value it enough to allow it to fill some of our 168 hours this week.

Louie Giglio said “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else.” If you truly don’t have time to exercise, what are some things you’ve said “yes” to that you can back out of so you have time to exercise?

Your health is going to take up time whether you want it to or not. The question is do you want to put that time into exercising or doctor appointments. I love the way Edward Stanley says this, “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

Although many say “lack of time” is the reason they don’t exercise, I believe it really is because they don’t think exercise is valuable enough to make a positive and substantial difference in their life.  In other words, they don’t think the pain is worth the gain.

Our schedules only include activities we believe are valuable. To illustrate this point, I’ve seen some of the busiest people in the world all of sudden make room in their calendars for taking up new hobbies, accepting new responsibilities at work, and volunteering for projects in their communities.  The issue is not really lack of time.  It’s our priorities that matter.

I can’t motivate – or scare – you into a long-term commitment to physical exercise.  You have to own your own motivation.  I encourage you to search your heart to understand the real reasons behind your reluctance to take care of your body the way you know you should.  Why do you have this gap between what you know and what you do?  Ask God to reveal the root of that reluctance and pray for him to change your paradigm about your health.

Having said all of that, I would be remiss if I didn’t share a few reasons why exercise should be in your weekly schedule:

Exercise . . .

  • Boosts your energy level
  • Improves your attitude
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and many other major illnesses
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Is good for your brain
  • Can add fun to your day
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight

If you are ready to take your health seriously and include exercise in your weekly routine, congratulations! Here are 5 things to remember when starting an exercise program.

  1. If you haven’t exercised regularly, it’s best to talk to your doctor before starting. Once you’ve been given the green light from your doctor, you’re ready to begin.
  2. Schedule your exercise sessions. Don’t just say you will workout 4 times this week. Write down the day and time you will do this.
  3. Learn how to properly perform the exercises. Hire a personal trainer, go to a fitness class or use a video that stresses proper form. If you’re exercising to improve your health, the last thing you want to do is get injured
  4. Listen to your body and learn what is your 100%. We are all at different fitness levels. It’s important that we push ourselves but we don’t overdo. Wearing a heart rate monitor, doing a perceived exertion test, and knowing your target heart rate, are all ways to gauge the intensity of your workout.
  5. Your fitness program should include cardio, strength, core, balance and flexibility exercises.

By Michelle Spadafora

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