What one daily habit will with certainty improve your life quality?
I know – I’m a pastor. I’m supposed to say “a daily devotional,” “Bible reading and prayer,” or perhaps “daily reflection on our lives in light of God’s word.” Make no mistake, these are good, spiritually healthy habits, and I commend them because they will indeed improve the quality of your life.
But those answers are too obvious.
Let’s talk about exercise. No, don’t tune out yet. Just hang in with me for 400 more words. Exercise: 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
“Who has time for that?” you ask.
Forget for a moment about dropping pounds.
Forget the fitness magazines with their impossible looking physical specimens and unattainable standards of bodily beauty.
Think, instead, about this. Exercise improves mood, improves sleep, and increases your energy level. It prevents disease, it improves blood flow to the brain (which improves your thinking), and it strengthens your body against injury.
Did you know that the endorphin boost from exercise lasts for up to 12 hours?
Exercise makes you more effective at what you do. If you spend time thinking, it helps you think more clearly. If you’re an artist, it helps you be more creative. As a Christian disciple, it empowers you to be a more supple instrument in the hands of Christ.
Exercise is a matter of oiling your woodshop tools. It is sharpening your mower blades. Exercise is like tending to the maintenance of your car. Only it is a lot more fun.
Let’s be clear. Exercise isn’t a matter of “going to the gym” for some tired toilsome routine. Exercise is about moving your body. My grandfather used to go on a mile walk every day, even if there was rain, snow, or high winds. Your form of exercise might be something else – swimming, running, gardening, sports. Make it fun for you.
We all know that we “should” exercise. Let’s take the guilt off it, shall we? There’s no moral imperative. You’re not going to be taken to the principal’s office for not exercising.
Exercise is just wise. It really will improve your life.
So do it for you.
I know, I know. It’s hard to schedule. I know. The press of life gets in the way and exercise gets crowded out. I live there, too. I exercise consistently for weeks and then something knocks me off schedule. Then I go for weeks without doing anything.
And then along comes a reminder. Not a nagging reminder – I hate those. The worst way to motivate me is to nag me. No. The reminder that always helps me is the reminder of why I exercise in the first place.
Because I just feel better when I do.
So, you who have hung with me thus far, consider this your reminder. Maybe, if we all work together, we can remind each other by doing, rather than nagging.
Thanks for reading. I’m off to the gym.
Soli Deo Gloria