How My Faith Influences My Fitness
My fitness routine has changed a lot over the years. And a lot of the change has come from my faith life. The stronger my faith became, the stronger my fitness routine became. I now look at fitness in a whole different way.
There was one day when I was in college I realized my faith life could be stronger. My priest Fr. Mike gave a homily on spending more time in prayer or more time with God. I realized I spent lots of my time exercising and would run out of time for God. Because of his talk I realized that if I can spend 30-45 minutes a day working out, 4-5 days a week I can spend at least 20 minutes in prayer every day. I realized how similar my faith life can be to my fitness life. Fr. Mike gave us a challenge to spend more time with God every day for just 10-20 minutes. So I decided it was time to take that next step and strengthen my faith. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and spend more time at the church during the week, I stuck with this routine for over 30 days and now it has become a habit for me. Just as my workout routine was a habit for me, my faith life became a habit as well.
I then started to focus more on why I exercise and spend a lot more time in prayer. With this, I became happier and healthier both physically and spiritually. My faith has been a big motivator for me. I do EVERYTHING for the Lord. My workouts help me understand my own body more and gives me energy and joy to reflect on others. I feel my best when I exercise and when I feel my best I can be a better person to those around me. I work out to take care of my body, not to punish it anymore. My health is important to me and being an Exercise Specialist helped me realize the amazing benefits of exercise. Which is why I found an exercise routine that makes me feel good. I do struggle some days to get a good workout in but I don't let that determine how my day is going. I focus more on time with God to find my joy.
The more consistent I was with my workouts the more I became consistent with my prayer life as well. I started to see more confidence in myself and my faith life. I used to be afraid to talk about my faith but I am learning to not be afraid anymore. Exercise has given me confidence in myself and my life.
I am the type of person who has been motivated to work out, I love the challenge and how amazing I feel afterward. I would wake up earlier just to get a workout in before I had to be somewhere. It wasn’t until college that I started my day with prayer rather than just squeezing in a workout. I now wake up early to fit in my prayer time, and then I work out with the remaining time I have. My workouts motivated me to spend more time with God just like I do for myself with my workouts.
I have also realized that my faith is far more important than my physical health as it says in the bible, 1 Timothy 4:8 "for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." With both prayer and fitness as a routine in my life I found that I feel my best and I can be my best self for everyone around me.
My routine now consists of prayer right away in the morning with some journaling to reflect on the previous day and how I can improve. Then I get my workout in after my prayer and exercise in a way that feels good for me. Which for me is lifting weights or walking/running right now. I have really been enjoying a new Christian music radio on Spotify during my workouts. After my work out, I get ready for the day, eat breakfast, and get started with my day. I have found this routine has stuck with me for over 800 days now (but whose continuing) because I was motivated and consistent with what I wanted to do for God and myself each day. I also add in 2 days of the week to stop by one of the churches to sit in silence and pray. It has changed the way I see myself and my work throughout the day. It has given me a sense of peace to take throughout the day.
Honestly, I was nervous about going into an empty church not knowing exactly what I was doing but the more I went and kept it consistent it became a habit that I really enjoy. I feel an amazing sense of peace after spending time in prayer especially at the church.
It takes 30 days to build a habit and I believe it works. I pushed myself to keep going when I wanted to quit but I kept going telling myself to do it for God not myself and now it's been 810 days exactly of me journaling and praying every morning. I highly recommend adding in a routine with prayer/journaling and a fitness routine that works for you and see how God works in your life. I have felt so much peace these days and my faith has grown even stronger every day. Don’t give up on God or yourself and you will see your motivation for prayer and exercise increase, keep going.
Location: Duluth, MN