Author’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles on what I believe are keys to living a joyful life. A new post will be published every Wednesday.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1st Corinthians 6:19 -20 ESV English Standard Version
I know you are reading this stunned that the first article in the series is about exercise. After much thought, I decided this was the foundation for living a joyful life. Hopefully exercising will lead you to the next step, especially if you are grieving or going through another nasty life event.
Now I am the last person who needs to be writing about exercise since the most I do is up and down the basement steps when doing laundry.
But maybe if I write about exercise I will do it more. Maybe this spring I need to bring back Tour de Parks where I walk a different park every week and then blog about it.
Exercise and Mental Health
It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.
You need exercise to keep the endorphins and other chemicals giving you a natural high. They help boost your mood so you feel like working through tough situations such as grief or career transition.
It is the number one thing I would tell a person to do to get through grief and I mean start the day after the funeral.
Even if it is walking around the block, just do it and keep doing it. You will slowly but surely feel like doing more things to move forward with your new life.
Speaking of walking…
How I Make Walking Less Of A Chore
My favorite thing to do when I go for walks in area parks is to take my camera. Practicing my photography takes my mind off how many laps I’ve yet to do around the pond…
or how far I still need to walk.
The desire of activity is designed by nature to promote our physical well-being. Physical activity is the law of physical health.
Edward Brooks, 1882 Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.com
Get some cool tennis shoes and some cool Hollywood starlet shades and you are off and walking.
Not into walking? Then do chores as they count as exercise – both indoor and outdoor. They are another form of activity that adds up.
So run up and down the basement steps while waiting for the dryer to stop, pick up your speed when vacuuming or dance while you are dusting. Hmmm…we may have a new sport – ballroom dusting.
For your outdoor exercise may I recommend raking a gully as part of your plan to meet the 150 minutes per week requirement.
The gully in my backyard is known as The River Kearns and every couple years, it makes an appearance when we get a lot of rain. I then rake the drain area to make sure leaves, twigs and grass clipping are not clogging the drain. Fun, fun, fun.
A Wise Old Saying
You’ve heard it said that in order to never work a day in your life, find a job you enjoy doing.
The same is true for exercise, find some type you enjoy doing and you will never exercise a day in your life.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go strip the sheets off the bed with the force of an F5 tornado, run down the steps and dunk them in the washing machine. Then it will be time to get out of the house as it is my day off and I must spend most of it away from home. Looks like I will be walking the mall due to the cold, gloomy weather.
Remember – Exercise and you will experience joyful life thanks to the endorphins and other hormones. Plus you will give people something to talk about when you tell them you did ballroom dusting before coming to work.
Reflect first upon that great law of our nature, that exercise is the chief source of improvement in all our faculties.
Hugh Blair (1718–1800) Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.com
We will rejoice and be glad that our Holy, Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father blessed us with another day filled with His new mercies.
We will rejoice and be glad during the hardest of days that friends show up with pans of lasagna, boxes of Kleenex, and are willing to just sit and let us cry, vent and beat the couch pillows as we grieve.
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
Now go tell your friends and family that you love them. Put down the phone, turn off the television, take off the headphones and spend time together rejoicing, being glad and enjoying each others company as you celebrate life.