Wellness Wednesday: The Power of Community

Today’s post will focus on exercise. First some “RaZella facts” based on my personal experience:

  • Nutrition: Our bodies need nutritious food to provide us the energy required to make exercise part of our lifestyle. Whole30 helped me. Be real about your nutrition and start making changes in this area first.
  • Sleep: Our bodies need adequate rest. It’s not an option. It’s not a suggestion. Check out this post for tips and suggestions to help get a better nights rest. Then, commit to doing it. 
  • Realistic Expectations: At 5’3″ I will never look like a 5’11” super model. You may be in place where your medical professional has set a weight loss goal for you, if so, then that is a realistic expectation. However, it’s not realistic to expect it to happen in two weeks. Until you are being realistic with yourself, you will be trapped in the lies of the unrealistic. Note, this is not an excuse to say you can’t change, because that’s totally unrealistic. 
Exercise should be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Our bodies were designed to move. Research has shown repeatedly the more/longer we sit, the higher increase our risk for heart attacks and diseases. (Click here and here for examples)

I’m not going to include 100 references about how a lack of exercise is bad for our bodies. This is stuff most of us already know. If you honestly haven’t heard the facts, just hop over to Google and search “why is exercise important”.

The reality is changing our habits and our lifestyles to accommodate exercise proves to be the biggest challenge of all.  Our excuses, however valid some of them may be, are numerous. Regardless of the excuse, Our health in the long term suffers when we do not make exercise part of our lifestyle.

For us as parents, our choice to not exercise sets an example to our children that exercise is not important. They eventually see what we do or don’t do, and that speaks louder to them than our saying “Go outside and play”.

Exercise is important.
It’s something we need.
It’s something that is for our benefit.
So what can we do about it?

I have discovered this year the joy of being part of an Exercise Community.

I did Power90 some last year. Eventually I slacked off, gave in, and gave up. This year I was approached by a member of my SparkPeople Power90 team, she’s a beachbody coach and she invited me to do a Beachbody Challenge on Facebook.

A group of people all doing 90 day programs, all committed to completing their programs, all committed to being ACTIVE in the group. Those who were not active were removed. This is a community of people focused on the same goals.

It’s been FANTASTIC. The farther along we go, the more we learn about one another, the more we encourage, uplift, and support one another. When one of us has a down day, there are others ready to encourage us to push through. When one of us has a success, we all cheer.

For me, this has worked beautifully because Facebook allows me to log in daily when it’s convenient for me. Facebook groups are also great because other members of the group don’t have access to my personal page unless I specifically add them as a friend. The daily check ins, daily assignments, and accountability keep me motivated to keep pushing forward. I’m nearing day 40 and have finally reached the place where I ENJOY my exercise for the day. The only set back I’ve had was getting sick this week, however, after logging into my group this morning and browsing around, I was motivated to simply get well soon and go right back at it.

My point is that community helps us to be accountable, helps us to be motivated, and helps us to encourage others and learn from others. We were created to be a people of community.

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. ~Philippians 2:4

Try finding a community to get engaged in. It doesn’t have to be a Facebook group. Sparkpeople has tons of communities. Weight Watchers has online communities and locations with weekly in person meetings.  MustLoveGod holds an accountability link up on Thursdays. You could start a walking club in your own neighborhood. You could make your family your exercise community. Check your local church or churches in the area for a Lose It For Life group to plug into, or maybe you could recommend starting one!

453884: Lose it For Life, Book & Workbook Lose it For Life, Book & Workbook

The key is to get yourself plugged in and stay plugged in.

Along the way, you may find yourself tackling those excuses instead of the excuses tackling you. When you have a community cheering you on, it’s hard to come back and tell them, “Well, you see, *insert excuse here*”.

Remember also, start small.
My current workout takes 50 to 40 minutes six days a week. Three days are for weight lifting, three days are for cardio. I didn’t start there. When I started it was only 30 to 20 minutes.
I’m also a stay at home mom of one child who’s almost twelve.
I happen to have the time to invest the 50 to 40 minutes. (Although, truth be told, in the beginning I was convinced there was no way I’d be able to make time for this. That was my excuse, and now I’ve learned better time management to make it happen.)

If you haven’t exercised in months, don’t go for a five mile run. You can’t make exercise a healthy lifestyle change if you exhaust your body in the first week. Start small. If you are having trouble finding the time to exercise, start super small.

For example, this week, commit to the following:

As soon as you get out of bed – drop down and do 5 push-ups, 10 sit ups, and 10 squats.

So what if it only takes you 3 minutes? If you were doing 0 minutes before, then you are now doing 3 minutes more than what you were doing. After six days you will have done 18 minutes more than you did the week before. Then the following week add to it! Increase everything by 5.

Ajust10minutes

The point is to start.

Starting may be the motivation and encouragement you need.
As you start, you may find yourself discovering when and how you can fit exercise into your routine. Don’t say “well, it’s pointless if I’m not doing at least an hour”, because it’s not. Just start!

For myself, I feel physically better (other than my cold this week 🙂 ) when I exercise regularly versus when I don’t. I have more energy, I get more accomplished. In my challenge group I had to come up with three reasons WHY I was not going to give up during this 90 days, write them down, and set them somewhere in my house where I would see them every day. I’d like to share with you my three reasons:

        1. Taking care of my temple will improve my health, allowing me to better love and serve my family and God’s people physically.
        2. Committing to 90 days will help me to develop self-discipline, which is a fruit of the Spirit I want to grow in.
        3. Taking care of my Physical body is taking care of my temple and honoring God and thanking God for the body He designed for me.

 

Think about how exercise, getting up and intentionally and purposefully moving, not letting your body go to waste, will benefit you. I’m discovering in life that what benefits me, is for God’s glory. Even something as simple as exercise.

My hope is that if you’ve been struggling in this area, you’ll submit this struggle to the Lord today and make the commitment to start doing something about it. Remember, we are a people of community, get plugged in, get engaged, and be a member of a community of exercise who will rejoice with you as you take those first steps to better health.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella

Grab button for Wellness WednesdayThis post is linked up with IntoxicatedOnLife for Wellness Wednesday

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4 thoughts on “Wellness Wednesday: The Power of Community

  1. Good post! Starting small whether it’s in eating habits or exercise habits is the way to go. Make a change and stick with it, THEN add on to it. Thanks so much for sharing on our link-up 🙂

  2. Would you mind if I quote a small number of your articles
    or blog posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your blog: https://razella.com/2013/04/17/wellness-wednesday-the-power-of-community/.

    I am going to aslo be sure to give you the proper anchor-text
    link using your website title: Wellness Wednesday: The Power of Community |
    Her Steps, Her Journey, His Grace.. Please make sure to let me know
    if this is acceptable with you. Thankyou

    • Thank you for stopping by and asking! I am OK with proper credit being linked back to the original blog posts which you are referencing or quoting. 🙂 Thanks again and have a great day!

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