Getting Fit Without Forgetting God: Do’s and Don’ts

How can we get in shape without losing sight of what's really important?

It happens to the best of us. The winter blues set in, and we start getting a little too friendly with that La-Z-Boy. Before we know it, though, our days seeking refuge from Old Man Winter will be over, and the great outdoors will actually be appealing again.

For our bodies, summer activity can be demanding. Don’t worry, though—there’s still time to get in shape, first. You can boost your energy, control your weight, and improve your mood with physical exercise, according to Mayo Clinic. Now is the perfect time to get out those sweatbands that haven’t seen the light of day since Thanksgiving.

Now before you hit the gym, let’s pause for a moment. We all know it’s far too easy to get caught up in the beach body craze and forget the real reason for taking care of our bodies:

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Though your church’s potlucks may suggest otherwise, Christians are supposed to keep our bodies healthy. To help us achieve our fitness goals without relying on the wrong motivation, here are six DO’s and DON’Ts:

  • Do your daily devotion and your workout back-to-back. Because many physical exercises (like running or biking) don’t require much brain power, they provide great opportunities for reflection. Give yourself something to chew on during your workout by doing your daily devotion beforehand.
  • Do be mindful of the music you exercise to. Just because we tell ourselves that we like a questionable song’s high-power beat and its lyrics don’t affect us, it doesn’t make it true. Keep your workout playlist free of any songs that could influence you negatively while exercising.
  • Do exercise with a friend for fellowship. Instead of hitting the gym all by yourself, find a friend to take with. Not only does this provide opportunity for fellowship, but it’ll also help both of you stay accountable to your fitness goals.
  • Don’t make your body an idol. Getting fit isn’t about looking like a model on a magazine cover. Not even cover models look that good without help from digital magic. Instead, find other motivations for getting fit—like being a good steward of the vessel God has given you.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. As hard as it is, try to resist this urge. Getting fit is your personal journey, not a competition with the rest of the morning gym crowd. To fight the urge to compare, focus on your personal strengths when you realize you’re knocking yourself down.
  • Don’t get obsessed. Though the creators behind every weight loss plan known to man wish you would believe this, a dream body isn’t your ticket to happiness. It’s learning to love the skin you’re in. Set goals you can actually achieve, and always keep your priorities in line.

There you have it—six tips to help you get healthy on both the outside and the inside. A word of wisdom, though—it’s good to exercise, but you don’t need to be in shape on the outside to be pleasing to God. For him, it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

With that in mind, get up and get moving! Do you have other fitness tips that help you get in shape? Share them in the comments section below!

Tyler Lehmann

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