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Workout Routines

~~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV84) ~~  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.



by Carley Cooper

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Even for the most devoted healthy living fanatic, there are days when thought of healthy eating, or hearing the word ‘workout’ makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the gut.  It’s enough to make one feel like you have to climb a mountain.  Plus, if you’re new to the workout scene, there’s so much to think about.  I mean what’s the deal with cardio and strength training?  How many sets of how many reps do I do?  How healthy is healthy before it becomes obsession?  Is soy really good for you?  What’s the best between walking, running, swimming, mountain biking, aerobic videos, dancing; and the list goes on?  Should I eat potatoes or not?  And, what’s calisthenics anyway? 

Why is that taking care of ourselves seems so dreadful sometimes?  As someone who’s lost a lot of weight, and has changed my life so drastically in so many areas, I often get people asking me questions such as; what is the most important things I can do?  The disappointment that I see on their faces when I tell them that ‘the keys to success lies in motivation, education and self discipline’; is a common.  This is an unfortunate attitude, but the truth is those things are the keys to finding that place where your body is healthy.  I know this from traveling through that journey myself. 

At the present time I am somewhere in the midst of a journey about disciplines.  I know that because in the past couple months the  number of messages that I am hearing and seeing from God, about disciplines, are overwhelming me.  One of a number of specific things that I am getting messages about is taking care of my body.  Keeping our bodies physically healthy is a spiritual discipline.  By doing this we are worshiping God; and giving the Holy Spirit a nice, clean, healthy place to live.  Think about it... would you want to  live in a rickety, rundown dump of a home that’s filled with garbage and poor air circulation?  No, you wouldn’t, and neither would I.  Well, God doesn’t want that either.  Our body is His temple.  However, I did just that for many years.  I was up to way over 200 pounds once (how high, is not important for this discussion).  I didn’t eat well and I had breathing problems much of the time.  My energy was low on a good day and my mental health was... well, very bad, to say the least.  Even my hair and nails were different as an unhealthy person.  By not taking care of our bodies, and filling it with garbage fuel like processed foods, white flour, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals, preservatives, antibiotics; and the list goes on, we are giving God exactly that... a shabby shack to live in.   

My health routine to take care of my body involves a daily workout.  My standard workout routine has three parts to it.  I know what you’re thinking.  You know this already; right?  It’s cardio, strength, and cool-down with stretches.  Well, yes and no.  You’re right about those things; but no, those are not the three parts I am referring to.  My morning workout includes a spiritual workout, a mental workout, and a physical workout.  Our bodies are made up of three parts; the physical body, our mind and our spirit. 

First, when I wake up I spend some quiet time with God.  I talk to Him, then I do a devotional time; which involves reading the bible and a message from a devotional book.  Then I finish it off by listening to some worship music for at least 30 minutes.  I do this routine first thing in the morning because I believe that from the time we wake up our minds should be on God.  I have found that if I don’t start my day with Him, the day just does not go right.  Granted that’s not to say we’ll never have a bad day if we start it with prayer; but, I mean, that I’ve noticed that if I don’t start out my day with God, I’m guaranteed to have a rotten day. 

The next part of my routine is my mental workout.  I think this is fundamental for anyone, but for me and others with mental illness I think it is absolutely vital.  For me, this element is made up from meditation, reading and positive thinking.  I have a 30 minute mediation program that I listen to on my MP3 player.  It claims to help change brain chemistry.  There are no words.  It’s just sounds.  After I listen to it I do feel better, and I have more energy.  Because of my Bipolar Disorder, racing thoughts are a constant problem, and first thing in the morning is my worst time.  For me to sit and listen to anything without distraction for very long is impossible; let alone a whole 30 minutes.  As such, to keep my mind from racing too fast while I’m listening to my meditation program, I read a book.  It forces me to have something to focus on.  Even then it’s sometimes very difficult.  There are times that in those 30 minutes I will read only a couple of pages, because I cannot force myself to focus.  It’s common problem for Bipolar sufferers.  Other times, I can read 10 - 15 pages.   

The last part of my mental workout is training my thinking patterns.  For some people, this may not be much of an issue.  All my life my thinking was negative in every aspect of my life.  I wasn’t necessarily aware that it was negative.  It was just the way the world was; I thought.  This was how my mind was trained to think from the beginning.   After I lost the weight, I knew the next step toward mental healthiness was to change my thinking patterns.  This venture was, by far, the hardest part of my lifestyle change; and it continues to be.  To alter what is, essentially, one’s brain chemistry is no small feat, but for those of us with mental illness, who know that our brain chemistry is already off course, as compared to others; it is an even bigger undertaking.  For this, I read positive affirmations.  I have a stack of index cards with positive affirmations written on them.  I also have some books filled with positive quotations and mantras; and, of course, God’s Word.  Plus, as often as I can, I journal, but this can be done anytime of the day.

The final part of my workout practice is my physical workout.  I get my cardio by doing power-walking in the park; when the weather is nice.  On not-so-nice days, I workout with videos.  Then there’s a strength training routine, and stretches. 

Granted, I’m not perfect in my workout or healthy eating routines.  There are days when I just don’t have the mind for it; but I do pray about it.  My standard practice has been to allow myself one day per week to have some treats, so that I don’t feel deprived or left out, if I’m at a public or family function.  Sometimes when I’m not feeling well in the morning or if I have to rush off somewhere and I’m short on time; the first thing that gets cut from the program is the worship music.  Then, if I’m still short on time, the mental health element is the next thing to get slashed.  And my strength-training routine is the hardest part for me to keep on track with.  Plus, sometimes there are days when I over eat, or when I don’t eat at all.  I never cut prayer time, and almost never cut devotional time though.     

What I do know for sure is that to be truly healthy and to reap the benefits, I have to discipline myself better.  I know God wants me to do that.  He has blessings in my future that depend on it.  My motivation is Jesus and spending eternity with Him.  My education comes from God’s Word and a continuous need to know more about healthy living through reading.  My strength for my self-discipline comes from the Holy Spirit.  So, what’s your routine made up of?  Go ahead, climb the mountain; it’s a great workout!



~~ Dear God ~~  Thank You for teaching me how to do a complete workout.  Please give me the passion, willingness and the strength I need to develop the discipline to do it daily.  Help me climb the mountain, so I can reach the summit and be with Jesus.  In Jesus name, AMEN.



59 comments :

  1. Just read your blog on workout routines. It really encouraged me today. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for the comment about my blog. I'm so glad that it inspired you. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  2. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    We all need to exercise our spirit, our mind, AND our body! Thanks Carly!

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. I hope you are blessed by it. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  3. Carley, I think I'm a lot like you in many ways,I also find it hard to do one thing at a time because of a racing mind first thing in the morning. But I do pray before I get out of bed thanking God for another day here, but I do miss home. I know what needs to be done, but I need help self disciplining myself. I'm so glad you are getting a great benefit out of your work out. Pray I find the perfect plan for me. Keep up the good work (out)

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. I'm realizing that the discipline is important, not only to get the job done, but because it's important to get closer to God. I said a prayer for you. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  4. Terrific blog. Thank you for sharing =) I too am working on balancing my physical fitness with my mental and spiritual fitness and I find that when I put equal effort into all aspects of my well being, I see much better results with the physical.

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. I said a prayer for you that you will be able to do it body, mind and spirit; for Him. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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    2. WOW Carley.. so very very helpful! I will start tomorrow. God loves you very very much.. Hugs and Blessings HAPINANA (I love SP)

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    3. Thank you so much HAPINANA. I'm glad that you were inspired. Let God lead you. Many blessings to you. HUGS

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  5. KASEYCOFFMay 31, 2012

    As always, Carley, you really highlight some good stuff - thanx for posting this! (And neat pic, too, lol...)
    Hug

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    1. Thank you Kasey. As always, your feedback makes me smile. I hope you are blessed by it. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  6. Thank you Carley... I love the picture... Its true... the best workout involves the whole body... mentally, physically and spiritually!

    Thank you for posting this.

    Ray

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    Replies
    1. You're so very welcome Ray. Thank you so much for the feedback. I hope you are blessed by it. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  7. FERGSGIRL2May 31, 2012

    Great blog, we sometimes neglect the spiritual, and wonder why our life is unbalanced. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback FERGSGIRL2. Funny you should bring up being unbalanced. I'm currently reading a Joyce Meyer book called "How to Hear from God". I just, this morning, read the section where she talks about the need for balance. I think God is speaking to me about this issue. Thanks. I hope you are blessed by my blog. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  8. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    Carley,unfortunatly I don't have a routine yet, but I did buy a work out video todsy (I lost my other ones) and plan to begin using it this afternoon and at least four or five days a week henceforth. I too spend time with the Lord each day either transposing my old sermon notes, doing a devotional, or a Scripture reading with my husband. I do eat a pretty healthy diet but am back on track now to keeping the calories where they are supposed to be. Exercise has been my nemesis, with Gos's touch I am praying I will be able to keep on doing this DVD. Thanks for your motivational blog. Kim

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. I said a prayer for you. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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    2. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

      I really enjoyed your blog post too. I think scheduling time with the Lord is a good thing if it helps us to keep Him a priority. There was a time when I had been scheduling my time with the Lord and I found myself feeling guilty if I missed that time. I may have spent time in a different way or at a different time, but I noticed I had somehow made that time too important. We need to keep everything in perspective, yet doing what we need to do to keep our relationship vital and alive and our hearts walking in the truth. Kim

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    3. I just look forward to my prayer time in the morning so much. I can't imagine starting out my day any other way. I feel blessed by it. When I don't have time I cut my meditation or my workouts. I just need to talk to God no matter what. It certainly is a balancing act to keep one's heart in the place that God wants it to be. I pray for that for myself and my loved ones. HUGS.

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  9. Cindi/LadyRoseMay 31, 2012

    Carley, As usual another AWESOME Blog. It seems as though you have become my Spiritual Life Coach. What would I ever do without you? Blessings my friend. Have a wonderful day!! ;o)

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much Cindi. That's gotta be one of the nicest compliments that I've received. But it's God doing the leading. I just pray and hope that He's using me to help spread His Word. I'm honoured to be chosen by Him for this. Blessings to you, my Friend. HUGS.

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  10. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    Excellent point. Oftentimes the Lord gets squeezed into our "spare time", or if we miss our time with Him it's no biggy. A devotional I read by Oswald Chambers made a great point though - we shouldn't make an idol out of our devotional time, it's not about that, it's about being with the One you love more than anyone or anything else in your life. It's hard to stay in love with someone you don't spend time with. God bless, Kim

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    1. Thanks for the awesome feedback. I've actually thought about that in the past and prayed that I would not worship the worship. I want to worship God. But, now I just look forward to my quiet time with Him first thing in the morning so much. My day just doesn't go right without it. Thanks so much for sharing. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  11. Yep all three of those are important. You are so right, and all three require work, time, and effort. The Lord gives us the strength. Have a blessed day.

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    1. Thanks Ravyna. I'm so thankful for His strength so often. I certainly wouldn't have it to keep going without it. God is good. Many blessings to you. I hope you have an awesome weekend. HUGS.

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  12. franceshdJune 01, 2012

    So True!
    If any part is out of kilter,
    it affects the others.

    And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and
    soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Th 5:23 (KJV)

    Have a Joyous June

    BLESSINGS !

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    1. Thank you so much. That's an awesome scripture. I hope you are blessed by it. HUGS.

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  13. Very Cool thank you great

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. I hope you are blessed by it. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

      Delete
  14. SPARKLISEJune 02, 2012

    Great blog.
    I have been thinking about this for weeks(more like months) but I have not made an effort to actually do something about it.
    I leave at 6h30 am for work and most times I come home at 6h00pm.
    In the morning,I try to get up at 5h30 am but lately i've been being lazy in bed till 6h00.
    Instead of taking time with the Lord I eat breakfast with the morning newspaper.
    This has to change!
    No more laziness.
    I admire people who make a routine and stick to it!
    I have problems with the sticky part!
    I know it would make my days better,but......I just don't do it!
    I will start Monday! :-D
    Have a great week! Hugs

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm glad that you were inspired. Let God lead you. Many blessings to you. HUGS

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  15. Thanks for the blog, it was very helpful, it gave me something to think about.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad it was helpful to you. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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  16. ANGELREJOICES54June 04, 2012

    Great!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

      Delete
  17. AnonymousJune 06, 2012

    Great workout, Carley! You truly honor God and yourself through these processes.

    Thanks to having lost over a hundred pounds, my thought process and outlook on life seems to have lifted both my spirit and attitudes substantially. It’s amazing how the sin of gluttony can weight my whole being down. The good news is the sacrifice Christ made for us and how he bears our sins when we abide in him and repent. Such incredible mercy and grace we receive. My personal workout regimen is to create, review and achieve my God-honoring goals (in areas of faith, family, friends, food, fitness, and fun) every two or three months thanks to a number of teams I’m on through my weight-loss/maintenance journey on SparkPeople.com.

    May we continually find growth in our relationship with God and the love we share with others. -- Evelyn

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    1. Thank you for the support. I'm glad you liked it. I also have been so very amazed at how my thinking has changed since losing so much weight and starting to eat healthy. Granted meditations, a relationship with God, and positive thinking training are massive influences as well; but simply the healthy eating and exercise has impacted me more than I would have thought it would. I am so grateful for this journey. Many blessings to you. HUGS.

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