She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17
I have a bit of a workout addiction. I love variety: swimming, running, cycling, lifting, bodyweight workouts, and yoga all fill my schedule. These workouts are equal parts physical and mental wellness. My mental health always improves with regularly exercise. When I’m grumpy, my husband will often ask if I need to eat something or go for a run…either are likely to alleviate my mood.
Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. – PLATO
During the COVID-19 pandemic, exercise (especially outdoors) has been a critical escape. There have been other times in my life, due to pregnancy complications or illness, where I could not stay physically active. Those were extremely difficult times. My mental health slipped as my physical activity waned. The cycle continued to spiral as I longed for the things I could not do. My body felt broken, and my energy depleted.
It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light. John 11:10
During that time I realized how activity needs to be intentional in times of darkness. It was the light to get me from day to day, hour to hour. I made a list of activities that I could accomplish: practicing flute, writing, reading comedian memoirs (my favorite genre), and organizing and leading online groups. I planned out my day with ample time for rest and reasonable goals. Finding ways to feel active while incapacitated was God’s way of giving me guiding light in the dark night.
Today I am back at it, moving moving moving. At one point this summer, I was in a 5-day step contest with a friend in Singapore…I won with 167k steps to her 150k (take that, Jenni). As she explained to a mutual friend, “this isn’t about health, this is about destroying the other person.” (It is only with the closest friends that you can actively try to crush each other from across the globe.) We both limped to the end of the week thoroughly entertained by our antics while the normal people in our challenge looked at us with confusion and probably a bit of concern.
Finding the joy, entertainment, and mental benefits in physical wellness, whatever the current state of my physical being, is incredibly important. With regular activity, my mind improves, and I love pushing myself. I feel closer to God when I am outdoors, and my mind feels clear and better able to focus. I have found many answers during a prayerful run, and I know that God will continue to lead me to the trail so that I will focus, quiet the voices in my head, and listen.
- Anne Marie Weber
10 for 10 Daily Inspiration | Day 4: Physical Wellness