Physical Fitness and Ministry Part II
Previously, we looked at why your physical fitness is important to your ministry (Click here for “Part I”). True to form, I want to get practical this week about how to do improve your level of physical fitness. I am also going to offer some advice about eating right and exercise. You need both if you want to take your ministry further and not limit yourself.
A few things before I continue. First, people tend to overcomplicate fitness. Do not make things more complicated than they are. Secondly, I am not a trainer or any other kind of fitness professional. However, I am giving you tried and true advice that most professionals would agree with. Thirdly, be safe and seek out the advice of a professional or doctor when you are not sure about something. That being said, what can you do?
Eat better. You can’t outrun a bad diet. It’s that simple. In fact, it’s very simple. Use more calories than you eat. Some people go to the next level and do what’s called “counting macros,” (google that for more info) but, in my experience, that gets very time consuming and wasn’t worth the time needed. To find out how many calories you need, simply use an online calorie calculator. One more note here, it is okay to start small. Not everyone can go from eating 4,500 calories a day to 1,700. Start with replacing soda with water. Then fried foods to grilled foods. It is not as painful as it sounds. Also, don’t get caught up in diets. Diets are short term. They have a place, but if you want to stay in shape long term, you need to change the way you eat long term.
If you want to stay in shape long term, you need to change the way you eat long term.
DO SOMETHING! Something is better than nothing! Find something you enjoy (or can tolerate) and start there! Do you like riding a bike? Do that! Do you like walking? Do that! Just get active. For me, I found that I enjoyed lifting weights. So, I did that!
Be consistent. If you are a church leader, you already know the importance of this. You get the most benefit from Bible study and prayer when you are consistent. The same applies to your physical health. If you are concerned you do not have time, imagine if someone came up to you in Church and said they didn’t have time to read the Bible. How would you answer? Hopefully, you would tell them to make time, because it matters! Your health matters! make sure you make the time to do it.
Making it stick
One of the most difficult parts about the process is making the habit stick. I think we can learn a lot from Daniel in this regard. Daniel had a strong, habitual prayer life. The principles we see with Daniel carry over to exercise as well. In Daniel 6:10 we see that Daniel had a place, a time, and a plan for prayer. These same things that made Daniel so effective at prayer carry over to any habit. If you want to improve your fitness, you need a dedicated place, a separate time, and a plan.
I love the practical, nitty gritty side of things. I love to give people the tools they need and set them loose. So, here are some tools to get you in shape!
My Fitness Pal (app)- This will allow you to track what you eat throughout the day. It can be eye opening to realize just how much you eat in one day.
Notebook and Pen- If you are not interested in using an app, you can do the same thing with a pen and paper. keep track of what and how much you eat. If you live in America, you most likely eat far more than you need (as I was).
Couch to 5k (app)- This app helps you progress from being a couch potato to a 5K. Well worth it if you want to run but don’t know where to start.
Run Tracker (app)- This app lets you track your run, pace, and several other things. Definitely my favorite running app to use. it also works for wal!ing and biking.
A good pair of running shoes- I added this to the list just to remind you not to skimp on shoes if you are going to run. Proper foot support is a must and will save you from problems later.
Notebook and Pen- My favorite tool in my fitness arsenal. It’s versatile and works perfectly every time, and I never have to charge it.
StrongLifts 5×5 (app)- This app takes all the thinking out of weightlifting. It tells you how many sets and reps of how much weight and when. The simplest way to start lifting weights that I have found.
There is a world out there that needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we can bring it to them. As for me, I want to do everything I can to share the Gospel the best I can.
I know these posts have diverged a little bit from our topic of Deaf Ministry. However, I truly believe that your personal fitness can improve your ministry. There is a world out there that needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we can bring it to them. As for me, I want to do everything I can to share the Gospel the best I can.
Has being in (or out of) shape influenced your ministry? Tell us in the comments.