All Around Fitness

Physical fitness has become a high priority in our home this year and the way we spend our time reflects this priority. It is a discipline and comes with some sacrifice, but also great rewards {like hitting my goal weight today!}.

That’s right. I’m feeling pretty strong today.

I want this kind of “fitness” in other areas of my life as well.

The two areas of I’m thinking of specifically are mental and spiritual, which I guess covers most of the rest of my life, huh?!

In the physical arena of my life, I carve out 45 minutes to an hour everyday to sweat it out so that my body is healthy and strong. I train for races to give myself goals and motivation. I stay accountable with my husband and my best friend, as well as checking in with the Living and Active Challenge.

The way I plan, and stick to this plan, shows my commitment to physical fitness.

Now it is time to do the same for my mental and spiritual well-being.

Mental: My goals in this area mainly have to do with reading to keep my mind active and sharp. The list of books I want to read is a mile long, so I really need to make a plan and commit to chip away at that list. I will be making a list of the books on my to-read list to post on here and then cross them out as I go for some accountability! The books on my list include a little of everything: fiction, non-fiction, parenting, Christianity, marriage, writing, and more!

Spiritual: The Hello Mornings Challenge and the She Reads Truth reading plans have really helped me stay consistent with my time in the Word, but I want to dive in deeper. God has laid some specific chapters and verses smack dab in front of me several times and I’m taking that as a sign that I need to study them more closely, take notes, and even take action on some of them! I’ll share more about these as I go!

I am also planning more intentional time with the people in my life who feed my mental and spiritual growth. I had some of that this weekend at dotMOM and I came away feeling like a new woman all around! God knows what and who we need, right when we need it!

With all of that said, here is my plan for the week:

Physical

  • Monday: run 4 miles
  • Tuesday: elliptical, rowing machine
  • Wednesday: run 3-4 miles {depending how my knee feels}
  • Thursday: kettlebell workout
  • Friday: exercise bike or run at my parents’ house
  • Saturday: exercise bike or run at my parents’ house
  • Sunday: elliptical, weights

Mental:

Spiritual:

In which area do you find it easiest to make a commitment? What specific goals have you, or will you, set for this week for your all around fitness?

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Running As Worship

I hear runners who are also Christians mention all the time how there is no good Christian music suitable for running.

I beg to differ.

Running to great worship music motivates me like almost nothing else. When one of my favorite worship songs pops up during my run, I feel an extra burst of strength as I’m reminded of the One who has given me the ability to run.

I’ve heard people refer to running as worship {I love this post from Tsh over at (in)courage about running for His pleasure) and the songs listed below have helped me find that place!

Running requires a whole new level of trust and dependence on Him for me. I know that I could not keep going without the strength He gives me, strength I often find in music and in this verse that I try to read before any big run…

I love having those words in my head as I make my way along the trail! And I’m very thankful at the end of a run that He kept me from stumbling!

Now, back to the music:

My playlist contains a wide variety of music, including other Christian music, lots of Glee music, and even some Backstreet Boys {don’t judge}, but these are my favorite worship songs to run to right now…

1. After All (Holy) – David Crowder Band

2. Great I Am – New Life Worship

3. How He Loves – David Crowder Band

4. Unbreakable – Fireflight

5. Light Up the Sky – The Afters

6. Overcome – Jeremy Camp

7. All is Grace – Shaun Groves

8. Stronger – Mandisa

9. He Reigns – Newsboys

10. I Can’t Do This – Plumb

11. Break Free – Hillsong United

12. Set the World on Fire – Britt Nicole

Are there any worship songs you love to listen to while you run or workout? Please share!

*****

I’m also checking in for the Living and Active Challenge today!

I stuck pretty close to my plan last week, but I did rest on Friday so I could tackle a long run on Saturday. I’m so glad I did that! Completing a 7.4 mile run on my own {my longest ever} was so empowering! You can read more about that run and how I got through it here!

This week, I’m travelling Thursday through Saturday so I will have two days off for sure, but here is the plan for the rest of the week:

  • Monday: Run 4 miles
  • Tuesday: Kettlebell workout, speed training workout {treadmill}
  • Wednesday: Run 4 miles
  • Thursday: Run 3 miles, strength training
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: OFF
  • Sunday: Run 3-4 miles or 50+ minutes elliptical, strength training

Check out Clare’s motivational post for week two today – I love the devotional! Good stuff to keep us moving!

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Little Things and Mental Snapshots

I went for my longest run ever this morning.

This was also the first time I ran more than 3.1 miles outside by myself. I was a little nervous.

I made three small goals to help me make it through:

1. Just run and don’t think about the distance.

For the most part, I was able to do this. I did have my running app going so The Hubby could track me from home and it would update my pace every time I hit another mile, but other than that I tried to just focus on continuing to run.

2. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation as I ran around the lake trail.

Oh my. The lake at 7:30 in the morning was absolutely breathtaking. Fog was rising off the water, the sun was just coming over the horizon, and I saw several deer and a flock of wild turkey. It was all glorious! I obviously didn’t have my camera along and my phone was in my armband, so I didn’t get pictures of any of this, but I was taking mental snapshots the whole time.

3. Smile at everyone I passed and say good morning or hello or hi – whatever I have enough breath left to say!

This helped me more than anything during the run. I am an extrovert. I like to interact with people. Since I didn’t have anyone running with me to talk to, I had to come up with a different plan. So many people were just chugging along, pained looks on their faces, but almost all of them either smiled or greeted me back when I initiated. I loved every moment of that and each time someone smiled back, I got a fresh burst of energy to keep running.

Other little things that got me through this 7.4 mile run…

*The World War II veteran strolling the trail with his cane.

*Encouraging texts from The Hubby throughout the run.

*Seeing my breath. {I have mentioned fall is my favorite?!}

*People of all shapes, sizes, and ages being active.

*Knowing that I was running faster than the posted speed limit for boats on the lake! {Boats – 5 mph; Me – 6.1 mph}

*Running across the top of the dam and seeing my shadow striding along with me.

*Finishing strong and getting home in time for College Gameday!

*****

Take a few moments to enjoy the little things this weekend and store up a few mental snapshots of special moments! And share them here for us all to enjoy!

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Living and Active: Joining the Challenge!

This weekend, I took on another race – a five-mile run through a favorite park of mine.

Well, it WAS a favorite park until I realized all the hills I would be running on! It’s a lot easier to drive those hills in my swagger wagon than it is to tackle them on foot! But my running buddy and I finished strong, breaking our goal time by a full 30 seconds!

There are two main reasons I have been able to take up running and working out AND stick with it since April:

  1. I set a goal.
  2. I have an awesome accountability team.

My goal was originally a certain weight I wanted to reach. I still have that goal, but along with weight loss, my goals have evolved and expanded as I get healthier to include new milestones and challenges.

The goals would be mostly ineffective for me, however, if I didn’t have these guys…

The Hubby and my best friend – my accountability team!

We check in with each other every day with our workouts. Just a simple text to say what we did. Takes about five seconds, but knowing I will answer to both of them if I don’t get a workout in is great motivation! And when I haven’t done any exercise for the day, getting a text from one of them about their own workout is usually enough to get me off my behind and on to the treadmill!

I’m a STRONG believer in the power of accountability, which is why I’m also joining the Living and Active Challenge with Clare over at Peak313 Fitness!

This week’s verse is Ecclesiastes 4:12 – the PERFECT verse to emphasize the importance of accountability! Clare has a great devotional and printables to go along with this verse.

I’ve already shared who I am keeping accountable with “in real life,” but Clare also asked us to share our workout plan for the week.

Here is my schedule for the week:

  • Monday: Run 4 miles
  • Tuesday: Kettlebell workout
  • Wednesday: Run 4 miles
  • Thursday: Zumba
  • Friday: Run 4 miles
  • Saturday: Elliptical
  • Sunday: Rest or elliptical

That’s the plan! I will throw in a few weight training exercises throughout the week as well – just geting my feet wet in that area! So glad The Hubby filled me in on how important strength training is to health and weight loss!

Join the Living and Active Challenge with me over at Peak313 Fitness! Let’s commit our healthy living goals and lifestyle changes to the Lord and GET MOVING!

Did I mention I have a few extra people at home cheering me on as well? I feel pretty blessed 🙂

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