Tag Archives: Exercise

Exercise for the Busy Mommy

What mommy with a busy household full of little ones and perhaps homeschooling as well has time to exercise? Even if she has time, when could she get off by herself and go to the gym? Maybe she could take an early morning run before her husband leaves for work, but with safety concerns these days, that isn’t advisable either. Are there any exercise solutions available?

We think there are viable exercise options that can be done at home without any specialized equipment in a minimal amount of time and space! I had two e-mails this week asking questions about how my girls and I exercise so I expect there are others who are interested in this information. In the past few years, we have been learning about the benefits of intense exercise that is done for short periods of time. This has meant that we can have a good workout in 20 to 30 minutes a day or even every other day.

Most of us know that exercise is important for a healthy body, and we want to make exercise part of our daily schedule. Even Scripture tells us that there is some value in exercise although the most important part of our lives is godliness. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Steve and I are able to walk together for exercise. If you have older children who are mature enough to watch younger children, walking is an ideal exercise for a husband and wife. Not only are you getting exercise time in, but you are also able to have uninterrupted communication. Our morning walks are a highlight for both Steve and me each day, and we know it is part of what has kept our bodies healthy and our relationship close. We also do about 15 minutes of the exercising we are describing in this Mom’s Corner every other day. Our girls also do this kind of exercise most days, and their exercise routine is what I want to share with you. When Steve is sick or has an injury, I exercise with the girls so I have had some experience participating in their routines.

Here is an overview of what is possible without much time, without any equipment, and without having to leave home. It can even be done with children participating, or if they are little, with them playing nearby.

Our girls usually do 20 to 30 minute workouts in the mornings right after personal Bible time before starting their days. This is the most stable time of day for us. We have some equipment like free weights in our basement where we workout, but the girls don’t always use them in their exercising. When we are on the road, the girls’ workout uses body weight. The exercises in the demonstration in the link following require no equipment.

The girls plan exercise routines that vary every day. Here is a link to some exercises like the girls would use.

They pick 6 to 8 exercises and write them down so they know the order they are going to use. When they started exercising like this, they did the first exercise for 30 seconds and then rested for 15 or 20 seconds. Then they did the second exercise for 30 seconds and then rested for 15 or 20 seconds. When they finished all the exercises, they would start over doing two rounds and working up to three rounds or whatever fit into their time frame.

As they got stronger and built more endurance, they did the exercises for 45 seconds each. Then they advanced to a full minute for the exercises with only a 10 to 15 second break between exercises. You can learn exercises by watching the video. Having proper technique is necessary to avoid injury. Then pick six or eight of the exercises for your first exercise routine and write them down. Take another six or eight and make a second list for the next day’s routine. If you did that and saved each routine on your computer, you could reuse them and not have to make up so many new ones. As you get the hang of exercising this way, you could hunt for more exercises on the Internet to add to your list of available exercises.

We pace ourselves as we exercise. If we need to rest in the middle of an exercise, we rest. Sometimes when I am exercising, I can’t make the full 30 seconds. I will take a little break and then start again to finish the interval. As you get stronger and in better shape, you can scale the exercising up to whatever you are able to do by increasing the time of the intervals or performing the exercise faster.

Do you have a smart phone? If so, there are apps that you can get for timing your intervals and even listing the exercises. The one Steve and I use is called UltraTrainer. It is a little harder to program than Anna’s timer. Anna has one called Seconds (the free version). In Seconds’ free version, you can’t save your timers, but if you purchase it, you can. Anna uses Round Timer and quickly enters her number of rounds, plus interval and break duration. You can set up intervals for exercise, for rest, and for how many exercises you want to do. The program does the timing for you, giving you auditory clues for starting each exercise, ending it, and resting. If you set your phone in the right place, you can watch the seconds count down to the beep. Sometimes when you are really tired, it helps to look at the timer and discover you only have five seconds left.

When programming the timing app, if you want to go all out, you can name each exercise within the routine. The girls don’t do that because they put so much variety into their routines, and they are different every day. They write out their routine and simply use the timer for their intervals. Steve and I tend to get a routine going and do it for quite a while before changing it up so we enter the names of the exercises. In reality because we do the same routine so frequently, we soon memorize it.

Busy mommies need to take care of their bodies. They have to have strength and energy to keep up with their young crew, to stay healthy, and to accomplish all that the Lord has given them to do. I encourage you to try this way of exercising and see if it will allow you to do what you didn’t think you could do–exercise!

A Godly Legacy – Part 2

In the family of Andrew Murray, of South Africa, eleven children grew to adult life. Five of the sons became ministers and four of the daughters became ministers’ wives. The next generation had a still more striking record in that ten grandsons became ministers and thirteen became missionaries. The secret of this unusual contribution to the Christian ministry was the Christian home.” John Mott in his biography of Andrew Murray reminds us of the power of a father’s legacy.

Last month we began the topic of a father’s godly legacy. How critical is it to us that we leave behind children who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ? You can tell how important something is to a man by the decisions that he makes. A man will find a way to do what is important to him. No matter how difficult it is, he will do what he considers must be done.

God has called the dad to provide for his family. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). Most men are responsible when it comes to providing for their families. Often there are mornings they are tired and would like to sleep in, yet they get up and go to work. There can be a host of days where there are other things they would rather do; yet they make the right choice and go to work.

Funny, how sometimes others know us better than we know ourselves. They know that we do what is most important to us by observing the decisions we make and the actions we take. We may think something is important to us, but if we aren’t making appropriate decisions and allocating time to accomplish it, we need to face the fact that it really isn’t important to us.

Assuming raising sons and daughters to be mighty in the Lord Jesus is vital for each dad reading this, how might one go about this? Paul tells us the basic “components” of a person. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We see from this verse that a person consists of a body, soul, and spirit. So how might we establish a proper foundation of each area?

First let’s consider how we could prepare our children physically. A body is important because it houses the soul and spirit. If the physical house we live in is in poor repair, we are less effective in life. When the storms come, a leaky roof diverts our attention away from what we could be doing. If the furnace is faulty, we will have to take emergency measures during cold winter storms, and poor drainage may cause our basement to flood. For us to invest time in priorities, our homes must be maintained in good repair.

In a similar way, our health impacts greatly how well we can serve the Lord. If we have no energy or are sickly, we won’t have the stamina to give the Lord full days. Then when we come home from work each evening, we will be too tired to lead family Bible time. As a matter of fact, many dads come home for work and choose to vegetate through the evening.

Proper nutrition and exercise may well mean the difference between suffering lifestyle-related diseases with onerous medical expenses that could be avoided or leading an active productive life. What we feed our children and how their bodies are strengthened will greatly determine how well their bodies will function during their lifetime, and it will set appetites that will help or hinder them throughout their lives.

During the last twenty years, obesity percentages have continued to climb to the point that it is being called a national epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control with roughly one third of all adults being classified as obese. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Americans are sowing to the flesh so effectively that obesity statistics keep rising at alarming rates. Being overweight leads to serious and costly health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Next time you are at the doctor’s office take an informal poll and count how many in the waiting room are overweight versus how many are trim. Every time I’ve done that the results have been consistently shocking.

We have heard some say how manageable diabetes is today, but I don’t believe it. I have personally observed the “fruit” of diabetes in the elderly at our nursing home church. Toes and portions of a foot are cut off in the attempt to stop infection from spreading. Legs are removed up to the knee before the infection is finally stopped. Kidneys fail, and eyesight is lost all due to diabetes.

The best way to deal with diabetes is to prevent it in the first place. A proper diet and exercise are necessary. Parents modeling a healthy lifestyle and then teaching their children the same will ensure that sons and daughters have bodies capable of serving the Lord.

When you observe an overweight parent, notice how common it is see overweight children in the family. I know I have not been a good example of weight control and a balanced diet for my children. However, over the last five years it has been a focus of mine to become a good example and great positive strides have been made in nutrition for our family. If only the bad food didn’t taste so good it would be much easier. But isn’t that true for sin as well? Sin is pleasurable, and therefore must be resisted. Overeating unhealthy food is also pleasurable, and for our health it is good to resist.

Nutrition goes hand-in-hand with exercise, and we can observe from 1 Timothy 4:8 that the physical emphasis is somewhat beneficial when compared with godliness. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Unfortunately, all too often parents think of competitive sports as the answer to a need for exercise. Yet, we have regularly talked to people who mention injuries they have received due to childhood sports’ team activity. Exercise at home together as a family is a much safer way to receive exercise without the heightened risk of injury due to competitive sports. Also, when exercising at home with the family, the child doesn’t have the negative influences of other teammates nor develop the appetite to waste hours and hours watching the sport on TV.

Simple exercises at home are possible and effective. If Dad will work out with the children, there is the added benefit of time well spent together building relationships. As an experiment this winter, we had a three-month fitness challenge on Titus2.com for families. Many who participated commented to us how they greatly enjoyed and benefited from their time invested working out together. Simple habits learned as children will bring lifelong benefits to health. However, it does take effort to begin and maintain exercise programs. If you would be interested in a few introductory exercises that you can do at home as a family, you can go to: February challenge.

I ended up suspending my normal, daily exercise during the last trip. I really didn’t miss the hard work and the time it takes. However, I did miss the benefits of exercise. When I don’t exercise, I feel lethargic and have greater difficulty maintaining my weight. I’ve found it to be one of those necessary aspects of life that has to be a priority for it to happen. Then once it is over, I’m satisfied that I did it and glad to get on with the rest of the day.

Our influence is powerful in the lives of our children. We are sowing appetites in their lives by our example. Medical costs are going to spiral upward through the years, and the healthier a person is, the less he will spend and the higher the quality of his life. A fit person will have more energy with which to minister to his family and serve the Lord. May we teach our children how to maintain their bodies for the glory of the Lord. “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Next month we will continue this series.