staying fit: Regular training keeps us moving
By the time you read this, I will be in the middle of marathon training, which means I will be doing longer runs of 14, 16, 18, and even 20 miles. Because I am a slow runner, these runs will take me a few hours each time. Thankfully, my other training runs are shorter—three to four miles, or six to eight miles—which seem much easier by comparison!
I like the fact that the training program I’m using doesn’t make me increase mileage in huge jumps, but rather stair-steps it up gradually, so my body can become accustomed to the longer distances. I get to push myself just a little bit further each time, and then recover. When I first did a 10-mile run, it was hard, but now it’s manageable. I know I can go that distance, and what it feels like.
You’ve probably found the same thing in what you are doing. What once was strenuous or seemed impossible, you can now do. Walking for 20 minutes used to leave you short of breath, but now you can walk it briskly. Going up a couple flights of stairs perhaps earlier would seem daunting, but now you look forward to it because you feel better when you do it. Staying fit and being healthy involves regular training - our body needs it.
Once our body gets used to doing something, the health benefit drops off significantly, which is why we have to change things up a bit, or go a bit further, or a bit longer. For example, if you can now walk for 30 minutes and your heart rate no longer really gets elevated much, you may need to walk faster, or for more minutes, or walk a course with more elevation - something to get your heart rate up where it needs to be so you derive the benefits. Regular training enables our bodies to be challenged, then to adapt, then to be challenged again. Resist the temptation to be satisfied with what you’ve always done. Keep seeking some challenge. Try doing something a little differently so your body has to adjust, but do it in manageable amounts - a little bit longer, a little bit faster. It would not be wise to, say, go from walking a mile to walking five miles all of the sudden. Increase by a quarter mile or half mile. Or do by time, five to ten minutes longer increase and do that for awhile.
Keep on moving forward! I’d like to hear from about what you have learned from your experience in seeking to be healthy and staying fit.
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