Milk and Honey Magazine explains the importance of fitness at the gym AND loving Jesus!

Faith + Fitness = ☺

Paige Weslaski
07/20/17

I'm a gym buff and admittedly have three gym memberships (yes, you read that correctly). At this point, daily fitness is much less of an option but a main staple. Walking through the gym doors each day, I know I'm cultivating discipline, strength, and health. Whether it's running a couple miles on the treadmill, riding my bike, swimming a mile or two, boxing, barre, or hot yoga, I love to move!

Since accepting Christ as my Life Tour Guide, I've begun to embed His Love into different aspects of my day-to-day. If I have a problem client at work, I'll stop and say a little prayer to myself; if I'm out at a restaurant, 9 times out of 10 I ask those present if we can say a prayer before eating; if I have a friend tell me they need help, I point them to the Bible.

One of the biggest changes I made, however, was shifting the nature of my workouts from a chore to worship. Yes, that's right, worship! Having a body that can run and jump and skip and box and swim ... I see my workouts as a blessing. Many people don't have the ability or time to workout every day, and I've started to see it as yet another glorious way to praise Jesus!

My Tour Guide (ahem, Jesus) goes with me everywhere I go, especially the gym! That means I've learned not only to view exercise as joyful praise to Him, but I've been streamlining what I see with my eyes and what I hear with my ears while doing so. For example, prior to making this change, I was playing the raunchiest of music during my spin classes. I wasn't concerned about it dishonoring God, even though the words in the songs were degrading to women and highlighted everything God's not exactly cool with! Once I switched things up, all the songs I played were happy, upbeat, profanity-free, and clear of any questionable lyrics. And the lovely part is, my class audience shared how much more they appreciated the music (which surprised me, considering many of the song splayed prior were top hits on the radio).

Alongside changing my music preferences, I've become more conscious about the shows I watch while on the treadmill. I used to watch hours of Real Housewives, etc, and I started to notice a negative mindset creeping into my heart after 10+ hours of the show throughout a couple days. Watching TV while running makes the time for me fly by, but watching trash that hurts my internal soul counteracts the miles that help my physical body!

I've been learning to analyze aspects of my "life staples." For me, that meant the gym, how I handle myself at work/restaurants/home, and how I communicate with my family and friends. Putting Jesus in a box to deal with on Sunday mornings did nothing for me; I wanted a real life change! I wanted His "life giving Light" to shine in every area of my weekdays and weekends. That way, I'd be living fully for Him and He'd guide my path exactly where He knew best.

"Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." (1 Timothy 4-8) I figured, why not combine the two (since Paul explains they're BOTH good) and discipline my life whilst workout out! I began to let my workout strengthen my soul AND body instead of desensitizing myself to what the world calls "cool."

You know what I think is cool? Loving Jesus without shame. Everyday. Everywhere. With every person.

Now, who wants to go for a jog?

Photo cred: Charlotte Mooney

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