In this month's blog, we talk about what we can do to reach our goals when good intentions alone are not enough.
If the words ‘balanced diet’ make you want to roll your eyes, you’re not alone. Some of us prefer the idea that a balanced diet simply means having a large bar of chocolate in each hand. But here’s the thing: If you want to lead a healthier, happier life - there are some choices you get to make, that make a difference.
The human body is incredible. Every body has been uniquely designed and given to us to live in, to work from and to enjoy. Being active offers a whole host of benefits for our health and wellbeing and helps us live life in all its fulness. Staying active helps us be fit for the purposes we were made for; even if we might or might not be the size or shape we would like and even when our bodies aren’t physically able to do all the things they used to do.
We believe that Every Body Matters
Every body is a gift from God and each one is amazing.
Bodies are unique and come in all shapes and sizes, each one with strengths, abilities, weaknesses and limitations. Some of these we are born with, others develop along life's journey. Our bodies are a home on earth, for our hearts, minds and souls, and this is why our bodies are worthy investments of our care and attention. Healthy bodies support and protect our physical, mental and emotional health. They will inevitably begin to decline with inactivity and/or age, but they serve us best when we intentionally look after them well.
However, the influences of our modern lifestyles can make it difficult to regularly build sufficient regular physical activity into our everyday lives. Whilst we don’t need to workout to enable us binge-watch Netflix(!) - staying physically active is vital, if we want our bodies to be fit and healthy enough to do many of the things that really matter to us.
When it comes to taking part in physical activity, we’re all different. Some people enjoy moderate levels of physical activity, like regularly going walking, dancing, doing household chores or gardening. Others love more vigorous physical activity and take every opportunity to go to the gym and do a cardio workout, take a strengthening exercise class, or play an active sport.
Then, there are those who prefer a more sedentary lifestyle - grabbing any chance to collapse on the sofa with some tasty snacks. Rest and relaxation are really important, but whilst ‘sofa and snacks’ time is great in moderation, it's good to be aware that the benefits of being physically active far outweigh the benefits of being inactive.
Becoming more active helps us feel physically better, boosts the clarity of our thinking and supports our mental health. Keeping active also reduces the risk of injury from strains, falls and accidents and helps us recover from illness more quickly.
Being in good shape enables us to do many things that are much more of a struggle (or simply not possible) when we are less active and are physically unfit.
Even though we might appreciate the health benefits of being active it can still be hard to start, build and maintain healthy habits around exercise. So if your own physical fitness has ever got in the way of doing things you’ve wanted to do, or being the person you want to be; know this: You’re not alone.
The good news, is that it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s never too late to become more intentional about your health and wellbeing and we want to help!
Where do you see yourself? On a scale of 1-5, how active is your body at the moment?
Where would you like to be in 6 months time; so far as this is possible with you?
Making changes around our physical activity, or how we think or feel about being active, requires us to notice the stories we tell ourselves.
For example, when we say: “I’m rubbish at……” “I could never…” “I don't have time to…” “I can’t be bothered to…” it makes it harder for us to do something different.
If you’re someone who thinks about physical activity as some kind of punishment (or inactivity as a reward!), have you ever thought about activity as an intentional investment in your future?
When we think and talk about physical activity as something we have no choice about, feel guilty about, or feel no motivation for, we set ourselves up to fail.
However, here’s the good news! We can shift our attitude towards exercise, by thinking of it as an opportunity, something we are able to do… Being transformed starts when we start to think differently! (Romans 12:2)
For example, instead of saying “I have to go for a walk on Sunday afternoon” I can say “I get to go for a walk on Sunday afternoon.”
We don't have to. We get to. It’s an opportunity. A gift.
And here’s the thing: our physical health is much easier to maintain, than it is to regain...
If you want to build a life that includes more physical activity, so you can enjoy life to the full, ask yourself these 3 questions:
How do I feel after a day of binge-eating and watching Netflix?
How do I feel after a healthier day that includes some physical activity?
If you want to make different choices going forward, next time you have a choice to be more or less active, ask yourself:
“What would a healthy person do, in my shoes?”
Let us know how you get on and what new stories you are telling yourself!
As always, make sure you take advice from your doctor, before increasing your levels of physical activity, or starting something new.
If you want more ideas, support and encouragement, to help you become more intentional about your health, why not become an Intentional Health Angel? Membership of our Angels Community is our way of saying Thank You to the amazing group people who financially support the life-changing work of Intentional Health across the UK, by giving a small monthly donation. Membership includes a weekly email, exclusive access to this month’s PDF worksheet and an invitation to join us for a live 30 minute webinar. We’ll be on hand to answer your questions and share some stories, to help inspire you to be more intentional about your health and wellbeing. Join Now
Do you want to experience more peace and joy - and the sort of happiness that isn’t dependent on your circumstances? Many of us want more of these things in our lives, but the daily struggles and challenges we face can leave us feeling robbed of what peace and joy we have. How can we experience more - whatever our circumstances - and become the kind of people whose peace and joy is hard to steal away?