That is my BIG dilemma for the moment.
It's not quite as simple as if one should exercise at all. It is more of a question of to what degree should one set aside time and resources to get into a state of excellent or good health? According to a sister and doctor in the People of Praise who also happens to specialize in women's health, women should expect to exercise 30 minutes per day. That would be a good aim to shoot for for a cardio workout. Since "women carry the culture" we need to make sure we are healthy so we can do that well and for a long time.
On the other hand, there are some who might suggest (and I have heard recently say) that we should plow through our life and work serving the Lord and his people as long as our bodies can handle it. We maybe shouldn't focus on our personal health so much, but just keep on plugging away until we are totally spent, even if it means doing so with a suffering or an unhealthy body.
For me, it all started with this.
iPod shuffle. Folks, if I can hang on to this and not lose it it will truly be a miracle.
Apple did a good job with this one. Just as they did with the new iPad. Did you see it? I read an article about it a couple weeks ago and am smitten. It's thinner, lighter, faster, groovier, makes you actually smile, etc.
Back to the shuffle. This tiny piece of technology. "This is totally going to change the way I work out."
Does that line ring a bell for anyone? Perhaps a certain television series set in an office with office workers doing office type stuff?
Anyway, I got one of these (in my favorite color) from the other half of me for our 12th anniversary.
I've filled it with all kinds of music from the serene to the upbeat-can't-help-myself-I-gotta-move stuff.
It's songs like these below that I have recently been enjoying as I work the treadmill, eliptical, and stationary bike at our local community center. Which, by the way, charges only $30 per year to use their exercise room. That's the best deal in town.
Chris Brown's Forever (think wedding dance)
Medley of Cry and In the Name of Love, U2
Johnny Cash and June singing, "We got married in a fever....I'm going to Jackson"
90's techno version of "I say hey, I say hey, what's going on?"
Say hey, I'll be on the way, I'll be back.....I know one thing, I love you.
I got that boom boom pow (Black Eyed Peas)
Dynamite: "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, singing Ay - O, baby lets go. I want to celebrate and live my life..."
And I do, really want to celebrate and live my life because it is good and I love it. Sometimes I get so into my lip syncing that an actual sounds breaks loose from my mouth and I have to practically reign the noise back in and use every muscle in my body to focus on exercise and not looking like a blabbering, singing, hands raised idiot.
Maybe I really shouldn't be so concerned with that.
Celebrating is a good thing.
One thing I notice about some of my favorite songs that accompany me on my miles of aerobic exercise is the word "Hey!". I love the word Hey. It's friendly and casual and just fun. It reminds me of my favorite line from the book To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout recognizes the strange and reclusive neighbor the whole town fears and turns to him and just says "Hey, Boo." I love that line. It just rings true. Its so simple. It breaks down so much of the fear, prejudice and awkwardness of the scene and lets a child's greeting take center stage. I've always loved that line.
Our firstborn somehow took on the nickname Boo and I just love saying "Hey, Boo" to her and thinking about the character of Scout - her innocence and wisdom all wrapped up into one of the girls of Maycomb, Alabama.
Speaking of To Kill A Mockingbird, I read the only biography of substance out there (apparently) of Nelle Harper Lee. She wrote the book and it remained her only novel. The biography is not that great. I didn't find it particularly well written, but it contained a lot of interesting and mysterious information about Lee.
Here I am reading it on Kailua Beach in Hawaii, quite content to be NOT working out.
I think there is hope though. No matter where one comes down on the issue of how much is too much exercise, I think it is helpful to share our thoughts about it, support each other in our efforts and continue to seek the Lord in our unique and individual ways. His is a big kingdom and can use us all, whether we give 30 minutes each day to grinding it out on the treadmill or laying on the beach reading a biography.