Out on the bike


This is a picture from my ride this morning. Not on my cruiser this time, it is from my pedal powered version!

One of my my hobbies is fitness. I do weights and cycling. Sometimes I ride the exercise bike and sometimes it is out on my old faithful mountain bike. Today, the cooler morning and a light breeze made me want to hit the trails.

This old mountain bike has been riden since 1993. Every time I think about upgrading I look at my old bike and decide to stick with it a bit longer. It has served me well.

During my ride this morning I paused to take this picture. As I paused I thought of Psalm 65:8 NIV. It says, “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy”.

It was a nice moment with God. Remembering all He has done for us. I also got to enjoy His creation while getting some exercise too.

How about you?  Have you got any hobbies that allow you to mix fitness with your love of God and His creation?

Blessings,

Dave

I love exercise but…

I love my exercise and keeping fit. I have trained all my life and I currently train six days a week in my 50s. My current program is three gym sessions and three mountain bike rides per week on alternate days.

However, while my exercise is important, my spiritual training is more important. As today’s verse says, it has benefits for this life and the life to come. I have this up in my home gym so I never forget. 

Physical exercise helps my heart, my muscles and my mind, but my spiritual exercise keeps me close to God and walking in His plan for my life. It also makes it better for the people around me, especially my family.

It is good to keep fit, but we need to make sure our spiritual fitness takes priority.

God Bless,

Dave

Keeping a fitness diary

It is that time of the year when people starting thinking about setting goals for the next year.

Today I thought I would share one of my tips that has helped me with my exercise for more than 30 years. I keep a fitness diary.

It is just a A4 diary with a week to an opening. I write down my weight training, cycling, exercise bike, bush walking and/or jogging.

I find keeping a fitness diary keeps me motivated by keeping me on track with my goals and I can quickly see my improvement.

If you are starting a fitness program in 2018/19, a fitness diary might just help.

Mix up your training

Several weeks ago I did a post titled, “My top 7 fitness tips”. In it I shared some of my favourite bits of encouragement I pass on to people from my years of exercising. Today I want to share one of the key ones I use – mixing things up.

All of us get bored with what we are doing at times. We just get stuck in a rut and lose motivation. I have done this many times since I started my fitness program 30+ years ago. In fact I have lost count of just how many times!

One of my keys I found is to mix up my training. My key aerobic fitness exercise is cycling. I find it is good to keep my heart rate up and keeps me lean. In saying this though, I do change how I cycle every now and then when things get a bit stale.

I have two bikes – a road bike and a mountain bike. If I get bored riding on the road after six months or so, I just pull out the mountain and ride the trails of Merredin. It is still cycling, but it freshens up my mind and allows me to keep exercising.

I also have a trainer where I can sit my racing bike on and pedal away the kilometres in my shed. If mentally I really really really don’t feel like going for a ride on the road or through the trails, I just sit on the trainer. This is especially good if it is pouring with rain or really windy.

I have found that by mixing up my cycling training I can keep mentally fresh and keep doing my cycling for fitness. After all I am not training for the Olympics, I am training to keep fit, so it doesn’t really matter what I ride. It is more about being consistent in what I do.

I hope this tip helps you in some way if you are trying to get a fitness program started or continue in what you are doing.

Have lots of reasons to exercise

Many people exercise in spring time to lose their winter weight they gained. Some see exercise as a form of torture that must be done to get back in shape.

While others might exercise to lose the weight they have gained over a long period of time and once they are at a good level they stop and go back to normal.

One of the key things I believe that has helped me exercise consistently for over 30 years is I attached many reasons as to why I exercise regularly.

Some are very positive and healthy, while others may seem vain to some, but they still keep me motivated when my body or mind don’t want to hit the gym or go for a ride.

Here are a few of my reasons…

  • to keep fit and healthy
  • to keep my body fat levels low
  • to strengthen my legs after having Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • to be a good steward of the body God has given me
  • to stay in shape so I look good to my wife
  • to be a good example for my kids and to inspire them
  • to run around and play sport with my kids (without passing out!)
  • to look good when I look in the mirror (that is perhaps a vain one!)
  • to give me a burst of endorphins (natures natural happy drugs!)
  • to give me a sense or structure and discipline to my life
  • to keep me active so I will be fitter and healthier in my latter years
  • to have a sense of personal achievement

These are just some of the reasons why I exercise regularly. I believe that if you have more reasons to exercise than just lose weight, you will be more likely to keep it up.

I hope that helps if you have started a fitness program recently.

My top 7 fitness tips

Here is my introduction to fintess catergory. For as long as I can remember I have exercised. My earliest memories of exercise are training and competing at little athletics as a 6 year old.  In my early years I was also involved AFL football, cricket, field hockey, tennis and cross country running. Apart from a few years break after I was dianosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis as a child, I have always trained in some form. Because I have been consistently exercising for over 30 years as an adult my friends always ask me about fitness tips. They want to know how I keep the fitness “bug”. Over the years I have shared my thoughts, written fitness programs for them and even provided motivation when they were lagging. So today in this post I thought I would share some of my fitness tips I pass on.
  1. Write it down – Write down what you want to do and do it! Be specific and say this year I want to exercise six days a week doing [insert your goal]. Also record all training sessions in a diary. It helps to encourage you and keeps you accountable.
  2. Variety – Chose two exercises that you enjoy and alternate them. Do one Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For years I rode three days and do weights three days. It helped to keep me mentally fresh and gave me variety. I would always take Sunday off for God.
  3. Start slowly – If you haven’t exercised in a while don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to exercise two hours a day. For most people that is not practical or attainable. If you start by walking a five minute lap of the block that is more than you did last week. Aim to build up to 30 minutes per day over a month or two.
  4. Long term – Keep a long term view. Don’t just see exercise as a quick way to lose weight. Look long term and see it as a change of lifestyle, not just a quick fix. Keep in your mind that each exercise session you do now is like putting money in the bank for old age health.
  5. Be consistent – I remember years ago a famous body builder once said “If you want to look like a body builder or a cyclist, just train like one for five years, and you will”. Consistency is the key. Keep exercising even if some days you can only do half a normal session. If you miss a day here and there, don’t beat yourself up though!
  6. Rewards – When you have been consistently training for a period of time reward yourself. I brought myself a new pair of cycling shoes a few months back as a reward. My rewards usually involve my exercise and might be a new piece of gym equipment, some shoes or a new bike. Reward yourself in a way that treats you.
  7. Right perspective – Remember that it is important to keep the right perspective as you exercise. It is about being healthy and looking after yourself so you can serve God. It is not about having the perfect body or showing off. Remember that all of our bodies are going back to the dust one day!
These are the main exercise tips that I share with friends. In the coming posts I will share some simple exercise programs that you might like to try. Blessings, Dave

Finding 30 and growing in your faith

One of the things I love to do is keep fit. Currently I ride three days per week for 30 minutes and I do a full body weight routine on the other three days. On Sunday I rest.

I have found this routine works really well for me. It gives me variety in my fitness training and keeps me fit and toned. It also  keeps my heart strong and my joints healthy and strong too.

As I was thinking about this routine today, I thought that it would be good to alternate what we do as Christians in our devotion times.

On three days per week we could pray for 30 minutes (Monday, Wednesday & Friday) and on three days per week (Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday) we could read the Bible for 30 minutes. On Sunday we could go to church.

Like I find with my fitness training it would give us variety in our devotion times. It would also help us to keep spiritually fit and strong too!

God Bless,

Dave