I never fully appreciated the joys of exercise until I hit my 40’s.

Until that point in my life, exercise just seemed like an extra. I thought it was something I could do to fill my time – but I saw no beneficial purpose in it. Sure, I admired people who were fit but I couldn’t see myself as one of them.

But, then I hit my early 40’s. I noticed that my body had entered a new phase. It’s peak performance was behind me and would remain so if I didn’t take measures to reverse the trend.

So, I began an intentional, aggressive walking regimen. Then, after developing some fitness, I did a “couch-to-5K in 3 weeks” running plan. It stretched me to the limit but my running habit had started.

Since then, I’ve run in multiple 5Ks (3.1 mile race) and 3 half-marathons (13.1 mile race). I ran my first 5K at 41 years of age and achieved my fastest 5K race time the next year.

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I achieved my fastest 5K race time on April 16, 2013. I ran the 3.1 mile course in 22 minutes and 50 seconds. That personal record (PR) still stands but I am regaining fitness and plan to beat it within the next 2-3 years.

So, why did I get into running when I entered my early 40’s?

After letting my running habit dwindle for the past 2 years, why am I getting back into this habit?

A few months ago, I got serious about running again. In July, I determined that I was going to regain my fitness level. Since then, I’ve seen my mileage increase.

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The beige designates walking miles. Green is running miles. September’s numbers will increase even more as I complete next week’s walks and runs.

Well, on a run in July, I realized that I needed some motivation to keep up my running habit. I needed to come up with some powerful reasons why I wanted (needed!) to get back into running.

Here’s the list I came up with:

  • It will help me lose weight
  • It will help me look fit
  • It will help me manage stress
  • It will improve my heart health
  • It will improve my mood
  • It is a goal that I alone am responsible for
  • Discipline in this area will spill over into other areas
  • Others will see me as a person with self-discipline
  • I will be an example that could motivate others
  • It will provide me with the growing energy resource
  • It will give me a higher pain tolerance
  • It will enable me to develop a greater level of endurance

So, there you go.

But why did I write this blog post?

Because maybe you are experiencing some of the negative consequences of ill health that I was experiencing. Maybe you realize that exercise might be the habit you need to develop to experience some positives that you haven’t experienced in awhile.

Maybe running isn’t for you. Maybe it’s biking. Maybe it’s walking.

Whatever exercise you choose to engage in, just do it.

God has given us a spirit to commune with Him. But our spirit is housed in our body. If we don’t take care of our body, it will affect all others areas of our life, including our spiritual life.

So, get outside and get some exercise!