Feel Beautiful: Dust Off Your Exercise Shoes!

I’ve been sitting here for the last ten minutes trying to decide what to write about feeling beautiful this year. While also debating with myself about getting on the elliptical machine today.

My inner conversation goes a bit like this:

You should exercise.
But I’m tired.
Which is why you should exercise.
But I don’t have time. I have so much to do today.
And you’ll have more energy for all those to-do’s if you exercise.
I hate exercising.
I know. Do it anyway. You hate having not exercised and dealing with the consequences.
But . . . but . . . but . . . 

Woman tying athletic shoes + blog post title

It’s time to practice what I preach and just get on the elliptical already — right after I move the clothes hanging off it. Because while I’d love to be one of those people who can’t wait to exercise, I am not. I love being active — playing games, going dancing, hiking to see some great views — but anything that smacks of “working out” just feels like “work” to me.

So if you’re in that space, I’m right there with you. We know we should be taking better care of our bodies, we understand that exercise will give us more energy and confidence, and we feel more beautiful when our bodies are stronger, shaplier, sexier. But finding time — or rather, making time — and committing to an exercise plan makes us cringe and crave another piece of chocolate.

This is a call to both me and you! Dust off your exercise shoes and commit to ten minutes a day. Just ten minutes! Start small, and we can build on that. What can you do in ten minutes?

  • Take a walk around your neighborhood.
  • Do several push-ups and sit-ups.
  • Get on an elliptical machine, treadmill, or exercise bike.
  • Turn up the music and dance around the house.
  • Grab an exercise band or light weights and do some strength training.
  • Chase your kids around the house or outside.
  • Ride bikes with the family.

Or simply Google “ten-minute exercise” and see all the suggestions that come up. (I found a lot!)

Why should you commit to exercising?

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

“As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed” (Proverbs 26:14).

“She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong” (Proverbs 31:17).

So first off, God wants us to take care of the body He gave us. He knitted it together (Psalm 139:13), and we shouldn’t unravel His handiwork with careless neglect.

But we also receive benefits in our marriage. Exercise increases feelings of attractiveness and gives us added energy. It’s related to a better sex life, the marriage bed being a good place to use some of that extra energy. Plus, research has shown that exercising couples report higher frequency and enjoyment of sexual intimacy.

You look and feel better when you’re in shape.

I’m not advocating you beat yourself up for how you look and then schlep yourself to the gym every day to beat yourself up some more. No way! I want you to start feeling beautiful right now — knowing God made you beautiful inside and out (Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 31:10).

However, we can do more to take care of our bodies. The best way to do that is to start with understanding how valuable you are, believing your husband when he says you’re beautiful, trusting the body God gave you is enough for your marriage. When you believe deeply that you are worth it, you’re even more likely to commit to taking care of yourself.

And you can start with just ten minutes. Come, y’all, exercise with me!

I’d love to hear from you below if you’re committed to dusting off your exercise shoes and taking care of your body better. And if you’re already diligently exercising, please share with the rest of us what has worked for you and helped you stay motivated!

16 thoughts on “Feel Beautiful: Dust Off Your Exercise Shoes!

  1. AJIBOLA

    Tricks and ploys abound here.
    1. Using some schedule works such as the moment I get up I know in 1hr I will be lifting free weights and later in the evening I will go for a walk to think the day through.
    2. Looking good is a kind of motivation plus you fit really well in your suits and T-shirts.
    3. For the sheer discipline of it, it is kind of cool to prove to yourself that you are sticking with the fitness plan.
    4. Don’t know if comparisons or models work but sometimes looking at Fifty year olds who are killing it with muscle mass and tight abs makes you wonder about by your choices and can help to spur you to move.

  2. nylse

    I run. and I’m one of those women that you never believe how old I am by just looking at me – I like that.
    But running is not easy and these days I look forward to listening to my gospel music as I run. I like the sting of the cool breeze on my face early in the morning before the world wakes up. I know that 30 minutes has a long term benefits, so I run. I see a lot of spiritual parallels while running also, so I look forward to those times because I know it’s God communing with me. I like the way my clothes fit and the fact that I don’t need to shop for clothes because I’ve outgrown them. I don’t run marathons or road races as I don’t believe in paying to run. I run for the sheer enjoyment. Initially running won’t give you energy – as a matter of fact you will be tired, but the more you do it the more energized you will feel. My favorite apps when running – Nike, and Pandora.
    But you don’t have to run, just find something you like to do and push yourself to improve each time you do it. Don’t think about it, just do it.

  3. berjiboo

    I feel exactly the same way about exercise. I know it is good for me, I know I look & feel better having done it, but ugh… motivation sometimes is extraordinarily low. One website that I really like for home workout is fitnessblender. They have videos as short as 5 min! I can talk myself into doing ab work or whatever for 5 minutes usually and then I know I at least have done SOMETHING that day.

  4. lina

    I actually loved my morning exercise, used to work out while watching the evening news before dinner, too. Then along came the husband. You don’t want to know what his idea of ‘ten minutes of exercise’ is. LOL.

  5. Renee

    I work full time so I go to a workout class on my lunch hour Monday-Thursday. That way I’m not taking any extra time from my family, and I’m not going out to lunch every day. There are 3 of us in my office that go, so we have to fess up to the others if we skip and try to come up with a good excuse.

  6. Deena

    So much yes to this! My husband and I are avid exercisers. We’re in our early 30’s and he does Crossfit, I do yoga. Not only does exercise make you look and feel great, but you’re healthier, too. The more I exercise, the higher my self esteem is and the more I actually feel sexy during sexy times, ha ha! The better shape my husband is in, the more often he gets mauled because I need to be on that hot bod like, always. Exercise is so important for our bodies and it doesn’t even take a ton of time to get results. It’s a major sex/mood booster. I’ve been both fit/in shape and overweight/out of shape in my marriage and I strongly prefer our marriage when we’re both in shape. So many bedroom issues disappear when you know you’re taking care of your temple.

  7. alchemist

    Don’t really need to dust off my shoes, I’ve never not exercised at least 3x a week.

    Videos. Youtube has a bunch of free exercise videos. Sometimes its hard to pick if you are a beginner.
    Jessica Smith tv is an awesome channel. She’s super motivating and her stuff is fun. She films herself in her home working out with you. Make sure you pick her beginner workouts if you’re not super fit. I do her dance walk/ zumba walk or another walk video when I’m really not feeling it.

    Sarah Beth yoga is fantastic as well. I’m on my feet all day for my work, so I can’t really get through the week without my yoga.

  8. Jenny

    I started working out with what I called take 10. I could complete 10 exercises 10 repetitions each in about 10 min. For example:
    10 jumping jacks
    10 squats
    10 push ups (I had to start on my knees and work up to 10)
    10 sit ups
    10 sumo squats
    10 mountain climbers
    10 burprees
    10 high knees
    10 leg ups (I called them that, where you lay on your back and lift your legs up and lower them keeping them straight.
    10 scissors
    10 butt kickers
    After a month of committing to this type of workout 3 days a week I felt great and wanted more.
    You can google any of the above if you don’t know what they are.
    Two other Great resources are http://www.fitnessblender.com lots of free workout videos! and http://www.claresmith.me
    Like J said start small.

  9. Shaynah Jones

    I joined Planet Fitness for $99 for a whole year. They have a fun & fast 30 minute circuit room that I like to do. I can get in and out fast and it’s not boring. I have discovered Zumba and there are many many classes available in my area where you can pay per class. Just $3 per class, anyone can afford that. It’s lots of dancing, moving, sweating & fun!

  10. Keelie Reason

    My husband and I have been working hard to lose weight over the last few months. It has been working for us. 🙂 I’m super happy that he is interested in getting healthy so we can have a long life together. Neither of us are obese or anything, but putting on 10 extra pounds is the step in the wrong direction for health.

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  12. Eric

    Good Advice, J.

    I’m 76, and I do understand the issues both men have re exercise and how it relates to sex. For instance, I read a couple of years ago that a man with a waistline 44 inches or larger would find it difficult to get an erection. I was 44. YIKES! Well, I put myself on a diet (fairly easy, since I love vegetables) and exercise routine. I got down under 42–and I’m holding. (Get onto your DHs case, ladies!)

    Let me suggest some exercises that will broaden the possibilities, if this is read by someone who is seriously overweight to begin with. I was on the phone today with a dear lady relative who’s had her stomach stapled and lost a lot of weight. But she’s had some problems, some of them due to being unable to exercise until recently (she’s under 50, but for a while had to walk with a cane). YMCA membership is inexpensive, and they also have free days. Use their pool. Or, in our town a local public school has a heated pool, free to taxpayers, one evening a week. I know, I know–you may not wish to be seen in a bathing suit. But consider the alternative. The human body is virtually weightless in water. Swimming may not get you down to Bikini size, but it will tone you up, since it uses all those muscles.

    For years I’ve kept a garden. That’s exercise. And the fresh vegetables are much better for the waistline than the packaged stuff at the supermarket. We have a very large lawn, and until I had heart surgery, I mowed much of it myself with a push mower. My sister gave me her old riding mower this summer, but I guess she thought I needed it! Shoveling snow can be good exercise–or it can kill you with a heart attack. So if you need to shovel more than a short sidewalk, get your doctor’s permission. I have a snow blower, so I don’t need to use my arms and shoulders much, but I do a LOT of walking, following that machine up and down our long drive. Or bucking, splitting and stacking wood. We burn wood. I doubt I’ll ever do much more hand splitting or bucking with a chainsaw (since my heart surgery), but we use a hydraulic log splitter, which also requires that the wood be tossed into the shed and stacked. More exercise.

    Hiking along the highway? Well, we live on a country road, and I see joggers and bicyclists pass the house daily. But if you’ve read this far, you know that when I exercise, I also wish to DO something creative. That’s what my suggestions are all about.
    Eric

    1. J Post author

      Good points. Honestly, almost everyone can walk more. Sometimes I make a conscious decision to park my car further away just so I get more walking in. Whatever it is we do, we need to be consistent. Thanks!

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