Big Grace, Big Gratitude

In this season, gratitude is a prominent thought. Gratitude gives us the ability to give thanks and recognize the blessings in our lives, big and small. I recently spoke to some training clients about something called “10 Mindful Fingers.” The goal is to bring to mind 10 things you appreciate in your life today by counting them on your fingers, an exercise in gratitude. Can you do it? This translates into many areas in our lives!

You may wonder how gratitude can impact fitness. We can show our gratitude by taking care of the bodies we have! Start by making an appointment with your doctor if you haven’t had a physical recently. You must annually evaluate your health and be on the lookout for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Your body is your temple and your health is your wealth. Be grateful; maintain your temple and spend quality time to care for yourself. It takes time and effort to have the proper diet and physical conditioning.

When shopping for weekly groceries, focus on fresh or frozen produce, lean meats, and fish. Try to limit beef to once per week as poultry and fish are easier for your body to digest. A high concentration of beef in the diet can lead to inflammation of the joints and gout. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is the cornerstone to clean eating! Along with that, decrease and eliminate sugar. Sugary drinks add unnecessary calories to the diet and multiple inches to the waistline. If you want to see big changes in your appearance, cut the sugar! A healthy diet will do wonders to help your body begin to heal itself of chronic disease.

It is theorized that to lose weight, it’s 80% about eating properly and 20% about doing the right exercise. Get your doctor’s approval to begin. I suggest hiring a trainer to help you formulate a plan that works for your body type and can help you to get the results you desire. In the meantime, you can start at home with squats, leg lifts, side lifts, torso twists, and stretching. I’ve recorded a balanced workout you can do from home. https://youtu.be/E625Kq64XmQ With your doctor’s approval, start slowly and build in intensity! Remember, all exercises can be modified to be low impact. Please make sure to wear the right apparel and shoes for the task–walking, running, or cross-training– so your joints will have the proper support. Your body will thank you!

And where does grace come in? By giving yourself the grace to start again, as many times as necessary. You owe it to yourself. Happy Thanksgiving!

Live well and prosper.

Kahlil Carmichael MAPCC, MDIV, CPT is the pastor of Live Well Church, in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a fitness specialist at The Fitness Doctor, a fitness and wellness consulting company; and the author of 50 Tips for a Better You. He is a contributor to Guideposts magazine. His first publication, Living Longer Living Better, is available now. Go to www.livewellchurch.org for more information.

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