Exercise

Physical health is more achievable when exercise is part of your daily routine. Exercise benefits both your physical and mental health, balancing your energy level and easing stress, even as it strengthens your muscles. Consider the benefits of physical fitness, and get yourself into a workout routine that works for you.

Thanks to Lainey Morse, founder of The Original Goat Yoga in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, this unusual fitness trend has grown quickly around the country.

What Is Goat Yoga?

Thanks to Lainey Morse, founder of The Original Goat Yoga in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, this unusual fitness trend has grown quickly around the country.

Author, corporate fitness and wellness coach and former truck driver Siphiwe Baleka

Siphiwe Baleka's Four-Minute Fit Tips

Author, corporate fitness and wellness coach and former truck driver Siphiwe Baleka shares some tips from his Four-Minute Fit exercise plan.

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The positive side of sweat.

How Sweating Is Good for Body and Soul

Summer means sweat, whether from exercise or just being outside in the hazy-hot-humidity. Why not see the positive side of a good sweat?

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Ragnar relay race offers inspiration.

Ragnar Relay: 36 Hours of Inspiration

Finding energy and encouragement during a relay race on Cape Cod

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Ultramarathon Runner Dion Leonard On 'Finding Gobi'

Ultramarathon Runner Dion Leonard On 'Finding Gobi'

Marathon runner Dion Leonard made headlines when he bonded with a stray dog on a 155 mile race in China. Now, their story is being shared with the world. 

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Is Biking the Secret to Living Longer?

Is Biking the Secret to Living Longer?

Science may have found a way to make your commute easier, and healthier, for you. 

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Former Olympic pentathlete Tom Lough on an early-morning run

Olympic Pentathlete Tom Lough on the Benefits of Staying Active

Olympian Tom Lough may be 75 years old, but that doesn't keep him from remaining active. Listen as he discusses his workout routine and explains how each of us can benefit from remaining active. 

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How to stay on the positive path.

How to Stay on the Positive Path

Instead of giving up when you get off track with your goals, here's how to maintain a positive attitude.

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Hot Baths Might Be Just As Good As Exercising

Hot Baths Might Be Just As Good As Exercising

A new study finds that a hot bath might hold many benefits.

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A woman in her kitchen chopping healthy vegetables to eat.

Bible Verses for Weight Loss

Want to lose weight? Get inspired by these Bible verses about health and wellness.

Running Shoes

5 Easy Ways to Exercise More

If your life is more sedentary than it should be but you don't know how to get started, these five tips may be just what you're looking for.

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T. Morgan Dixon (right) and Vanessa Garrison, the founders of GirlTrek

GirlTrek: Regaining Your Health One Step at a Time

GirlTrek founders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison share how they were inspired to create the largest health non-profit for Black women in the country. Like this article? Sign up for “Your Weekly Inspiration”,  a weekly newsletter of Inspirational stories of hope and faith - Click Here.

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girltrek

GirlTrek Helps Women Walk with Gratitude

The non-profit organization's 40-Day Gratitude Trek helps women walk for exercise every day and practice gratitude by writing 40 thank you notes to deserving people.

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How walking in nature can lower stress and promote health

The Aim of Being Aimless

Assistant Editor Dan Hoffman discovers a walk does wonders, but only if one wanders.

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What Is Goat Yoga?

Thanks to Lainey Morse, founder of The Original Goat Yoga in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, this unusual fitness trend has grown quickly around the country.

If you enjoy this story, check out All Creatures magazine, where you'll see stories all about the animals who share our lives.

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Bible Verses for Weight Loss

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Siphiwe Baleka's Four-Minute Fit Tips

Dek: 

Author, corporate fitness and wellness coach and former truck driver Siphiwe Baleka shares some tips from his Four-Minute Fit exercise plan.

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How Sweating Is Good for Body and Soul

The Danish author Isak Dinesen once said, "The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears or the sea." I am taking some time today to reflect on the curative power of the first—sweat. In summertime, just stepping outside the front door can bring on a damp sheen. Throw in some time in the garden or other outdoor exercise, and the sweat really flows.

Sweating is an important part of a healthy body’s daily life. Studies have shown that sweat-inducing exercise carries with it innumerable benefits, including increased pain tolerance, mood control and infection resistance.

Some debate the value of sweat-inducing wellness techniques like saunas, rightfully suspicious of medically ambiguous terms like “detox.” But there is no denying that sweating has an important role to play in a healthy lifestyle.

One of the positive ways I think about sweating has to do with the science behind sweat’s power to balance our emotions. No one can deny the emotional re-set that happens after a big sweat—not dissimilar, to go back to Dinesen’s quote, to the feeling we get after a satisfying cry. Whether it’s the sweating mechanism itself that’s responsible for this benefit or the heavier, fuller breathing that accompanies sweating during exercise, letting our sweat flow is akin to letting go of pent-up emotions—and that always feels good.

Sweat’s health benefits are only as good as your overall health, however—and overall health means proper hydration. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily is a good baseline to remember, with more sips for extra-sweaty days.

Thinking positively about sweating might help you have a happier summer. Dare I say that with the right attitude, no one would accuse you of “sweating the small stuff?”

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Holly Lebowitz RossiAug 2, 2017

How Sweating Is Good for Body and Soul

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Ragnar Relay: 36 Hours of Inspiration

What is a Ragnar Relay Race? One team, 12 runners, two vans of six people, three legs of the relay per runner, covering close to 200 miles over two days and one night. Late this winter I was asked to join such a team to participate in the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay Race, from Hull, Massachusetts (South Shore) to Provincetown, Massachusetts (the very tip of the Cape). With not a lot of thought, other than checking my calendar and with my boss, I said yes, which included taking the as-yet-unclaimed longest leg for the team.

With life as full as we all know it can be, I squeezed in running more consistently and at greater lengths to train for the race. Still, I felt some pangs of nervousness. I did not question whether I could complete my three required legs of the relay (you are not disqualified for walking), but I wondered: How would my body fare? Would I get any sleep at all in the van (where we lived for 36 hours)? The five teammates in my van, Van 1, are great pals, easygoing, supportive, fun and hilarious. Like me, they were all doing this relay to enjoy the experience, to be challenged and to step away from the daily routine. We had no expectations of each other. There was no better situation to be in for running a relay.

I have pushed myself physically before, in triathlons and half marathons (not many of either), but not since my college days had I been on an athletic team with a goal. I have coached teams since college, but that is not quite the same as being a participant. 

Our first runner took off at 6:30 a.m. on a drizzly Friday morning in May. The rest of us then took our turns running in relay order. Once we in Van 1 completed our first legs, Van 2’s runners did theirs. The pattern went on for approximately 31 hours. Our final team member arrived in Provincetown, with us to greet her, at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

There were day runs, middle of the night runs and early morning runs for our van. There were brief stops for food, a catnap here and there, lots of hydrating, no showers, enthusiastic cheering, many pit stops and an incredibly wonderful number of laughs. There were teams running to support causes. There were families and friends running in honor or memory of a loved one. There were teenagers and octogenarians. There was a man who juggled throughout his running legs (he used glow-in-the-dark balls during his nighttime runs). There were encouraging t-shirts on runners and supportive signs held by people along the routes.

The energy that comes with hundreds of people sharing a common goal is palpable and invigorating, even stress reducing. What better time to let the demands of your work and home life, the list of to-do’s, slip away? The beauty of seashore towns, the salty breeze and friendly people are tonics, not to mention being in a position to offer support, encouragement and humor to other participants, not just your team, but hundreds of others.

A recent thought and act from the OurPrayer Daily Scripture & Reflection newsletter caught my eye:

Be with someone who brings out the best in you, not the stress in you. –Anonymous

Grasp every opportunity to offer encouragement to others.

I felt very fortunate to be asked to join an effort that gave me the opportunity to be enveloped by others who supported me and whom I could support as well. Participating in the Ragnar Relay Race gave me the chance to push myself athletically, to see the Cape on foot, to be energized and encouraging, and to be surrounded by a tremendous team of game and fun friends. Not a bad gig for 36 hours.

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Finding energy and encouragement during a relay race on Cape Cod

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Katie Allen BerlandiJul 7, 2017

Ragnar Relay: 36 Hours of Inspiration

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The story of Gobi, a stray dog who joined marathon runner Dion Leonard during his 155 mile race in China, is now a book. 

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jtoomerJun 16, 2017

A study finds that biking to work every day could help you live longer. 

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jtoomerMay 10, 2017

Olympic Pentathlete Tom Lough on the Benefits of Staying Active

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Olympian Tom Lough may be 75 years old, but that doesn't keep him from remaining active. Listen as he discusses his workout routine and explains how each of us can benefit from remaining active. 

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How to Stay on the Positive Path

I try to start my week off with a Monday morning Zumba class, part of an ongoing effort to achieve my New Year’s Resolution goal of attending three exercise classes each week. Last Monday, I was ready to roll when a work call sidelined me. As I hung up, I felt the rest of the day’s schedule closing in. Maybe a workout just wasn’t in the cards for today, I thought.

I realized, though, that I could still get to the gym and do a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. On my way into the locker room afterwards, I ran into my Zumba teacher. “I missed you in class today,” she said, “but I’m so glad to see you came to the gym anyway!” Her simple, encouraging comment reinforced something I’ve been realizing as I walk my positive path—when in doubt, do something; do anything.

The preacher Robert Schuller once said, “Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.” I could have rattled off a dozen reasons to skip the gym that day, errands to get done, an in-box full of emails to return, and more. There was also this self-sabotaging thought—if I wasn’t going to accomplish my real fitness goal of a class, why bother going at all? 

But an imperfect workout, it turned out, was just the energizing inertia-buster my day needed. When I checked in later with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Physical Activity Guidelines, I realized my imperfect gym visit was also a solidly healthy choice—it doesn’t take much to give adult bodies the physical activity we need.

The guidelines recommend 150 minutes each week of moderate physical activity for adults, which amounts to five 30-minute workouts. These could include brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, gardening, or tennis. The authors offer this motivation: “Some physical activity is better than none—and any amount has health benefits.” These health benefits are significant; they include prevention of a number of chronic diseases, from type 2 diabetes to depression to osteoporosis, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Read More: Diana Nyad's Challenge to Get Us Walking

So the next time I feel myself being tugged away from a healthy, positive plan, I will ask myself, “what would this day look like if I did something—anything?” Because it turns out that the only wrong choice is to do nothing at all.

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Instead of giving up when you get off track with your goals, here's how to maintain a positive attitude.

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Holly Lebowitz RossiMay 1, 2017

How to Stay on the Positive Path

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A new study finds that a hot bath might burn just as many calories as a 30-minute walk but they hold other benefits as well. 

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jtoomerApr 4, 2017