Just as the body knows when it’s thirsty and needs water, my body knew my arms were thirsting for some push-ups and other upper-body exercises these past couple days. I was experiencing a limp-like feeling in my arms, and it seemed pretty obvious that my arms were saying, “Work me!”

While I definitely exercise regularly, my exercising over the past couple of weeks had not included a good share of upper-body work. I’m typically not the go-to-the-gym-and-lift-weights type of girl; however, I am very much the workout-at-home type of girl, who mostly uses her own body weight for strengthening (like in this picture below). Add the “Stretch, Strengthen & Relax” class I teach to the regular at-home workouts I do, and I believe my upper body gets its fair share of what’s needed to feel strong…enough.

 

Penny Powell in plank position

“My arms feel weird; I know they need some strength exercises,” I exclaimed to my husband on Saturday. Yet, I still didn’t get to any specific arm exercises that day, therefore, the odd-arm feeling followed me into the next day. Then, after a lovely worship service on Sunday that left me feeling spiritually fed, it was time to physically “feed” my arms. I eventually rolled out my exercise mat and pushed play on Chalene Johnson’s “Define Upper Body” workout (from her PiYo™ program). That 20 minutes (18:48 to be exact) of upper-body work, including push-ups, planks/side-planks and more (with modifications, if needed), was just what the doctor, I mean my arms, ‘ordered.’ In fact, my upper body felt so good that my lower body got kind of jealous, even though that part of my body had been involved in the upper-body workout. I then exercised for 20 additional minutes, following along to Chalene’s “Define Lower Body” workout. The overall blend of stretching and strengthening gave me a new feeling; it took away that limp feeling I had been experiencing in my arms.

This once again reminded me that exercise is so very often the remedy for what ails us. In my case, I had to do something that required strength to regain the feeling of strength that felt lacking from my arms. When we’re feeling sluggish or such, the best solution, often, is to just move — whether it be taking a nature walk, jogging, stretching, etc. It amazes me how exercise resets us on such deep levels but is often deeply resisted and/or just left right out of daily routines.

Don’t believe me how deeply movement, or the lack of it, affects us? I recently came across this graphic online that highlights the damage we do to the body when we sit too long and just don’t move enough.

Prolonged sitting affects our health and wellness.

Now, I’m not saying we need to move like we are professional athletes. All I’m suggesting is to move…and move often! Just move! And when your arms feel like mine did these past couple of days, work them. The same goes for your legs.

Plus, since it’s “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) anyway, why wouldn’t we want to move more — physically and spiritually? Yes, our spirit also likes a good workout, and the Bible and some quiet time with God are really the main “tools” needed for that type of fitness. But physically our bodies need to move–so just move.

Happy Moving, and Happy Stillness to you!!