|Posted on October 30, 2019 at 6:55 PM|
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I am currently in the Phoenix area, visiting family. We went exploring the White Tank Mountain Park and worked out at the Air Force base fitness center this week, thanks to a pass from my step-son. While here in Arizona, it occurred to me this topic might be of interest to you. So, on the plane and during grandbaby naps, I’ve pulled these tips and resources together to help you be totally fit for your life without breaking the bank. Good stewardship is always a good thing!
I believe I’ve covered this several times in multiple ways but will tackle this in a basic summary and give you additional links to help.
1. Leave pre-prepped meals at the store and cook your own. Some stores you can order your groceries and pick them up on the way home. A host of meal prep kits might be helpful, but the ones at the supermarket are more cost-effective.
2. Shop more of the perimeter of the store and buy bulk food items. Only buy what you will use in volume and can freeze for later.
3. Make more than enough for your meal. Eat appropriate serving sizes, then freeze the rest for another day.
4. Shop ads, download digital coupons and use loyalty programs to your advantage. For some weird reason, some of you may not do this, but it is well worth the effort.
5. Meal plan. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Request my meal planning sheets to help.
6. Avoid health food store fare. Only purchase what you absolutely must from stores like this.
7. Cut down on special drinks. Use filtered water from your faucet or fridge. Add slices of fruit to a pitcher of water for a bit of flavor.
Links for more ideas and resources:
Exercise is challenging for many people with families, but it isn't impossible to do without spending a bunch of money.
1. Is working out at home is stressful? Shop gym options carefully. Will it meet your current and future needs? Which would be the best deal among pay as you go, monthly vs. annual memberships?
2. Can you use the gym at work? Either pack your gym bag and put in your car or keep them in the locker to avoid forgetting them.
3. Can you work out at off-peak times to get a better rate? Would a 24/7 gym fit your needs?
4. Do you need childcare? Find one with free childcare during your classes or work out time.
5. How about a home gym? Skip pricey home gym sets. Put together your own: decent cardio machine from the local sporting good store, bands, hand weights, stability ball, suspension straps, mat.
6. Do you like classes, but can’t afford the gym? Try Exercise on Demand, Youtube, and videos. Borrow videos from your local library. Only do Youtube workouts with reputable instructors/groups. Not all teach well, teach for your specific needs, or carry liability insurance in the event you become injured due to their neglect or poor instruction.
7. Are you 50+? Look for Silver Sneakers or other programs sponsored by your insurance at your gym. You can save a ton of money this way, but your options will be limited. Make sure it meets your needs.
8. Does your church have exercise classes? Do be cautious of mind-body exercise classes, though, because they may be New Age with a Christian name. I always recommend PraiseMoves classes, which include PraiseMoves (alternative to Yoga), Mira! (alternative to Zumba), PraiseWaves (water), PraiseKicks (martial arts exercise), and Bold and Beautiful (just unveiled, so I’m not sure). Look for a class near you.
Links for more resources:
Spiritual Support for Christian Wellness
Christian wellness comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. That being the case, the best way to be well is to put that faith into practice. This means finding ways to gain insight from the Bible, commune with God through contemplative prayer, being part of a healthy church family, and going on “God Watches”, that is, seeing God’s work in your life and around you. It can always be budget-friendly, but we should always give to help the church we attend to do ministry and help missions and ministries through above-and-beyond giving. After all, what we have comes from Him first.
Tips and Resources for Christian Wellness:
1. Free Bible apps for your smartphone or electronic device. You can read passages in your quiet time, listen to the audio Bible on your commute, and subscribed to Bible studies and devotionals. Of course, if you use it, please support it. Here are a few:
a. YouVersion Bible—Quite popular with several reading plans.
b. Biblegateway—I use this one the most and subscribe for a small monthly fee to use an incredible library of Bible study tools.
c. Biblestudytools.com—has several free study tools and a topical index of Bible verses.
d. Blue Letter Bible—has serious Bible study tools, including Greek and Hebrew word study tools.
e. Olive Tree Bible—the app is free with several translations. Some versions and tools may have a nominal fee to use.
2. Prayer time is always free. You can track your prayer requests and praises in a notes app on your smartphone. There are several apps you can use as your prayer journal, and some are free while others are not. Do discern carefully, though. Some may integrate New Age practices.
3. Relieve stress through Lectio Divina, prayerful Bible contemplation. All you need is your favorite translation of the Bible, a notebook, and a pen. I recommend NOT using your smart device due to the distractions of notifications.
4. Note the times you notice God-moments. Write down when you see an answer to prayer, a God-incidence, or hear someone say something to you that meets a need you have (that they don’t know). The reassurance of God's interaction with you and that He cares about what troubles you will bring tremendous peace.
5. A couple of book recommendations:
I plan to give a book review on this book sometime in November.
I use this often in some of my groups.
Marriage and Family
Christian marriage is the hub of the family, not the children. Everyone in the family feels secure with your marriage is healthy. The best ways to keep your marriage healthy are:
1. Spend quality time together. Such things like dreaming, discussing important topics, and making decisions together strengthen marriage relationships, and intimate time.
2. Argue for a solution instead of fighting to win. Conflict should help you grow not to tear you apart.
3. Appreciate your differences as strengths. God brought two different people together for a reason.
4. Tell each other you love each other every day. Let it be the first thing you tell each other.
5. Pray and read devotions together. Allow Jesus to be the center of your relationship.
6. Never argue in bed. Table it until an agreeable time.
7. Build each other up with honest praise.
The best resources for help with relationships are through Christian ministries and the church:
1. iBelieve has a list of 25 best marriage resources here
2. Celebrate Marriage with Jay and Laura Laffoon. Blog/vlog, conferences, and more. Ask family members for a Date Night for a Christmas or anniversary present. jayandlaura.com/
3. Focus on the Family resources—Thriving Family magazine and online articles. They have counseling, as well. www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/
4. Your pastor or a local Christian counselor are great places to start if you have issues you can’t solve on your own. Some insurances will pay for some marriage counseling sessions with a licensed clinical counselor, so check your policy.
Parenting certainly has its challenges, but Christian parents need Christians resources to help, guide, and direct for peace to reign at home. These are some tips I learned to use with my kids:
1. Encourage your child to do his or her best, rather than scold them for something they failed doing. Correction may be best phrasedm "Good work thinking this through. It might work better if you did this ___________ instead."
2. Balance praise with correction, which may be difficult with some children.
3. Let them know there is safety in your leadership at home by maintaining healthy parent/child boundaries.
4. Find ways to reward your child that aren’t food-based, unless it is a special outing.
5. Encourage physical play indoors and outdoors. Some children will need more than others.
6. Appreciate each children for his or unique qualities.
Don't beat yourself up for making mistakes, though. Keep trying to make healthy changes to build a better parent-child relationship.Great parenting resources that are free or low cost:
1. Focus on the Family—podcasts, blogs, books, and more. www.focusonthefamily.com/
2. Crosswalk.com—several articles and tips for parenting children of all ages. www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/
3. National Center for Biblical Parenting—a conservative Christian ministry with many resources, classes, and more to help you raise your children from a Christ-centered approach. Some resources have fees, so read carefully. www.biblicalparenting.org/default.asp
This blog post might seem like a laundry list. If you consider being totally fit for life physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually, then putting some of these ideas and resources to use from each area will help reduce stress, live healthier, and find purpose and meaning in your life.
What are some of your favorite ways to be totally fit for life?
May God bless you!