Surrounded by commercials and advertisements of models with perfect figures, magazines, workout DVDs, and fad diets, everywhere we look it seems like we are pressured to feel like we need to be the “perfect” woman. While looking like a supermodel is unrealistic, we can all do things to keep ourselves healthy and strong. We know as Christians that “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). While we should be primarily concerned about our spiritual health, taking care of our physical health is also important and a way to honor our temporary bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).
Proverbs 31:17, speaking of the proverbial woman says, “She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms.” This woman is not weak. She hardly sat around twiddling her thumbs all day. She was busy moving around; she was working with her hands and rising while it was still night. Nothing about the proverbial woman indicates helplessness. We need not obsess over our outward appearance, looking to vain perfection; yet in moderation, exercise is one more way we can “put our best foot forward.”
Some find it overwhelming or confusing to exercise and do not know where to begin. But we are told in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” Nothing is impossible with God, and exercise too can be Christ-centered and done for God’s glory, seeing He is our Creator. Exercise can be a great learning and growing experience.
The following are some areas where exercise can be beneficial:
Proper exercise can instill a positive and proactive attitude, and can improve your mood and self-esteem from the inside out. There are even many alternatives to traditional “workouts,” like dancing.
Women are examples to other women and younger girls, whether we realize it or not. With so many negative thoughts about body image and people putting one another down in the world today, especially other women, we should be lifting one another up and exerting a positive influence, encouraging each other to do beneficial things for ourselves, with lasting results. When we feel good about ourselves, our moods and attitudes improve and others around us take notice—and we are one step closer to realizing godly standards of beauty: sacrifice, service, and a constant desire to improve.