In our last message/episode, we explained what holistic fitness means to GFI. We talked about fitness for the body, mind, and spirit. Today, I want to talk about how you can have FUN with Holistic Fitness. Fun workouts to improve physical fitness, fun learning activities to improve your mental fitness, and fun bible-related activities to improve your spiritual fitness.
Before I get started, I want to let you all know that we are going to do a LIVE podcast for our next message/episode, and we are looking for some people to join us and share some fun things they do to reach their fitness goals. We are calling it a Fun Fitness Fireside Chat! While we prefer that you be on camera, you can just use audio to chat with us. We will share our Zoom link when we get close to showtime. So, be on the lookout for it! I am also going to remind you at the end of this message/episode.
Remember that we will be looking for people to join us on our Live Fun Fitness Fireside Chat and share their ideas of fun ways to reach their fitness goals. It can be physical fitness, mental fitness, or spiritual fitness. Contact us and let us know you want to participate, and we will send you the Zoom link! We look forward to seeing you there! Tell your friends and have them contact us if they want to participate. We are going to have a great time!
Ok, let’s talk about fun with Physical Fitness. Are you competitive? You can run a race down the street with your spouse, your child, your friend, etc. Make it a group thing! It’s not about winning a prize! It’s about having fun with friends and family! Don’t have space to run? How about a jumping contest among friends and family? It can be jumping jacks, jumping rope, or just jumping up and down. Add some jumping front to back and side to side for a really good workout. See who can last the longest. You can combine your efforts with a 3-legged race. How about a sack race? Those are always fun! Get some chalk and draw hopscotch blocks on the sidewalk, then hop your way to fitness victory! There is also a tag, you’re it! I remember seeing the movie called Tag. We are not suggesting that you keep it going for 30 years, but wouldn’t that be something? How about a gool old fashioned tug-o-war with friends or family! Pair up the strong with the weak for a good workout for your arms AND legs. Play wrestling is another fun way to get in some physical exercise. My brother and I used to play wrestle all the time when we were kids. My brothers still do it as adults. Probably not the best idea for women though. However, if that is something you and your sisters are okay with, then have at it!
In the summer, you can have fun playing in a pool, with things like water tag, relay races, or water volleyball. It only takes 2 people for tag, a race, and volleyball. You can even race by yourself and clock your time, then try to beat it! Put a team together and play unofficial water polo. You don’t have to be as strict as those professionals in the Summer Olympics! Don’t have access to a pool? Play outside with a water hose. People love to run from that! How about chasing each other with some water guns. That is definitely a fun time! What if it is cold outside? You don’t have to stay inside. When there is snow on the ground, I love a good snowball fight! My grandbabies love it, but my adult children just think I am crazy. That’s why I catch them off guard with a snowball to the back! No, I do not play fairly! I play for fun, not fairness! Don’t worry though! They have the exact same opportunity to get me back, and they usually do. I look forward to it because it means I have caused them to do some physical activity. Do you like to dance? Dancing is a physical activity that has been around forever! People were even dancing in the bible days! It was mostly praise dancing, but it was dancing, nonetheless. Who doesn’t like to dance, even when they don’t have a clue? Guilty as charged! You won’t catch me doing it in public much, but I still love to dance, especially when no one is watching. I have hopped on a few TikTok videos with my granddaughter, just for fun. While she is trying to do some serious dance moves, I hop in and join her, trying to imitate her. We both get a good laugh out of it.
These are just some of my ideas for fun physical fitness. There are SO many ways to have fun while getting physically fit. It is all about movement and having fun while you are moving. You just need to do it often! You cannot tell me that having fun on a regular basis is not a good thing, especially when the end goal is better health! I do realize that some of you may have physical restrictions or movement restrictions, and that is ok. Talk to your doctor because I am sure your doctor can give you some ideas on some fun movements or activities you can do to help improve your physical fitness.
Now let’s talk about fun with Mental Fitness. Mental fitness has to do with strengthening and sharpening your mind. It can include building your mental capacity and shifting your thought process from negativity to positivity. Do you like trivia? What if I told you that playing trivia games is an effective way to improve your mental fitness? It helps with getting those cognitive juices flowing, taps into your memory banks, and causes some nostalgic moments. Do you like puzzles? Whether you are putting pieces together, or trying to solve a clue-type puzzle, it taps into your logical processors so you can put things in order and figure things out. There are lots of puzzles that can sharpen your mind. I like Sudoku, Word Find, and simple crossword puzzles. I also love the 100- and 500-piece puzzles from a box. There are numerous online puzzle games, but you need to limit your screen time, so I recommend the good old pencil and paper, or the boxed puzzle. These are great for individuals, or you can do it with family and friends. When was the last time you read a good book? There is a nonprofit I found on Wikipedia called RIF or Reading is Fundamental, and they are dedicated to children’s literacy, where their efforts are focused on “making reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life.” I would like to break that out and say reading is fun, duh, mental. Do you see what I did there? Corny, I know, but I am having FUN! What is the last book you read, and did you enjoy it? What was it about? Was it suspenseful? Was it sad? Was it comical? I would have to say the best book I have ever read is the Holy Bible. It has all sorts of excitement in it, including romance, drama, intrigue, miracles, underdog stories, love stories, overcomer stories, stories of redemption, war stories, relatable stories (parables). Perhaps that is why I have read it cover to cover so many times, and I am in the process of reading it yet again. I am currently in Jeremiah and let me tell you! There is a lot of harsh stuff in there, but I can also see the love of God because He never wants to give up on people, not even evil and wicked ones! It is funny how I learn something new every time I read it!
Now let’s talk about fun with Spiritual fitness. While I understand that spiritual fitness is a serious topic, you don’t have to be serious all the time to build your spiritual fitness. You can have fun with it! I talked about trivia games before. Bible Trivia is a fun way to build your spiritual fitness. We have monthly fellowships at my church where the ladies get together and have fun connecting on a spiritual level. When the men of the church get together, it is usually to have breakfast and play some video games with the younger guys. They have a competition going. Have you heard of Paint & Sip? NO, we are not participating in that! Instead, we have Paint and Praise! We sometimes have Friday Movie Night where the whole church comes together to watch a good Christian movie with Christian values. I found a person on TikTok who posts fun videos about bible stories. Her name is Ariel Fitz-Patrick, and her handle is @Ariel.Fitz. She is incredibly talented, and I love the way she brings the characters of the bible to life with her funny skits. She has done skits about Noah, Jonah, Moses, and some others. I saw where somebody asked her to do one about when Sarah was told she was going to conceive a child in her old age. That would be hilarious, so I hope she does it! We have performed skits at my church in the past where we portrayed the women of the bible. That was a fun experience. Even the young people like to put on a good play, especially at Christmastime. It is a fun way to build up your spiritual fitness. I mentioned dancing as a good workout. Well, you can also dance to upbeat Christian and Gospel music! Not vulgar dancing, of course, but something like shoulder moves, kicks, and slides. It gets a bit tricky when it comes to working your core muscles though. However, all you need is intent. If your intentions are pure, you will find movements that are safe for your soul. Keep it simple! Do the Twist! That’s a longtime favorite that never gets old! You can really have fun doing the Twist too, especially if you do it with a partner! Truth be told, many things are more fun with a partner. That’s why GFI implemented a Buddy System where we partner you with another client or a staff member if you don’t want to workout alone. There is fun in numbers!
Now let’s talk about how fun with physical fitness, fun with mental fitness, and fun with spiritual fitness can become fun with Holistic Fitness. Let’s see how all of this fun fitness goes together to create fun holistic fitness in case you missed it. Spiritual fitness has some overlap with mental fitness because you are typically learning something new when improving your spiritual fitness. You are learning something new about God, about yourself, or both. Spiritual fitness also has some overlap with physical fitness. I talked about dancing as a fun physical fitness activity, but if you are dancing to upbeat Christian and Gospel music, you are killing 2 birds with one stone! I’m not sure I like the analogy of killing birds, but you get the idea. We also see overlap between mental fitness and physical fitness. If you join a group fitness class, you learn some new moves and when you repeat the class, you start to remember the movements and you keep up better. If you do fun competitive games with the same people, you learn how they play and start to use that information to strategize, which can also sharpen your mind. Any time you have to THINK about how to do something, you are sharpening your mind. That is why it is a good idea to keep your spirits lifted, so you WANT to think about things. You WANT to move. You WANT to have fun with fitness.
We know that nutrition goes along with physical fitness. Did you know you can have fun with nutrition? You are probably thinking, how can I have fun with nutrition when all I am thinking about is having a restricted diet. Here is my answer to that. You know the foods you are allowed to eat, so experiment with it. Create some new dish with your favorite foods. I throw stuff together all the time and it turns out delicious! For example, I will create a new casserole type dish in a moment’s notice. I modified my spaghetti by switching up the meat from ground beef to ground chicken. Instead of regular pasta, I use whole wheat spaghetti. I add some chopped smoked turkey sausage or chicken sausage. I chop up lots of peppers and onions to cook with the meat and chunky pasta sauce. Sometimes, I make the same dish with brown rice instead of pasta. I mash up cauliflower instead of mashing potatoes. I bake sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes. Be creative! Make meals with your kids. That is always fun!
So, what is the takeaway here? If you learned nothing else from this message, I hope you learned that you can have FUN with holistic fitness, and you should bring along a buddy for the journey!