Exercise may not be the most important thing. In fact, I love what the Apostle Paul says …
While physical training has some value, training in holy living is useful for everything. It has promise for this life now and the life to come.— 1 Timothy 4.8 (CEB)
Physical training is good, but it’s not nearly as important as spiritual training, which has value beyond this life.
With that in mind, exercise has played an important role in my life. I’ve always been active. I ran a lot as a kid. I started working out with weights as a youth. Over the years, I’ve tried to be consistent (not always). Thankfully, though, I was pretty consistent in the years before my stroke in 2017.
My exercise routines have changed over time as I’ve discovered new and better ways to exercise. My primary equipment during the years before the stroke were simple pieces of equipment, which ironically, were designed by physical therapists.
I started using a stability ball after reading an article that appeared in the short-lived NFL Magazine. A stability ball is sometimes called an exercise ball or a Swiss ball. I settled on calling it a stability ball because my focus was on improving stability. I thought I was using the ball to help prepare for later years in life. I had no idea how quickly it would pay off.
A short time later, I switched my strength training workouts from free weights to resistance bands after reading an article before one of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl trips a few years ago. The article shared a little about Brady’s exercise strategy, which may be why he’s still able to play at a high level into his 40s.
Exercise prepared me and also helped me experience a stronger recovery.
Since the stroke, my exercise routine, or therapy, has been planned mostly by physical and occupational therapists. But as I improve and get further away from formal therapy, it’ll be up to me to take what I’ve learned and incorporate it into my exercise routine, which will always be a work in progress.
During therapy, I’ve added some tools to the tool belt. My favorite addition is the Bodyblade, which was also developed by a physical therapist.
So, I encourage you to start where you are (with your doctor’s approval, of course). Think long term. Begin with the end in mind. And, do your best. I believe it’s important. That’s why I’m an advocate for exercise.
Footnote: I give thanks to God, who is giving me this opportunity to make a comeback. I acknowledge God’s help before and after the stroke.
Follower of Jesus. Husband to Joleen. Dad to Ethan & Sarah. Pastor to Wehnwood UMC.