Building a Simple and Effective Home Gym for the Busy Mom

I always considered myself to be a pretty fit and active person. When I got married I did what most newlyweds do… I cooked and I ate and I packed on a few pounds! I knew that I wanted to shed a few of the pounds I had gained as a happy newlywed. I would go to the gym sporadically and saw sketchy results. Then, I had two children in two years, which changed my wanting to shed a few pounds to needing to lose at least fifty pounds! As a new mom with a toddler and a newborn there was no way I was going to the gym, even though in my mind I saw myself getting up at 5am every morning, going to the gym and getting my pre-baby body back. You know, like all those other moms out there…. Anyway, that vision did not became my reality. I realized that I was going to have get started with what I already had.

When I decided it was time to get in shape and lose the baby weight, I gathered the various equipment I had scattered all over my house and discovered that I had a pretty effective home gym. I found that you can get fit at home with no or minimal equipment that won’t break the bank! The equipment that I have includes, dumbbells, a stability ball, an exercise/yoga mat, a jump rope, and resistance bands. I use each of these in various ways to create a great workout!

I have three pound and five pound dumbbells. I use the three and five pound weights when I do squats to make them a bit more challenging. Place one weight in each hand. As you bend your knees into the squat position, lift your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Do three sets of five to start. If you can do more, increase the number of reps per set.

Although my stability ball has become more of a toy for my kids, there are some excellent core exercises that can be done using it. A simple and easy one that is very effective is crunches. To do this, lay back on the ball with your feet firmly on the floor. Place your hands with your fingertips to your ears, so you do not strain your neck and gently and smoothly lift your head pointing your chin towards the ceiling.

My exercise/yoga mat is of great use, especially since my entire house has hard wood floors! I use it for everything from sit-ups to crunches to planks and more. When choosing a mat, make sure you choose one that has enough cushioning to be comfortable and enough of a grip so you won’t slide around while exercising.

Another simple tool is my jump rope. I have to admit my rope has been under utilized. However, recently I took it along with me to my family reunion. Mostly because I had packed a jump rope for my daughter and I wanted to show her how to use it. I got a great workout on the go! That is the beauty of the rope. It is compact and travels well. With this in your arsenal there is really no excuse not to get a workout in. If you don’t know where to begin, try this jump rope workout by FitnessBlender.com. http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/workout-detail/Jump-Rope-Weight-Loss-Routine-20-Minute-Home-Cardio-Workout/8u/

Another compact and easy to use item are resistance bands. They can be used for a total body workout. I primarily use them for my arms but they can be modified to workout your legs as well. Two of my favorite resistance band exercises are a simple curl and a shoulder press, although I know I could also do this with my weights. You can also combine those two exercises to make your workout more challenging. Resistance bands come in a variety of colors which correspond to different weights. They can be bought individually or as a set. Again they also travel well eliminating excuses.

Since starting to work out a few years ago I have added Kettle bells to my arsenal. I plan to add these final items to my home gym to continue to add variety to my workouts, a Chin-up Bar, and a Bosu Ball. Kettle bells are the most trendy and popular workout equipment these days. Beside being on trend they provide an excellent upper and lower body workout. A chin up bar provides a full workout for your arms, shoulders, back and chest. They are available in sturdy varieties that don’t require being screwed into your doorway and they are compact enough to be stored under your bed. Lastly, the Bosu Ball is another piece of stability equipment. It looks like a stability ball that has been cut in half. It can be used in a variety of ways to build your core muscles.

Often people don’t embark on a journey to fitness using the excuse that they can’t afford a treadmill or a gym membership. The reality is that three out of four gym memberships go unused any way. I have introduced you to eight must have items for your home gym. If you purchase one item each month, you will have your complete home gym just in time for summer! Remember to be fit and have fun!

What is your favorite at home gym equipment?

The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

There is something about the moment we submit our thoughts and hearts to God in prayer.  When we approach Him with  true repentance and reverence, we can expect to come away from that encounter restored.  The Power of Prayer is in the personal connection we have when we choose to have a dialogue with God. In order to understand the power of prayer, you must first understand what prayer is. Dr. Myles Munroe explained it well in his book, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer. He gives these four explanations:

  1. Prayer is man giving God the legal right and permission to interfere in earth’s affairs.
  2. Prayer is man giving heaven earthly license to influence earth.
  3. Prayer is a terrestrial license for celestial interference.
  4. Prayer in man exercising his legal authority on earth to invoke heaven’s influence on the planet.

Keeping these foundational thoughts in mind, let’s get a closer understanding of how powerful prayer can be in your life.

The Power of Prayer
Prayer Creates Peace

God is Our Source: God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) He is the beginning and the end. He is the author of our faith and the source of our conduct. He is the foundation of all that we have and hope to build.  It is sometimes a challenge to totally rely on someone else. Being dependent on someone other than ourselves can be a scary place but when you allow God to be your source, you actually open yourself to a freedom that can only be found in Him.  Let God be your source of faith, let God be your source of hope, let God be your source of love, let God be your source of strength, let God be your source of everything.  When we do this, the doors of understanding and opportunity can be flung wide open in every area of our lives.

 

Prayer Creates Peace: Philippians 4:6-7 MSG says  Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  When we pray, we have an exchange with God. Our worry for His peace. Our sorrow for His joy. Our weakness for His strength.  When everything seems to be spinning out of control in our lives that is the time to allow God to put the breaks on the world and rest in His peace.

The Power of Prayer
Praise is Your Protection

Praise Is Your Protection: Part of prayer is praise. Praising and thanking God ahead of the storm creates a buffer around you. Prayer opens the communication with God and Praise invites Him to work on your behalf.  Please understand that there is nothing that we can do or say to make God do more or less for us. His Word is full of the promises that He has given to us. Faith is the assurance that God will do what He said He would do. Prayer and praise unlock your faith, opening you up to victory in God!

Although there are many scriptures about prayer, these will help you to unlock the Power of Prayer in your life.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 

Luke 18: 1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Ephesians 6: 17-18  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints

I Thessalonians 5: 16-19  Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 

Matthew 16:19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven.”

Matthew 18:18-20 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

Above all, prayer is communication with God. Those that we love we want to talk to them every chance that we get. Allow God to love on you today and show that love back to Him by talking to Him every chance you get.

 

 

Happy New You!

Every year on January 1st, thousands of people embark on spiritual and fitness renewals. Some call them resolutions, some call them goals, but regardless of what you call it the New Year is a time when many of us make the decision to change.  If that is where you are right now, I say Happy New You! The Word declares that God will do a new thing in Isaiah 43:19. It says,

“Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

So if you are ready to make a change, God is ready to assist you.  However, there are some things that you must do to ensure your success. These three things will put you on the road to permanent change that will create the “New You”!

WRITE IT DOWN:

Without a written plan you are planning to fail. There is something about putting your goals in written form that makes them concrete in our minds. The bible says to write the vision and make it plain… In other words, keep it simple. You don’t have to write a dissertation. Just take a few moments to clarify what you want to accomplish and how long you plan for it to take you to reach completion.

 

GRAB A BUDDY:

Life is so much more fun with a friend.  Get a “Power Partner”! Someone you can pray with and exercise with.  Someone who you know wants what’s best for you but will keep you accountable to your goals and to God.  It’s easy to look at your spouse if your married, and want them to be that person.  However, keep in mind sometimes they are not and we need to pray and reach out to the person that God lays on our heart for this role in this season.  Once you have your partner, you need to communicate your needs. What do you expect them to do and what are you capable of doing for them.  If you are not a morning person, don’t agree to get up at 5am for prayer and a workout, unless this is an area that God is working on in you and you need someone to hold you accountable to doing it.  Understand though, that your partner has to know this ahead of time to be fair to both of you.  Make sure that you and your Power Partner communicate well and have an open heart.

PRAY & PERFORM

What are you going to accomplish this year? Whatever it is you must start with prayer.  Pray for direction. Pray for clarity.  Pray for commitment. Faith without works is dead.  But your faith will also be dead without prayer.  Prayer is our direct line to God. It is the way we receive the power to do the things that God wants us to do.  Prayer gives us the confidence to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.  Once you pray, it is time to perform. You must step out on the faith that God has given you through His Word.  Whatever He has put in your heart to do, you can do it!