Hello dears! After receiving a comment from one of our readers, asking us to do a post on how we exercise, we thought it would be a great idea to share with you all how we keep fit.
Strength Training & Yoga
No matter what time of year it is, we three have made it a routine to do strength training exercises at night. There is no particular reason why we chose this time, other than the fact that it is the only time of day in which we can all do it together, and the exercises help to de-stress our bodies. We gather in my room, which has the most floor space, and perform these:
- Planking exercises
Thought we don’t always do them every night, when we do do them, we usually try to do about 15-25 of each. I can do about 100 of the leg-ups and squats, while the girls keep those to about 30 to 50 or so. If it turns out that one or all of us are unable to do these exercises one night for lack of time, we will inevitably just work on stretches. I have found that out of all the things that really help me to sleep comfortably at night, stretching is the key. Even when we travel, right before I hit the hay I will stretch out on our hotel room floor, and get all the kinks out. Not only does this keep one’s muscles limber, but it also can strengthen them, especially if you are holding the stretches for more than a minute.
This brings me to the latest exercise routine we picked up—Ashtanga Yoga! What? Yes, Yoga! Believe it or not, dear friends, we have found Yoga to be a wonderful way to work out! Why? Well, if you put aside all of the odd spiritual, meditative stuff, the succession of poses that are performed in Ashtanga Yoga make for a pretty hardcore workout. You can check out this link* to learn all of the awesome benefits of Yoga.
Now, at first I too was a little suspicious of the practice of Yoga, and I even had an episode in which I kind of freaked myself out with the meditation** part. My scare was so bad that I actually took a break from it for a few months. The break didn’t last long though, because my body was craving the stretches, and so when I told the girls that I was going to try Yoga again, they decided they’d join me! In the end it has worked out really well to practice together, and we have all benefited greatly from it! Charlotte, who was the least limber out of us three, struggled to master the full stretches at first, but after a few weeks of practice, her muscles stretched out, and she is able to enjoy it as much as Brigi and I. We love doing it together!
One of our family’s favorite physical activities is walking. Living in a rural neighborhood development means a nice big street (the distance up and down ours equals about a mile), and parklike scenery, which makes for lovely daily outings with our dogs. I said we like to walk as a family, however, during the Winter months, the only two people you will see religiously walking up and down our road is Mom and I. The girls have a hard time being motivated to walk in the freezing cold, and I don’t blame them. Actually, the only reason why I like walking in it is because I like a good challenge—sometimes I like to believe that I am an Eskimo, braving the frosty northern terrains! Likewise, when the humidity arrives with the hot summer months no one wants to get overheated, not even me! So the only way we get our daily walks in is by taking advantage of the cooler hours of the morning and evening.
You are probably wondering if we girls have a stash of exercise clothes in our closets. Well, the fact of the matter is, we don’t! When we go on walks we can wear our nice everyday clothes. If it is super hot out, we will change into our yard work clothes (consisting of an old t-shirt, and skirt). When we exercise at night, whether it is strength training or yoga, we are typically dressed in our pajamas, and in the privacy of my room, so if we get too hot… well, you get the picture.
In the end, my friends, when it comes to figuring out what exercises are the best for you, the one thing I have found to be a key help is to ask myself, what does my body feel like doing now? Typically when we don’t feel well enough, or strong enough to exercise on a particular day, we don’t. Having said that though, it is a good idea to get into a routine and stick to that routine until it becomes second nature, that way you don’t get lazy. It does take a while to get to that point, and believe me, not every day will allow for time to exercise. So take it one day at a time, and if you can, save time to get active. Even the littlest bit can help boost your body. And don’t stress about it! I have lived through so many days in which I would get grumpy because I wasn’t able to get in some time to exercise, but getting grumpy over something never helps a matter, right?
Ultimately, the reason why we girls exercise is so that we can be physically capable young women who are prepared for whatever comes our way. Think of Laura Ingals Wilder! If there was ever a physically capable young woman it was she. Though women are considered the weaker vessel, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep physically fit. Nor should we go to the opposite extreme in which we strive to be physically stronger than men. Instead, we should be like the Proverbs 31 woman, who strengthens her arms so that she can be a blessing and a great help to her family and those who are around her. Let us not be like China dolls, but let us be young women who can help our brothers, fathers or husbands! We ought to be able to carry heavy loads when necessary; to perform the farm or household chores on a regular basis; work in the garden and yard; and (one day) to be strong mothers who will carry our babies and toddlers around in our arms and on our hips. For that is one of our callings is it not? So let us glorify the Lord who made us, by taking good care of our beautifully created bodies!
Do you exercise?
How do you exercise?
Would you try Yoga?
Blessings to you all!
Jessica, the eldest sister & singer
* There is a picture at the top of this article of a woman in a an immodest exercise outfit, so beware, but the article itself is very informative so give it a try. The Ashtanga Yoga practice DVDs came from this website, and even though it is wonderful material, we in no way associate ourselves with this company.
**The meditation part during the Yoga practice involves Indian music and chanting. Though it is relaxing, we don’t usually pay attention to this part of the program. Instead, we just sit there; perhaps we’ll pray or else think of a new sewing project to tackle. 😉