It’s Time to Rethink How and Why You Exercise

As a leader, does being focused on serving the needs of others makes it easy for you to neglect your own health?

Who takes care of the caregiver?

In your role of a leader and servant to your church, you probably push yourself to a point of exhaustion and beyond, rationalizing that you don’t have time for diets or exercise or that you will catch up on sleep later.

The reality is that the more you neglect your personal health, the less effective you actually are at caring for the spiritual health of others. Nodding off during meetings, eating greasy fast food while you drive, and collapsing on the couch during family time after work can be as destructive and sinful to your ministry as a moral failure.

Many leaders struggle with caring for their own health and well-being, and have become defeated and frustrated through the years as quick-fixes and January resolutions have come and gone. It is easier, and way more fun, to give in and neglect your own health.

It’s time to rethink how and why you exercise.

THE QUICK SUMMARY No Sweat, by Michelle Segar

Do you secretly hate exercising? Struggle to stick with a program? Millions of people try and fail to stay fit. But what if “exercising” is the real problem, not you?

No Sweat translates years of research on exercise and motivation into a simple four-point program that will empower you to break the cycle of exercise failure once and for all. You’ll discover why you should forget about willpower and stop gritting your teeth through workouts you hate. Instead, you’ll become motivated from the inside out and start to crave physical activity. You’ll be hooked!

Practical, proven, and loaded with inspiring stories, No Sweat makes getting fit easier–and more fun–than you ever imagined. Get ready to embrace an active lifestyle that you’ll love. 


How many people have you known that have made a resolution to start exercising, watch their diets, and/or improve their overall health? Maybe you have even made that resolution?

Now it’s honesty time – how many of those resolutions lasted even a month?

Millions of Americans seem to be on a diet and exercise treadmill – not the machine, but a cycle of losing and regaining weight, starting an exercise program only to abandon it a few weeks later, and spending hard-earned money on food programs or gym memberships that they soon abandon.

It’s time to consider taking a break, and give yourself some breathing room in this crazy cycle.

The health and fitness message isn’t working for you, and you’re not alone. It’s time to consider doing what you enjoy doing. It will be an excellent motivator for exercising – and it works.

Physical activity is the foundation of a lifetime of fitness, health, meaning, and well-being – and it doesn’t require going to the gym five days a week.

Reaping the benefits of physical activity is not just about the sweat: an almost infinite variety of physical movement choices and intensities will work just as well, or better, than a strict regimen of intense workouts. It requires you to start on a journey to a new way of thinking about things – a journey that requires the right MAPS.

Your MAPS will help you redirect your thinking about physical movement and head in a new and different direction, toward satisfying and sustainable physical goals and outcomes, including energy, meaning, and well-being.

Meaning –This information in this section will help you uncover your hidden expectations, the reasons that set you up for short-term results, and will help you understand that you can change a Meaning that leads to failure into a Meaning that motivates you to move.

Awareness – The information in this section will give you Awareness of the realities of physical exercise, how you make decisions, how motivation works, and how to convert your Meaning of exercise from a chore into a gift. You’ll also become aware of new science on what counts and on how easy and fun it actually is to fit and negotiate feel-good physical activities into your daily life.

Permission – Family, work, friends, and the duties and tasks of daily life all compete for our time and energy. Giving yourself Permission to prioritize your own self-care – to feel better every day – provides the fuel for your cherished roles and responsibilities and powers your sense of well-being.

Strategy – We have all the best intentions in the world, but then life happens. The daily task, the needs of others, and our own routines present challenges that we need to meet with creative solutions. What physical activity do you want to do today? How will you accomplish it? The information in this section gets down to the nitty-gritty: evidence-based negotiation Strategies that will set you up for sustainable success and keep you there.

Michelle Segar, No Sweat


Do you believe it’s possible to undertake an exercise routine that doesn’t require sit-ups, burpees, and a daily trip to a fitness center?

Do you believe that exercise is more like a chore, something you are doing because you should do it? Or, do you believe exercise can be something you are already doing in your normal, everyday routines?

Review the author’s concepts above as an introduction to incorporating physical movement into your life as a part of a daily lifestyle, not a forced regimen. Answer these questions in your own words and then seek the Lord’s direction on the healthy, beneficial next steps.

  • What does exercise mean to me? Don’t answer from the messages surrounding us everyday of the latest exercise fad or “guaranteed” system to lose inches off your waistline. The Meanings we attached to ideas and concepts powerfully influence our motivations for doing something.
  • What are the physical activities that motivate me toward movement? It’s okay to step outside the gym or get off the fitness machine to uncover new ways to exercise. You will benefit from any activity in which you choose to move in ways you like and that fit into your day.
  • What will I change to give myself permission to make my own health a priority? When you do, the sense of feeling better every day provides the fuel for self-care behavior like physical activity. Maybe it’s time to stop letting your calendar undermine your health. It is after all, your calendar.
  • How am I willing to experiment with new strategies and attitudes to overcome the challenges to developing a new, counter-intuitive approach to exercise? When you are able to do that, you will find yourself in a learning process that has application to other areas of your life, not just exercise.


Are you ready to start your journey to a healthier life? Is it time to make some changes? Go ahead – make the commitment!

Excerpted from SUMS Remix 27-3, released November 2015.



Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “summary” for church leaders. Each Wednesday I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt here.



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