“I’m going downstairs and make sure the doors are locked,” announced my husband one night after I’d already collapsed in bed. I smirked at his hasty chivalrous exit, as I knew his true motivation was either he had yet to make his daily Fitbit step goal, or he was close to beating me or another friend on the number of steps in friendly competition. I wearily thought, “Did I get my daily time and steps with Christ today?” I call it my “Fitbit faith”—a modern version of putting on the “full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11-16). Verse 11states, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” For the fitness enthusiast hopeful or the beginning soul exerciser, here are four launch pad ideas to use fitness trackers to increase your activity and increase your Fitbit faith.
- Obtain equipment for success. There are several options from one of the many Fitbit models to Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP, BodyMedia Fitcore, Garmin or the Adidas MiCoach. You can track steps, calories, distance travelled, pace, caloric intake, and even heart rate and sleep. Equipment for your spiritual journey, could include the “sword of the spirit”—the Bible, Bible app, First Place 4 Health Bible study, prayer journal, or pen. Think of devotions and Bible study as exercise for your soul. Prayer is always a convenient tool, but if you want to grow, you need to set up your environment to help you be successful at Fitbit faith.
- Develop a habit. Guided by data, such as calories burned or steps taken, you will have ongoing motivation and guidance. Commit to wearing your Fitbit for 30 days; establish the habit of putting it on before you leave home each morning. Also, put on your faith every day by utilizing your equipment. Try doing devotions or Bible study every day for 30 days, even if briefly. You will observe God giving you direction and strength every day! “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
- Establish a goal. Make a SMART goal—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound—to make slow, steady progress. An example goal might be, “I’ll increase my steps by 1,000 a day over last week’s average steps per day. I’ll do that until I obtain an average of 10,000 steps a day.” Over time, these small improvements will make a difference, and your goal will soon be your new normal! Faith-building goals could be, “During breakfast, I will do some type of daily devotions for 30 days.” Soon you’ll realize the power and strength provided by God that flourishes with the routine. Instead of mentally fighting to get in your devotional and prayer time, you will actually crave that time.
- Invite a friend on your journey. Fitness trackers also have apps that host challenges to groups aiming for the same goal. Several research studies have shown social exercise (whether via a digital support group or live) aids in helping us perform more regular exercise; therefore, helping us keep that Fitbit from coming to a halt in a drawer!
Finally, on your faith journey, get involved in a First Place 4 Health group or a church to deepen your transformation in your spiritual life and provide accountability. The Bible reminds us that we are encouraged when we see faith in another believer … “that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).
Sherry Leggett’s love of Health and Wellness permeates through her whole life: spiritually, as a First Place 4 Health leader at her church, and physically through her career as a Health and Wellness manager, the wife and mom of a physically active family, and her hobby triathlons. As well as holding degrees in Sport Medicine and Sport Management, Sherry is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a Personal Trainer and Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. You can read more active devotions written by Sherry on her blog Trimom4Him.wordpress.com.