Our Lady of Hope Clinic

How can I pray while exercising?

Lent is a great time to bump up both your exercise and prayer regimen. If you’ve been looking to squeeze in more exercise and prayer during the day, you might have thought, “How can I pray while exercising?”

As the ground thaws here in Madison, Wisconsin, we’ve got a few ideas to help you get out in the fresh air, get your heart rate up, and use this special workout time to strengthen your soul.

Pair Long Prayers with Long Workouts

Workouts such as walking and long-distance running are perfect for long prayers. Finding a prayer or devotion that will take between ten and twenty minutes to pray is a great way to exercise your soul while your body is at work. If the prayers are repetitious, the rhythm of walking or running will match their cadence. The extended workout duration provides ample time to finish the prayers without rushing. 

Walking and running have amazing health benefits, especially for the heart. Just over five miles a week at a leisurely pace has been shown to protect against heart issues like heart attack and stroke, lower the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, and even lower mortality rates.

Meditate During Familiar Routines

If you’ve performed your stretching routine so many times you could do it in your sleep, consider practicing meditation during this time. 

Begin your stretching routine while moving through the phases of meditation, contemplation, and prayer. You can plan your workout so that the progression of the devotion corresponds to deeper levels of stretch.

Stretching decreases the risk of injury and can improve athletic performance, as well as the joints’ range of motion. 

Offer Up the Hard Stuff!

HIgh-impact exercises like cross training or weight lifting are usually all-consuming, leaving little focus for prayer. During these times of exertion, you can offer up the pain or discomfort for a friend or family member who is in need of help. You also can simply think of holy images when you don’t have the capacity to form your feelings into words.   

High-impact exercise is an incredible way to build muscle and bone mass and burn calories. Be sure to start any high-impact exercise slowly and check with your doctor if you have any related health questions. 

Our Lady of Hope Clinic offers direct primary care in Madison, Wisconsin and can help you on a path towards wellness. If we can help you find an exercise routine that addresses your health needs, please contact us.  

How Can I Pray While Exercising? brought to you by Dr. Michael Kloess, MD, AAFP, of Our Lady of Hope Clinic. 

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