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FIRST-PERSON: Walking through the holidays

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–It’s November, and with it comes the joy of the holiday season, shopping, decorating, celebrations, parties, time with friends and family and lots of food. Many times these events cause additional stress and leave you feeling like you’re “running” through the holidays. To help handle the stress and still get everything done, try to “walk” through the holidays this year by adding more walking into your activities. Here are some ways to walk more during the holidays.

1. Organize a group of friends, neighbors or members of your church and commit to “Walk to Bethlehem” between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Joseph and Mary traveled approximately 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem before Jesus’ birth. They walked and rode a donkey to get there. Surely you can lace up your sneakers and cover this distance as well. From Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve you have 28 days to complete the distance. Break it up into two and three mile increments per day. Record your daily distances in a journal or on a biblical reference map marked with mile markers. As you walk give thanks for all the blessings in your life including God’s Son and your salvation.

2. Parking is a premium at the mall this time of year. Avoid wasting time driving around looking for a close parking space. Take the one farthest away from the door and walk to your destination. Walking at a brisk pace in the cool weather will burn more calories for energy and save gas in your car.

3. Before you actually purchase anything, walk around the entire mall or department store. As you walk, make a mental note of the stores or areas you will come back to on your next trip through.

4. Share the spirit and Good News of the season by caroling around your neighborhood. Walk from house to house with your family and friends, singing Christmas carols. You will bless those that hear your music, create a festive memory for those involved and receive the benefits of physical activity.

5. If your city has neighborhoods that elaborately decorate the homes and front yards, park the car and walk through, looking and admiring the beauty. Check with your local zoo or parks department to see if these places have special Christmas decorations you can walk through and enjoy.

As walking through your holidays will help keep your body strong, help you manage your weight, reduce your blood pressure and reduce stress, walking daily with Christ will strengthen your relationship with him, give you a better attitude and keep your focus on the true meaning of the season. Jesus came to earth as God’s gift of salvation to the world. No greater gift could have been given. Praise God for the gift of salvation through Christ. Walk with him through the month and into the next century.
Branda Polk is a certified personal trainer, wellness coach and Fit 4 Coordinator at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn. To receive a free packet of information about Fit 4, e-mail your request to [email protected].

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  • Branda Polk