Aug 7, 2015

Fitness Friday: Blood Pressure, Stress, and Exercise

Last night, my blood pressure topped out at 150/100, which is extremely high given I’ve enjoyed regular readings around 120/80 lately. As I pondered why I had such a spike, two things came to mind.

The first was stress. I had a rough week. Started out with anger and hurt coming out of nowhere, along with a strange dream that I was going to die. Then I got on Facebook and saw that Tuesday was my friend Maureen’s birthday – she turned 40. It’s her first birthday to celebrate in heaven with Jesus. The date triggered a flood of anger and sadness in my soul that I didn’t recognize as grief until the Lord revealed to me how much I missed my friend.
Add to that not feeling physically well and being backlogged with projects at work and at home, and I was buried under a mountain of stress.

The second was disobedience. My disobedience. A few weeks ago the Lord nudged me to start walking every morning for 30 minutes. I even blogged about it (read here), and about how it reduced my stress levels. 

This week I didn't walk at all. I was too tired and too busy.

But thankfully God is faithful, merciful, and persistent. Last night He sure got my attention with that blood pressure reading. 

I’m thankful for His grace and the boatload of second chances He always has available for me when I turn back to Him. I’m thankful for what He reveals to me through my obedience.
God has me walking for my physical health. I am a shallow breather, especially when I’m stressed, and walking forces me to breathe more deeply. My blood pressure before walking was lower than last night but still high at 136/92. After walking? Back down to 124/77. 
God has me walking for my spiritual health. I gain perspective as I walk with Him. Today I listened to worship music and pondered.
“When will this be done? How many laps do I have to do? (whine, whine)”
"I have so much to do before I leave today."
“Blessed be your name, in a land that is plentiful…..”
“They still haven’t fixed that sprinkler, I need to let them know it’s broken.”
“Wow, look at that cloud! (click) That will make a great picture for a meme!”
“Sing to the King who is coming to reign….”
“I know what I’ll write about today, yes, thank you, Lord!”
“I’m so thankful for everything. Do I have time for another lap?”

God knows us intimately. He knows what we need to do to stay healthy and fit, and is waiting for us to listen to and trust Him.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message)

For me, I believe obedience to the Lord regarding my health is a matter of life and death. Maybe it’s not that serious…but I’m not willing to risk it. I pray He keeps me on track, whatever it takes.

What about you? What health decisions has the Lord been speaking to you about lately? Are you ready to trust Him?


  1. Love this one, Mary. You are so right, He is the one who knows exactly what we need---in our body, our mind and our spirit. He has made all three of those to work TOGETHER! We have the choice to participate in becoming more whole, more holy, or less and everything we do matters.
    Blessings to you!

  2. How true, Mary! I've been traveling a lot lately and I've used that as an excuse to take a break from things God asks me to do. So my schedule is different when I'm on the road. that's not a reason to abandon my walk routine - or my quiet-time routine. I could feel God's gentle nudge as I read your post.


Thank you for your G-rated comments!