This is my fitness tip for this week: walk/run with a godly friend. (Or someone to whom you can minister the Gospel.) But, I really want to focus on running with a godly friend. There are multiple benefits.
First, physically, it is so encouraging to go with someone else. Whether you are the "stronger" runner/walker or the "weaker", it really helps. I prefer to run with someone who is stronger, because I'm still trying to lose weight, and I need to be pushed. Having someone who is running with me motivates me to keep going when my flesh wants to stop. Pushing through those difficult moments makes you stronger. Also, when you push through those moments, you usually find that another surge of energy is just on the heels of that.
For example: today I struggled on my 5k run. Every step was difficult. I KNOW I would have quit running if I hadn't been with someone. As it was, I almost quit. However, she encouraged me to push through constantly telling me we were "almost finished" (LIAR!!), and I made it. In one of my better times! I only get to run with someone about 1 time a week, but I really appreciate those times because of the physical pressure it puts on me.
Secondly, running with a friend provides opportunity for spiritual enrichment. (If your breathing allows you the privilege of talking!!!) What greater way to encourage each other in the Lord than to do so while keeping our bodies fit for Him. I have had some great conversations with friends while walking (and now running.). I have been admonished, encouraged, and rebuked. I have established relationships which will endure forever, and I have solidified old friendships.
Today I ran with a fairly new friend who is a Believer and truly desires to put the Lord first in everything. It was such an encouragement to listen to her talk (I was breathing too hard to talk!!) about her struggles, the people the Lord has placed in her path, and what God has been teaching her through His Word.
Third, it provides accountability. Having someone to walk or run with keeps you walking/running when you would really rather not. When I first started walking I ONLY went out when I was with a friend. I would not walk outside alone. I was too self-conscious. I'm better about it now, but I really struggled in the beginning. Having that "appointment" forced me to get out of the house and MOVE!
When the run was done I had had 2 GREAT results. One: my body was physically challenged. Two: my spirit was spiritually challenge.