In a moment of optimistic determination, I signed up for a three-month membership to "Changes for Women." Unlike a gym or other fitness center, the popular concept of this and other such centers is a circuit of several machines that participants stays on for no longer than 45 seconds each. Every machine is meant to flex, strengthen and build stamina in different muscle zones. Instructive signs provide direction all around the circuit.

Over the last several weeks, I've learned about different muscle zones that I never knew existed, like front, rear, anterior and side deltoids, rhomboids and glutes among such exotic sounding exercises as "pectoral fly" and "hip abduction."

The experience is enhanced by the variety of movements, clear guidance and the feeling that this is something you can tackle and succeed at. But the best part of the work-out by far, is that it only lasts 35 minutes!

"The more I come, the more energized I feel," a fellow workout companion enthuses. How noteworthy that the more we exert ourselves, the more we unearth a new reservoir of energy.

The sign above the front door was the finishing touch, compelling me to sign on the dotted line. It read simply: "Spend just 2% of your day, for yourself." That's quite a powerful sell in a day and age when most of us can barely even find the time to sneeze!

Working out on those machines made me think about how our spiritual wellbeing can also use a boost of stamina and flexibility.

I realized, too, that it doesn't require hours upon hours of introspective meditation or an exhaustive, spiritual revamping. With the investment of just a few, scattered seconds or moments throughout your day, along with clear guidelines, you, too, can strengthen your spiritual muscles and get in synch with your inner self.

Here's a list of my own suggested exercises, listed by duration, prescribed times, and spiritual zone exercised:



Spiritual Muscles Used:


How many times:

Say words of thanks to G‑d for the gift of another day of life

Immediately upon awakening

Introspection, connection with your Maker

15 seconds

Once a day, every morning

Say a blessing on your food or drink

Before eating or drinking

Gratitude and appreciation for what you have

2-5 seconds

Several times a day

Pick up the phone and say a kind word to your mother or father

Any time you have a spare moment (make sure you FIND that moment)

Kindness, honouring and respecting your parents

5-15+ minutes

As many times as you are able, depending on circumstances

Extend your arm and touch the mezuzah

Every time you pass a doorpost with a mezuzah

Awareness, reminder of your identity

3 seconds

1-100 times a day

Pray to G‑d or meditate

Morning, afternoon and evening

Synchrony with your inner self, evaluation of your priorities, developing a relationship with your Creator

8 min. to 1 hour+ depending on spiritual stamina

1-3 times a day

Give charity to someone who needs it, or drop a few coins in the charity box

Any time, especially before your prayers

Compassion, awareness of the plight of others

5 seconds (10 seconds if you need to allow time to find your wallet)

At least once a day

Sure there's a lot more that you can do. But be careful not to strain your spiritual muscles too much or you might get disheartened with the workout and give up altogether.

You might just be surprised at how an investment of a few seconds several times throughout your day can give you loads of spiritual energy while revitalizing your whole being.

How about spending 2% of your day for yourself, for G‑d and for all of humanity?