Many churches across the country are using faith to inspire people to start a fitness program.
We all know that fitness is a major key to your health and wellness, and churches are tying it to a ministry because members want to be spiritually fit, as well as physically fit.
Faith based fitness ministries are reminding followers that their bodies are temples of the spirit. Many of them cite research that links health, prayer and stress management and believe that spiritual motivation can inspire health changes that exercise alone can’t accomplish.
“Unless you are both spiritually and physically fit you really aren’t ‘fit’,” says Dr. Kenneth Cooper, known as the father of aerobic exercise movement and who was among the first to articulate the connection between fitness and religion.
What are some distinctive qualities of faith that are important to faith-based fitness?
Dr. Cooper adds “our bodies don’t last because of the way we treat them. Moderation in the consumption of alcohol [is important]. In my basic rules of wellness I list proper weight, diet, nutrition along with exercise, elimination of tobacco and drugs, stress management, and then have periodic wellness examinations. Look at those. They have a spiritual base.”
Many churches are offering numerous of fitness programs including, yoga, boot camps and marathon training to name a few. There are also team sports such as basketball, volleyball and softball for all ages.
Corporate American is getting involved also. This past January, Charter Communications teamed up with the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) to become involved with it’s ‘Get Hooked on Health’ St. Louis Expo.
The goal of the Expo was to encourage the people of the St. Louis community to make healthy lifestyle choices in the areas of nutrition and exercise. TBN’s presence has motivated many people to activate their faith and to empower a positive health transformation.
Experts feel that being fit both spiritually and physically can add on nine more years to your life. Kym Hunter, who attends The Church on the Rock in St. Charles, MO, says “It is God’s mandate for us to have a healthy temple; this is our way of leaving our legacy. We want to be healthy, strong in the body of Christ. If I am healthy, then I can help others and save others in whatever conditions they are going through as well.”