Some people believe that you should be nurturing the spiritual body even at the expense of the physical body, but this is not true. The two can go hand-in-hand. After all, our bodies are God’s temples and we should treat them that way!
Jesus Christ had to be in impeccable shape in order to walk an estimated 21,525 miles during his lifetime. And remember that he wasn’t doing all this walking in cushioned running shoes but in leather sandals! Now, a lot of his 21st-century followers are unhealthy, overweight couch potatoes.
Jesus didn’t call us to sit around, read the bible, go to church, and then return home. He called us to make disciples of the nations! (Matthew 28:19-20) How can we do that when we can’t even leave our computer screens and televisions? We have to go out and share Him with the world and to do that, we have to be healthy, fit, and ready to go!!
So, if you’re like me, and you want to have fun working out while keeping it faith-based – I think you’ll find this useful!
1. Work Out to Worship Music
-- Working out to get a “spring break body” can be unsustainable, but turning your work out into a worship session will bring you closer to God and help you celebrate your body! Faith-based fitness is a new movement that everyone seems to be loving!
-- Create a playlist with upbeat worship music to keep you motivated. There’s even Christian Rap for your power workout at the gym!
-- Here are some faith-based songs I love working out to: “What You’re Worth” by Madisa, “Feel It” by TobyMac, “Relentless – Young & Free Remix” by Hillsong Worship, “Lit City” by Joey Vantes, “Hard Love” by NEEDTOBREATHE ft. Lauren Daigle
2. Start a Walking Group
-- Walking is a great exercise for anyone with injuries, stiff joints, or anyone who struggles with intense cardio. The slower speed of walking is perfect for fat loss and talking with friends!
-- Start a walking group with your friends regardless of whether or not they are believers. This gives you a perfect outlet to talk about your faith with those who don’t know God if that’s something you feel called to do!
3. Start or Join a Church-Sponsored Weight-Loss Challenge
-- Getting involved in church is one of the best ways to connect with other believers. You can start a weight-loss challenge at your church or host a “healthy food potluck.” This is a perfect way to get everyone involved in pursuing health regardless of their age.
-- You can schedule events like baseball games, relay races, or other fun activities to get people moving! Involving members of your church is a great way to keep your fitness faith-based.
4. Run a 5K for Charity with Friends
-- Having a purpose for fitness can be so much more fulfilling! If you know you’re working out and helping people at the same time, it will be motivating and fun. You and your friends can even make t-shirts with verses on them to keep it faith-based and add extra motivation.
-- Running and walking a 5K are both great exercises. If you run, you’ll increase your heart rate, burn fat, burn calories, and build muscle. If you walk, your steady heart rate will help you burn fat and create lean muscle without putting stress on your joints.
5. Make Yoga God-Centered
-- Certain types of yoga can sometimes be viewed as “unchristian” since they focus on personal empowerment over everything else. But yoga can be for everyone! Shift your focus to God empowerment instead during a yoga class and then it can become a worship session too!
-- I love yoga, so when I take a yoga class, I focus on something I’m currently struggling with and ask God to help me through it. Yoga actually provides the perfect atmosphere to relax your mind and focus on God. Really any workout class can become faith-based fitness!
"THE BEST PART ABOUT FAITH-BASED FITNESS IS THE FREEDOM TO LOVE WHO YOU ARE AND PURSUE HEALTH IN A REALISTIC WAY!"
6. Family/Friend Homemade Dinner Night
-- Have a dinner night with your family or friends where you make meals using only God-made food. You were made by God, so you should eat the foods He made for you. This is something you can try to do all the time, but incorporating your friends and family into the process will be more fun and motivating!
7. Find a Gym Buddy or Two
-- I have a few gym buddies when I’m at school. We’ll meet up and walk or drive to the gym together. Having someone else counting on you to workout with them will be a great motivator.
-- The time spent traveling to the gym or workout destination is a perfect opportunity to talk with your friend about their life and their faith. You can challenge each other to have faith-based workouts!
8. Talk it Out with God
-- God wants to have a relationship with us, so we shouldn’t keep anything from Him! Whether you’re having a bad workout day or a good workout day, incorporate God into the process. Spend your time with God praying through your current health goals.
9. Create Faith and Fitness Challenges for Yourself
-- If you really want to challenge yourself, create daily faith and fitness goals. For example, you can challenge yourself to read one chapter in Matthew and drink 8 glasses of water every day.
-- Or you can challenge yourself to run/walk during the time you listen to the bible on your phone. This is a great way to keep your personal fitness routine faith-based!
10. Feel the Freedom
-- There is freedom in Christ. So, we don’t have to feel panicked if we aren’t meeting all of our fitness goals, if we’re not losing weight, or if we “accidentally” had a huge slice of chocolate cake. The best part about faith-based fitness is the freedom to love who you are and pursue health in a realistic way!
So, these are some of the top 10 tips I've found helpful trying to keep faith-based fitness fun! I definitely struggle with being motivated sometimes, and that's okay because we need time to relax. But these tips help keep my fitness journey exciting and focused on Jesus!