In many faiths, and religions you will find references that describe the connection between faith and fitness. In the bible, one can find “Let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit… ( 2 Corinthians 7:21)” and ” Run with endurance the race that God has set before you… (Hebrews 12:1). In the Quran, one can read ” O Mankind: Eat of what is lawful and good on earth (Quran 2:168) and “Eat of the good things we have provided for your substance, but commit no excess therein… (Quran 2:168).
These faiths as well as others share a common theme that it will be hard to develop spiritually and “do good work” without a healthy body. The more sedentary you are, the more likely you will be lethargic, unhealthy, which in turn can lead to a weak prayer life caused by stress, or distractions. A weak prayer life can result in the inability to focus, live without fear and or worry.
Many health professionals around the nation understand the connection between faith and health. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Cooper institute and the “Father of Aerobics” was quoted in Faith and Fitness Magazine saying, “A strong belief, along with discipline, we can reach a level of ultimate fitness both spiritually and physically”.
Recently a faith-based health and wellness conference and expo was held in Atlanta, GA. Speakers from all over the nation educated pastors and lay leaders on the importance of physical activity, nutrition, how to start faith-based wellness programming at their respective places of worship. The world is starting to catch on and focus in on the connection between faith and health.
Therefore people of all faiths should reassess their eating habits and exercise routines, and bring these behaviors in line with their respective faith’s teachings.
Becoming healthier will increase strength, endurance and mind clarity. Active persons should encourage their fellow parishioners and spiritual leader to become healthier.
This can be done through activities and events that promote physical activity or better nutrition. One can organize a run/walk, choose a health and wellness program or put together a healthy cooking demonstration. The activity does not have to be centered around weight loss as long as it promotes healthy behaviors.