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Fitness and Faith: Four Spiritual Workouts for Your Body and Soul

By Hannah Brzozowski


This summer, I was able to lead a workout group - something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. The concept of mixing faith and being active as a group sounded fun to me. So, we did it and we had a blast. I warned everyone from the start that I had *zero* experience leading a fitness class and they were all very gracious.


Throughout it, I wrote up lessons to help us focus on our physical bodies and our spiritual health. This blog is a summary of those lessons. Each lesson has a main verse, some thoughts throughout, and questions. Reflect on these questions personally in your own workouts or with a buddy.


Some ways to incorporate faith into your workout.

  1. Pray beforehand and ask God to be present with you during your exercises.

  2. Pick a verse to meditate on throughout. Read it multiple times to yourself or use the Bible app and listen to a chapter throughout your workout.

  3. Listen to worship music in the background. Here's a playlist from Spotify!

  4. When the workouts get really tough, try to focus your mind on how you could apply that verse that day.

Below are the workouts that we did this summer! Grab some friends and try them out!


#1. Your Outer Self is Wasting Away

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16


HIIT

Warm Up: 3 minutes (20 seconds with 10 second rest - 2X’s)

  • Sumo squats

  • High Knees

  • Side lunges

  • Forearm Plank

Circuit One: (30 seconds on 20 seconds off - 3X)

  • Goblet Squats

  • Jumping Jacks with weight

  • Ski jumps

Circuit Two: AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) - 4 minutes

  • 30 Mountain Climbers

  • 10 Bicycle Crunches

  • 5 Burpees

Arms With Weights

(Each exercise for 1 minute - 2x’s)

  • Bicep curls

  • Hammer curls

  • Rows

  • Tricep kickbacks

  • Shoulder lifts

Questions:

  • What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

  • How do we renew our inner self? What does that mean? (such as through reading the Bible)

  • How have you seen God renew you this year? How can we keep track of this growth?

  • How do you keep yourself from losing heart when it comes to your health?


Unlike how we age physically; spiritually, we can continue to grow and strengthen and get better with age.


#2. Be a Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1


HIIT

Warm-up

  • Shoulder rolls - 30 seconds

  • Hip openers - both sides - 60 seconds

  • World’s greatest stretch - 60 seconds

Circuit

(All 45 seconds, 15-second rest, repeat 2 X's - with 1-minute rest in between rounds)

  • X jumps

  • Squats

  • Lunges

  • Plank

  • Mountain Climbers

  • Pushups

  • Leg Raises

  • Toe Touches

  • Bicycle Crunches

  • Burpees

Think of someone in your life who is a "living sacrifice" in their love for others.


Take a 10 minute Run/Walk in your neighborhood.


Questions:

  • When was the last time that you felt physically tired from helping someone else?

  • What do you think it means when it says a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing”?

  • Has there ever been a time for you that you felt led by God to do something even when it was inconvenient to you?

  • How have you figured out the balance between self-care and caring for others?

  • The verse right after this one says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” How can we renew our minds when it comes to getting healthier?


#3. Whatever You Do.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31


HIIT

Warm up (30 seconds each)

  • Arm circles

  • Hip rotations

  • Hip openers

  • Squats

  • Front Kicks

  • Worlds Greatest Stretch

Circuit One (45 seconds with15 second rest - Repeat 4x)

  • Squat jump to mountain climber

Circuit Two - 4 minute EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)

  • 8 Spider Jumps

  • 4 Push Ups

Circuit Three - (30 seconds each with 30 second rest - Repeat 3 X's)

  • Fast feet

  • Jumping jacks

  • Lateral Shuffle

  • Spider Humans

Core Work Out

(30 seconds each - Repeat 2X)

  • Roll Up

  • Russian Twist

  • Hollow body Hold

  • Dead Bug

  • Scissor Kick

  • High Plank

Questions:      

  • What is an unhealthy snack that you can’t get enough of?

  • When do you crave that snack the most?

  • How can eating right help us to put God first in our lives?

  • How can we love people better through food?

#4. Mount up on Eagles Wings

He gives power to the weak,

And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the LORD

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40: 29-31


HIIT

Warm Up (Each exercise for 30 seconds)

  • Good Mornings

  • Reverse Lunge with Twist

  • Squats

  • Toe touches

  • High Knees

Circuit One

(45 seconds on; 15 seconds rest; 4 X's)

Burpee with 4 Mountain Climbers


Circuit Two

5 Minute EMOM

Ski Jumps to the other side of the mat to 6 Squat Jumps (repeat 4 X's)


Circuit Three

(each for 20 seconds - Repeat 2 X's)

  • Plank

  • Super Human (Flying like an eagle 😆)

Arm Work Out with Weights

(Each exercise for 1 minute.)

  • Pull Up Your Pants

  • Bicep Curl

  • Hammer Curl

  • Front extensions

  • In and Out Extensions

  • Side Curls

  • Upright Row

  • Side Extensions

  • Back Fly

Questions:

  • When you were a kid, what was an activity that you could just do over and over again and never seem to get tired?

  • When’s a time that you felt weak while trying to get healthy?

  • It says: “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall” - how should this give us comfort?

  • How does God give us power when we feel weak?

  • Have you ever felt empowered by God when you felt weak? During workouts?

  • How can we wait on the Lord more this week (like the verse says)?

Bonus Lesson: Discipline seems painful


Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.


Questions:

  • What are your fitness goals?

  • What do you think your physical health has to do with your spiritual health?

  • Read the verse again

  • What healthy discipline is most difficult for you right now?

  • What is that peaceful fruit - the vision you have of your future?

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