Body & Soul Fitness: Connects Faith and Exercise

The organization provides live—virtual and in-person—classes, as well as on-demand videos for participants of all levels.

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Posted in , Aug 18, 2021

Fitness class in progress; Getty Images

Sponsored content provided by Body & Soul® Fitness.

The alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button. You would really prefer to sleep in, after all, it’s just a morning fitness class and you don’t know anyone.

But what if that wasn’t true? Imagine a fitness class that offers more; one where prayers are shared, triumphs are celebrated, tears are cried, problems are tackled, biblical advice is given, and love is shared between friends.

Back up to the alarm going off. That was me. I had been taking a nationally known fitness class for about two years. I knew faces well enough to say hello and ask how they were, but it seemed the rush to get the day started overtook the opportunities for friendships in people’s lives.

As a young mom with two small children, I knew I needed time for me. That’s why I took classes. “When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I knew the benefits of exercise—the stress relief, the increased endorphins that boosted my mood, the increased strength to my immune system (who doesn’t need that when dealing with little germ incubators known as toddlers)—and let’s face it, it helped keep me in shape.

A friend invited me to a fitness class she was taking and told me I’d love it. She said this program connected faith and fitness. I was intrigued but skeptical. I didn’t know what to expect when I walked in. I was introduced to the instructor who welcomed me, and soon found myself in the midst of a circle of women who were sharing prayer requests with one another. Then the instructor prayed for those requests. Okay, this was different, and we hadn’t even started exercising yet.

The workout was great! Body & Soul® Fitness requires all instructors to be nationally certified and receive extensive training each year. The instructor offered modifications and encouraged us throughout the class by drawing our attention to the lyrics in the music. Even the choreography seemed to tie movements to the music. Once the workout ended, the instructor offered a quick devotional and prayer.

The songs we exercised to encouraged me and I would catch myself singing the songs throughout the day. I found myself praying for the ladies in class that had become friends – my new community. I found myself thinking about God a little more throughout the day and I’d linger a little longer in His Word. My faith was growing as a result of a fitness class…and I now I was jumping out of bed for the next class not wanting to hit the snooze button any longer.

One day the instructor asked if anyone would be interested in becoming an instructor. It didn’t take long to feel the nudging from the Lord to say yes. It’s been more than 20 years now, and I still feel privileged to be leading these classes. I’ve grown so much in my knowledge of fitness through the incredible training I receive. AND, more importantly, I’ve grown in my love and knowledge of Jesus.

Body & Soul® Fitness offers a fitness experience that involves more than just your body. Your soul matters too. We are more than simply a fitness organization. We are intentional about our faith, living life well, and being our best in whatever role(s) we find ourselves in life. We aim to honor God with everything we are.

We have classes all over the United States, as well as internationally. We have programs for every BODY at any fitness level. We offer in-person and live virtual classes, as well as Body & Soul® FitTV™ on demand for those who need a bit more flexibility in their workout schedule.

Body & Soul® Fitness is where faith and fitness meet. If you would like more information on how to join a class, or if you are interested in learning how to become an instructor, visit our website at www.bodyandsoul.org. We’d love to meet you and help get you started.

Body & Soul® Fitness is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is an accredited member of ECFA.

Mary Ward is the Vice President of Body & Soul® Fitness and also serves as the Board Chair of First Place for Health. She is the author of “My Place for Fitness”. Her philosophy is "Don't think about what you can't do, focus on what you can do. Fitness should be about finding something you enjoying doing, so you'll enjoy doing it.” She is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in Group Fitness, and approved to teach all programs in Body & Soul®. She lives in Chantilly, VA, loves Jesus, her family, traveling, and Body & Soul®!

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