What does Jesus Christ have to do with your fitness journey? Let me ask you this… Have you ever felt like your fitness goals feel a little too shallow? Are you looking for ways to stay motivated and consistent with your workout routine? Especially after spending some time in a funk where you just couldn’t get that “oomph” to get up and just do it as you have in the past?
Well, I have some great news for you, because I want to tell you that you’re NOT imagining things. The truth is that your “WHY” must come from a deeper place. A spiritually connected place.
As a Christian, I’ve discovered that incorporating my faith into my workouts has been a game changer. It’s been a source of inspiration, motivation, and strength that goes beyond the physical realm. And I’m here to share my experience with you!
Now, I have to admit, this is really hard for me to do.
You see, for the first time, I’m actually opening up to you about my own faith journey publicly. Faith has always been one of those things I kind of compartmentalized. Particularly when it comes to my business. And I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen myself as coming out as one of those “Jesus Chicks” who talks about God 24/7/365.
But something started to shift in my life when I was looking for a deeper meaning behind the WHY of all of it.
I talk about finding your “why” a lot on my platform. From fitness to daily life, there has to be a driving and motivating factor behind what gets you up each morning to get on the grind and make life happen.
And for me, more and more, that WHY is driven by something far greater than myself.
I Was Lost But Now I’m Found
Like so many others, I lost my mojo during the pandemic. I stopped working out consistently, if at all sometimes! Suddenly, I started to feel super disconnected from the former version of myself who lived, slept, and breathed fitness daily. I saw my body gaining weight and my motivation to do anything about it go down the drain.
It was also around this time that I started to rely more and more on God to pull me through some really dark moments emotionally and mentally. And as I finally began to pull through I, through a power even greater than my own will, began to slowly return to my normal habits of working out somewhat consistently yet again.
But this time, something different was happening. I started to enmesh my spiritual life with my fitness life, and that’s when my body, my mind, and my faith take off.
I’m still working through all of this, but what I do know is that there is SOMETHING to all this stuff. Faith and fitness go hand-in-hand. And I know that on this platform, I want to explore what that means exactly – and how it can help you too.
So let’s look at today’s conversation as a briefer. Allow me to plead my case as to why I think that anyone who is looking for a deeper connection to their fitness goals MUST include their journey in faith throughout that process.
The Psychological Benefits of Faith-Influenced Fitness
The number one thing that has had the greatest impact I’ve noticed… Prayer and meditation have helped me to find mental and emotional peace during (and after) my workouts.
Let’s face it, there are days you simply don’t want to do it. You don’t feel like showing up to the gym, especially during early mornings when it’s still dark. And your warm bed is calling you to stay in it.
When you finally pull yourself from under the covers, you NEED a little boost beyond just that pre-workout to keep your head in the game. This is exactly where my faith slides in perfectly.
The biggest game-changer has been that I begin each session with a prayer, asking God to be with me and provide the strength and focus I need. Asking Him to allow me to connect to the physical suffering of Christ, and how He gave up His body for me – and it’s time I return the favor with mine. This allows me to set the tone for the session and get into the right mindset to push myself.
Faith has also impacted my workouts by increasing my self-discipline.
We are called to live lives of self-control and submit our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness in Romans 6:13. By embracing this principle in my workouts, I have cultivated a sense of self-control and discipline that has helped me go the extra mile.
The Physical Benefits of Faith-Inspired Fitness
Not only has incorporating faith into my workouts brought me mental peace, but it has also brought physical benefits. I’ve found that prayer and meditation help me clear my mind, reducing stress and allowing me to focus more fully on getting the most out of every rep and set.
Perhaps it’s because of my extensive dance background, but I’ve always been REALLY big on the mind-muscle connection in fitness. Visualizing every muscle cell firing as I power through phases of motion. I’ve taught this theory to my clients as well (to great benefit) by way of the results we see from their workouts.
And adding that layer of prayer to the mix seems to really heighten this connection like never before.
By centering myself through prayer, focusing on the present moment, and tuning out distractions, I can perform better and achieve better results in my workouts. I have all the fuel I need to truly step outside of my comfort zone. With challenge comes CHANGE. And the changes you can see physically when deeply connecting prayer to your workouts are unbelievable!
Fasting’s Benefit And Connection To Your Faith And Fitness
Another way that faith has impacted my physical fitness is through fasting. We’ve all heard of the benefits of intermittent fasting, and how it can have a huge impact on controlling body composition.
The great thing about it is that it can benefit your spiritual fitness and your physical fitness as well.
For me, fasting is a regular part of my spiritual practice, a way to draw closer to God and cultivate a deeper sense of self-control. When I incorporate fasting into my workouts, it helps me cultivate a sense of discipline and perseverance, pushing me to work harder and achieve my goals, even when I’m feeling tired or discouraged.
I’ve even seen my weight come down, and my body fat decrease significantly. Much like what one would expect to see with intermittent fasting in the mix.
How To Begin Incorporating Faith into Your Workout Routine
So, how can you incorporate faith into your workout routine? It’s quite simple! Let’s lay out a basic foundation you can apply to your next workout.
Typically, I begin each training session with a prayer, asking God to be with me and provide the strength and focus I need to step way outside of my comfort zone. This allows me to set the tone for the session and get into the right mindset to push myself. I enjoy opening up with stretching and warming up while contemplating a line of scripture that gets my mind focused on the work ahead.
Here’s What This Looks Like In Action
First, find a quiet place where you can spend some time in prayer or meditation before your workout.
This could be your living room, a park, or even your gym. Take a few minutes to clear your mind, focus on your breath, and ask God to be with you and give you the strength and inspiration you need to achieve your goals.
Stretching To Scripture
Begin with light stretching. I often like to read a line of scripture before beginning and allow that scripture to guide my thoughts during the workout. There are a ton of really great bible, daily scripture, and prayer apps on the market. So I advise finding one that truly speaks to you as a wonderful resource for inspiration.
Mind Your Musical Inspiration
After I hit up light stretching, I often will begin my workout continuing to listen to Christian-inspired music vs secular music. I find that being deliberate and using discernment to choose the music that fuels my workouts is an important part of letting Christ into my body as I train. What we listen to has a major impact on how we think and how we move. So I encourage you to definitely filter the sounds that influence your soul.
During my weight training, I don’t back down from the pain of heavy lifting. I go for the burn,! Work to controlled failure (within 1-2 reps of full failure). I look at where I can beat my numbers and keep reaching for new personal bests.
I encourage you to absolutely do the same!
Fast Before You Train
Finally, consider incorporating fasting into your workout routine.
This could mean skipping a meal before your workout or choosing to eat only light, healthy foods. By making this sacrifice, you can cultivate a sense of discipline and self-control, pushing yourself to work harder and achieve your goals.
Conclude your training with a good post workout meal, and reap the benefits of both staying discplined about your approach to your diet and your training in a deeper way.
In conclusion, incorporating faith into your workout routine can bring a sense of inspiration, motivation, and strength that goes beyond the physical realm. So, why not give it a try and see what a difference it can make in your life!