Saturday, November 05, 2011

book review: Fit for Faith by Kimberly Payne

Kimberly Payne’s book Fit for Faith describes a program that develops both physical and spiritual fitness. This holistic program has much to recommend it.

The how-to section that begins the book is divided into three main parts. “Part I: Exercise your body + Exercise your spirit” includes chapters on types of physical exercise (cardio and strength) and spiritual exercise (prayer) with chapters on strategies and goal planning for each. “Part II: Feed your body + Feed your spirit” shares advice on physical and spiritual food (Bible study) with, again, chapters on strategies and goal planning. “Part III: Stretch your body + Stretch your spirit” explores flexibility exercises for the physical body, and journaling as stretches for the spirit.

A 49-page (seven-week) workbook section follows. Each page includes a written prayer, a question that becomes a journal prompt, places to record what exercises were done and food choices made, a “Fit tip” or fact that dispels a common health or fitness myth, and a concluding Bible truth. There is a sample filled-in journal page so the reader has a model to follow.

The book ends with a chapter on maintenance, followed by a list of resources and several appendices, including a list of the 49 fit tips from the daily workbook pages, a home fitness test and several workout programs.

Payne is a seasoned physical trainer and her regimen reflects her expertise and experience. The how-to section is easy to understand, encouraging, and motivational. As mentioned, the combination of both physical and spiritual fitness  addresses the whole person. The repetition and accountability that are built into the workbook can’t help but bring about permanent lifestyle changes in the person who follows this program for seven weeks. I loved the little fit tips.

The Kindle copy I read would need the participant to use a scribbler or separate journal for the workbook section. (I assume the paper book has a physical page for each workbook page, which might make it a better choice for some.)

The only thing I can think of that would make a book like this more useful to an exercise illiterate like me would be pictures or line drawings of the exercises. My copy didn’t have those, though Payne does describe each exercise in detail.

I think this would be a great book for men or women to use on their own or as a textbook for a seven-week fitness program in connection with a Bible study.

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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