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Best Kept Secret

These affordable faith-based exercise classes in the church are the best-kept secret in the fitness industry.

My friend Tania has five little children, three boys plus twin girls from the Philippines. Her husband’s work takes him on the road for days at a time, yet she has the energy to lead a women’s ministry, sing in church, and volunteer for many school activities. How does she do it?

One way, I’m sure, is that she makes time to care for her body and spirit.

Tania attends fitness class faithfully five days a week. She’s a regular in my Cardio Soul, Step, and Pilates classes. She is also my prayer partner, and we lead a Bible study together after Power Pump Cardio class. “I realized in order to raise five children I needed to be physically, spiritually and emotionally FIT. These classes keep me focused on God and my relationship with Him—I feel renewed and stronger both physically and spiritually,” says Tania.

But back up even further. I remember when I was a single parent raising four children under the age of 10. Thank goodness I was instructing fitness classes because I wouldn’t have been able to afford them on my small salary. How does someone on a limited budget find the time and money for fitness classes? That’s where the best-kept secret comes in. The answer is the church.

Many people don’t realize that larger churches often have spacious gyms and offer faith-based exercise classes as well as childcare for fees that are incredibly lower than sports clubs and Ys. In addition, churches often offer scholarships to those who are struggling to make ends meet.

For instance, Owensboro Christian Church, where I teach nine fitness classes a week, charges $3 per fitness class. Childcare is available all morning for $1 per child. And I know they offer free classes to those who can’t afford them—I’ve sponsored a few people myself.

If you are looking for affordable, faith-based exercise classes, call the larger churches in your area and see what they offer. These classes are usually not advertised, and are often excellent. They’re the best-kept secret of the fitness industry!


Photo: Tania and her family


Get more advice from Theresa!

Find all you need to know on whole-person 
wellness in
 Shaped by Faith.

Theresa is a former model and nationally certified fitness professional who teaches people to use their faith to inspire fitness and their fitness to strengthen their faith. She is the author of Shaped by Faith: 10 Secrets to Strengthening your Body & Souland three exercise DVDS: Pilates for the Soul, Strength Training for the Seasoned Soul and Pilates Stability Ball.

She and her husband, Robin, have seven children and live in Calhoun, Kentucky.

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