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Merry Christmas Men!

Why pilates is great form of exercise for men.

My husband, Robin, is famous for his Hoppin’ John Soup (the recipe is below), and he was asked to make a huge pot of it for a local fundraiser tomorrow.

He worked for hours chopping and stirring and simmering. When I entered the kitchen last night he complained that his lower back was killing him.

I said, “Robin, are you holding in your stomach?”

He looked at me like I was crazy. But, just like women, men need to scoop their tummy to strengthen their core, too.

Robin is 52 years old and does not make the time to exercise. And if you’ve noticed, when men don’t work out, their bellies usually balloon out first. That’s Robin. He’s not fat, but he has a belly.

Belly fat, also called visceral fat, is a danger for men in their fifties, making them more prone to having a heart attack. Researchers have found that exercise is a must to get rid of belly fat.

Our son, Ethan, recently told him, “Dad you have got to get yourself in shape.” He took Robin outside and they began doing jumping jacks on the driveway.

In a few minutes, Robin came upstairs and said, “No way.” Then he asked for my senior exercise DVD, Strength Training for the Seasoned Soul.

He went into the bedroom, where we have a DVD player, with it. Thirty minutes later, he came out…wringing wet. I assured him that people who are 80 years and older can do the workouts on my DVD, and he needed to stick with it.

Robin has been using Strength Training for the Seasoned Soul daily for the last two weeks. He alternates between the 30-minute upper body workout and the 30-minute lower body workout.

I have to admit—it’s quite odd to see myself instructing him on our bedroom TV! But I’m glad he’s taking charge of his health.

Here’s the exercise I recommend to men who want to reduce their bellies.

Pilates Saw
Sit on a chair or on the floor, wherever you are comfortable. Extend your legs in front of you, wider than hip width apart.

Bend the knees slightly and contract your deep abdominal muscles as you focus on your breathing during the stretch.

Lift both arms out to the side, shoulder height. Inhale and rotate your body to the right, keeping your bottom on the bench.

Exhale and reach forward with your left hand past your right foot as you extend your right arm behind you.

Inhale, roll back up and return to center. Repeat this exercise on the other side. You can repeat this exercise up to 5-10 times on both sides.

If you have any men on your Christmas list, consider buying them an exercise DVD. Working out isn’t for women only.
Robin told me that people are already coming in to his office to donate their money so they can have some of his Hoppin’ John Soup. I better go into the kitchen to get my bowl now!


Robin’s Hoppin’ John Soup

My family eats the traditional Southern black-eyed pea dish Hoppin’ John for good luck on New Year‘s Day, but those great little peas are so rich in nutrients (including minerals, Vitamins A and B, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and niacin) that it makes sense to include them in our diets regularly.


1 can cream of chicken soup

3 Polish sausages (large smoked sausage cut up in pieces)

2 Italian sausage rolls

2-3 cups cubed ham

1 chopped onion

3 cups brown rice

4-6 cups of water—add more as needed 

1 stick of unsalted butter

3 cans of black eyed peas undrained

1 tablespoon Cavender’s Salt-Free All-Purpose Greek Seasoning


1. Cook the Italian sausage with the stick of butter along with the chopped onion in a skillet. 

2. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon Cavander’s All-Purpose Greek Seasoning.

2. Cut up the Polish sausage and ham in bite size pieces and set aside. Cook the rice. 

3. Once the sausage is cooked; add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Put on simmer for 2 hours and enjoy!

Serves 8-10


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 two exercise DVDS: Pilates for the Soul

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

You can email her with any questions or concerns.

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