Exercise and the African American Church


Hey i need your opinion!…this will be a series of posts.  This first one is about exercise. 

What do you guys think about the lack of exercise regarding the African American community? Better yet, let me drill down even further, let’s take this question into the church!  From state to state there are African American churches – some with large congregations- that have gym facilities but many of the gyms have little use or sit idle.  So access to exercise is there for the people, but not taken full advantage of, it seems.  And, it doesnt even have to be a gym located at the church; exercise can pratically be done anywhere.   group

So what is your opinion as to why many of the saints who attend the black church do not exercise?  The benefits of exercise are great!  There are many members in the Body of Christ under attack with sickness and disease.  Doctors may have even prescribed exercise as medicine for some! The statistics are very alarming (in a bad way) when compared to our caucasian brothers and sisters regarding health and fitness.  Nope, the stats ain’t good at all.  The bible provides scriptures that tell us that exercise is good for us; yet we all don’t do it.  hmmm…can exercise help you shout longer???  Ok, that’s a topic for another blog post!

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…so again, within the black church, for those members who can, there is little exercise done (excluding the elderly).  I have my ideas as to why, but why do you think that is? Would really like to hear from you!

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17 Responses to “Exercise and the African American Church”

  1. Angi Says:

    Sidney I personally feel that saints are too busy getting their souls right and once that is done they feel “complete”. Well my soul is right, forget you if you don’t like how I look. God loves me. These are the thoughts of saints who are complacent in the Lord. They just get comfortable. That is a space that I’ve been guilty of being in myself. And then one day a blog like this comes along and jolts you. This truly is a wakeup call. That I’m on my way to heaven anyhow attitude is passe.

  2. Lisa P Says:

    Sidney I am so excited that you are here for the church community! What a blessing to the body of Christ! Now, I can get with all of the food substitutions but this whole wheat mac and cheese will have to grow on me! 🙂 But I will try it.

  3. Aisha Q Says:

    DanBall, that’s an interesting concept, never thought about that. I did learn though, that exercise help the hair and nails grow…look for growth from me in 8 weeks!! 🙂

  4. danball Says:

    Very interesting. I think some of it has to do with black women and our hair. (Not sure what excuse the men may come up with) We hate to sweat our hair out. I know not a good excuse. What’s the use of having great hair and a fat body. Ummm maybe that can be another blog topic.

  5. sidney Says:

    wow! it is great to see the responses so far and the different perspectives! thank you for your replies to the post. based on what you’ve written, i have gotten several topic ideas for new post! i did notice tho for this particular post, that no one mentioned “affordability”! even tho it is a small percentage of responses….it seems that cost was not of a major concern when it comes to exercise! so the excuse when people say “it cost too much” really doen’t come in to play? hmmm…..ok, thanks again and keep reading/commenting! i really appreciate it. more to come; fitness related and some non-fitness related. so stay tuned for more of “let’s talk church!”

  6. Bryan Says:

    Sid. This is awesome. I agree with some of the other comments but also feel that we have to create a culture of health and exercise in our community. It has to come out in our teaching, preaching, and living. I love to run but the reason is two-fold: 1. my father, a retried Marine ran and exercised and actually did the Marine Corps marathon 2. Growing up in a military town you always saw the Marines running. It was a part of the culture. Not that everyone needs to run but we have to make our lives and influence those around us whether in church, at work, or in our larger community prayerfully will follow. You are instrumental in making this happen Sid. Great!

  7. Nikki Says:

    Sid, this was the BOMB, GREAT! Ooooh I felt so convicted, so convicted and I can answer the question all day long, just pure LAZY!!!!!! my doctor has prescribed exercise due to my diabetes and still i have not done it yet ( i am joining the Y this week)

    I keep telling myself, girl you have got to do something. Even though i have lost some weight, it’s still not good enough because there is no exercise. Thanks for that blog can’t wait till the next one.

  8. SteveMarie Says:

    I think part of the problem is that we are lazy , we don’t understand the long term effects of what we do, and that we will live forever. I also think that we as a people never plan ahead. We often take the attitude “I’ll do it later, I have time to get it right.” That attitude is evident in our lack of proper planning for retirement, college, death, or just a rainy day. Thank you for sharing and encourging us to do better. I believe your blog will be q blessing to the BODY OF CHRIST. I am going to get up early tomorrow and get on the treadmill. Gott start somewhere right???

  9. jpete Says:

    Why? I think the reason may possibly be that church members are looking for God to do everything . I think there is a scripture that say be shall prosper and be in health even as our soul prosper. To my understanding it much like developing our soul, we must study. which is to feed our spiritual man the word everyday. we must workout and eat the right things to become health. exercise is a way to Live and be in good health. So my brother and sister stop way on the Father to do what we must.

    • Walking Queen Says:

      Great comment Jpete! What are folks going to do when their health insurance cancels them because they are overweight/obese and considered high risk. Will they pray that they can find health insurance or pray that they lose weight?? Oh this is a great conversation!

      • sidney Says:

        “will they pray that they can find health insurance or pray that tey lose weight?”. excellent comment.
        that is something to think about. or, will it go on and continue to be ignored, and when/if the time comes, will they (overweigh/obese) blame the gov’t for lack of assistance, or feel discriminated against because health insurance was dropped or the price was increased?

  10. Omar Says:

    I have to add that it’s also very easy to fall off the wagon and very difficult to get back on a routine of a healthy and active way of life. Our churches are perfectly equipped to provide consistent reinforcement and positive peer encouragement in our battle to fight a unhealthy lifestyle.

  11. MzB Says:

    I personally think its because of lack of education in that area. When someone knows better they tend to do better. Most believe that healthy food lacks flavor, but it doesn’t have to you only need to know how to substitute the bad with the good ingredients.So many women in the church will spend hundred of dollars on their hair, suits, hats and shoes. But will not invest in their health and they won’t because they’ve not been taught how to start slow and work your way up and that their health is a priority. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit but we don’t treat it as such. We wonder why our healings are not manifesting. It’s because we’re not “doing” anything. Faith without works is dead. You can have faith for your healing & to have better health, but you’ve got to ‘do’ something to get it.

  12. Walking Queen Says:

    Possibly church folks are too focused on obtaining “things”, those blessings of material things and prosperity. Not really considering that while they are putting their all into receiving those blessings that they are sacrificing time for their health. It would be sad to achieve/receive all of these things and then your health has gone down the drain. How can you enjoy it while always on your sick bed? I think that we need to learn balance in every area of our christain walk.

  13. Aisha Q Says:

    Not sure about anyone else, but since I was always slim (prior to 40) didn’t think exercise was necessary.

  14. Latoya Says:

    OMG! I so agree and am so glad you are allowing God to expand your ministry in the ways that you are. Bringing truth to people about the reality of living “unfit” is so needed. It is only the truth that will set us free. Through your words of encouragement, selfless acts of sacrifice and kindness, and commitment have I made a change to my life, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is such a wonderful thing! Allow God to continue to use you, that you may continue to be a blessing to so many others! (even if they never tell you “thank you”)

  15. Omar Says:

    You are absolutely right Sydney. Although the exercise (or lack thereof) is a problem in the African American church I believe this epidemic is a problem that our whole society is faced with. I definitely agree that our churches should take the lead on our civilizations battle with obesity.

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