spirit

Phoenix Bound

What a neat week being back. I am so glad to be writing again. And as you may or may not know, tonight, I'll be delivering the keynote speech at the International Christian Wellness Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I am so incredibly blessed not only for the honor of being asked, but for the mere fact that I have the health to be there. Help me praise the Lord. And I'm asking you today to pray for the weekend conference and for me as I go to express my heart. I'm going to share the bread.

Speaking of share my heart, my wife and I received the sweetest, most amazing letter this week. A couple of months ago, she and I wrote a personal plea for prayer over our ministry to one of our dear, favorite pastors. A man that has had an overwhelming impact on me, my wife and my entire life. Well, we found a reply in the mail yesterday. He said in part that he prayed that God would bless us as we continue to serve. And we received in God's perfect time. Pretty neat. And he signed it: Dr. Charles F. Stanley.

Friends, I hope you have a great, great weekend. Pray for each other, I'm praying for you. As always, I'm hoping you are as healthy in body as you are in spirit. See you Monday.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

THE POINT OF IT ALL: PrayFit resumed daily devotionals this week. And we have a prayer that reasserts the ministry's mission.

BRAVO!: As we wait out this life, let’s enjoy the intermission simply because of our inner mission. ALSO: Find out how to get Jimmy to your church!

HIS WORK: Despite your stumbles, take heart -- you can't ruin his work. ALSO: How a diet higher in protein can help you lose weight faster.

START PULLING: The enemy is ready on the other side of the rope. Don't wait to start your pull. ALSO: 4 ways to recover from injuries at home.

"I discipline my body like an athlete training it to do what it should." 1 Cor. 9:27NEW GEAR Our fitness can be our witness. But if people aren't quite receiving the message, we have no problem making it more obvious. The newest additions to our apparel line broadcast your dedication to health as a means of praise. Click here to check our new assortment of men's and women's tanks.

Your Mission...

"I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." --3 John 1:2

Read: 3 John 1

I remember like it was yesterday, scrounging through an old box of books while whispering to myself, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it...." I'm smiling as I type this sentence. Great memories. See, in 1996, the movie of the year was the first Mission: Impossible, and I was bound and determined to see it. But as a young married couple, times were tight. With both of us working and in school, we watched every penny. I knew that in order for us to see the show, it was up to me. (Light the fuse, cue the music.)

Long story short, the sign at the end of the street read, "WE BUY BOOKS." And fortunately, I kept every schoolbook I'd ever read (from every class). So if they were buying, I was selling. When Loretta got home, I greeted her with a kiss, a grin and two tickets. Special times.

That story came to mind recently when someone requested PrayFit resources for their church. Seems I'm still selling books. Only now it's for what many see as an impossible mission: to conquer the obesity epidemic in our homes and churches. But I think John said it best. In his third epistle, the first thing he said to a man named Gaius was, "I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." (v. 2) A worthy hope he had for his friend, especially considering the times in which they lived. And it's still a worthy hope today; a hope that defines our purpose at PrayFit. Is your church in need of help? Does someone you love need encouragement to be healthy for the right reasons? If so, we're on a mission, and we're bringing books.

--Jimmy Peña

THE RIGHT GADGETS FOR YOUR MISSION

The protagonist in the Mission: Impossible films, Ethan Hunt, was successful due to his vast experience in the world of espionage...and a few choice inventions. From voice-replicating throat chips to explosive gum, the tools of the trade were always vital to the mission. Same applies for you and yours. Try these resources when it comes to confronting health issues in your home and community:

>> READ: Our first book, "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 33 Days," provides two 28-day exercise programs, a complete diet plan and biblically-inspired devotions to keep you motivated each step of the way.

>> WATCH: PrayFit has partnered with Lionsgate Entertainment to bring you two home-based workout DVDs -- the second more challenging than the first. Train along with founder Jimmy Peña as you work to become stronger, leaner and healthier, all from the comfort of your living room.

For more information on these and other products, click here.

It Took a Funeral

"The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." --John 11:25

Read: John 11

If anyone had the right to claim credit for the phrase "Today is the first day of the rest of my life" it was Lazarus. Four days gone. Entombed. Lazarus was dead. Then he wasn't. If any day felt like the first to him, this was the one. But it took a funeral to make him feel alive.

You and I are no different. Well, we don't cheat graves, but we are called to die each day, to ourselves. But we can't talk about death without including every aspect of life. Our minds: how we think. Our motives: selfish and proud. And our bodies: how we nourish His temple on earth. If we strive to be obedient in everything including, say, our approach to food, we live better. Conquering our daily life of health requires a daily death of self.

It's tough to live in a grave. Ask Lazarus. His best day was his first day, and so is yours. And it begins at a funeral.

--Jimmy Peña

THE IMPORTANCE OF "PRAY" IN PRAYFIT Research reinforcing the connection between physical and spiritual health The name "PrayFit" isn't an accident. We believe that a deeper connection with the Lord -- which is achieved through daily reading, prayer and fellowship -- is central to your ongoing quest for a healthier body. A recent story lends credence -- actual lab-coat-and-bar-graphs kinda credence -- to this fundamental truth.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that individuals who prayed daily were 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those who didn't pray regularly. And a 2011 study of inner city youth with asthma found that those with regular prayer lives exhibited fewer and less severe symptoms.

But the floodgate of research showing the correlation of spiritual and physical health doesn't stop there. Read the full story from the Huffington Post by clicking the link below.

>> HUFF POST: Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don't

"GO"

"He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.'"— Mark 16:15

"Tell me, Jimmy, can you talk about some before and after successes?"

Of all the questions about PrayFit I fielded on the radio this week, that was probably the toughest to answer. Not because we don't have powerful testimonies of physical change, but like I told the host, "It's too early for a victory lap." Because honestly, the day health won't be a necessary battle will be the day it's no longer our responsibility.

But right now, during this "before" called life, our souls want to go places our bodies simply can't go. And because of that, sadly, our minds don't let our hearts even dream of living abundantly. Serve on the mission field? Laugh. Participate in a charity walk? Chuckle. Make it to church? Sigh. Our physical troubles have become spiritual warfare. We're soldiers of the cross who can't reach the battlefield.

Sure, someday we'll be rescued from a body that doesn't work, but until then, let's see what it can do for the cause of Christ. After all, His great commission to us -- "Go" -- hasn't changed. It's still an action verb.

–Jimmy Peña

YOUTHFUL STRENGTH

In addition to the typical monkey bar romps and lunchtime hoops, dedicated muscle strengthening is a good idea for kids. Training for strength, contrary to a commonly-held belief, does not interfere with a child’s growth or promote excessive musculature. In fact, even a minimal amount of strength training can be beneficial for a child’s bone density, muscle growth, coordination and motor learning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least three days per week of activities that include strengthening moves such as gymnastics, push-ups or jumping rope.

>> STOCKING STUFFERS: Looking for a few gifts to hang from the chimney with care? Visit the PrayFit Store to do a little digital shopping for the faith-and-fitness devotees in your life.

 

 

 

 

A FIGHTING SPIRIT

November 21, 2011Read: Matthew 26

"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." --Matthew 26:41

In my second favorite movie of all-time (Rocky II), Rocky walks to his trainer's apartment in the middle of the night to ask for his locker back; he wants to fight again. Dismissive, Mickey delivers one of the most painful and sad lines I've ever heard: "You got the heart, but you ain't got the tools no more." In other words, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. As an athlete, that phrase carries serious meaning. I know what it's like to be physically limited from doing what my heart is dying to do. But as a Christian, that line is more than a body blow.

As believers, our souls have work to do. In our passage, when Jesus said to His disciples to stay awake, He literally meant "physically." How many reading this page would agree that you'd would be so much more productive at work, alive with your spouse, able to keep up with the kids or even active in church, if you enjoyed better health? If so, maybe you need your locker back.

You may not want to admit it, but it's time to wake up; there's a fighter in you. If the spirit is willing, your body has no right to hold it back. And if you're reading this page, Mickey was wrong. If you've got the heart, you still got the tools. Your soul just needs a fighting chance.

--Jimmy Peña

WATCH | "You've got the heart but..."

THANKS: PrayFit wants to extend a very special thank you to the wonderful people at Planet Infinity and Breadoflife.org for inviting us to speak and share our mission of faith and fitness this past Saturday. You blessed us beyond belief.

 

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: THE GREAT INDOORS

Want a good dose of intense, indoor cardio to start the week? Here you go. Variety is not only advisable but required to keep your body changing. This workout forces you to adjust your speed, incline, duration and rest all in the same workout, keeping your lungs and limbs guessing. This interval-style scheme promotes speed, power and endurance, all while increasing your total work capacity. If you're looking for a brutal but effective way to shake up your current cardio routine (and burn a few extra calories), then this workout is for you.

SPEED             INCLINE             TIME          REST

5mph               5%                   2min             1min

6mph              6%                   1min                1min

7mph               7%                   1min              1min

8mph               8%                   45sec             1min

9mph               9%                   30sec             1min

10mph             10%                 20sec           1min

9mph               9%                   30sec             1min

8mph               8%                   45sec             1min

7mph               7%                   1min              1min

6mph               6%                   1min              1min

5mph               5%                   2min              1min

>> For more workouts and tips, visit our fitness page.

TOP RANK

April 8, 2011Read: Proverbs 16

"Pride cometh before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." --Proverbs 16:18

Last night, I was telling a good friend that PrayFit received a strong endorsement and that we jumped  from rank No. 52,000 to No. 49 on Amazon overnight -- the #1 biggest mover on Amazon over the last 24 hours. I was out-of-my-skin excited. So blessed! I ended my sentence with "God is good, isn' t He?" His reply? "Yes He is. But He was just as good when you were ranked No. 52,000."

Gulp.

You know, you and I put a lot of stock in how the world ranks us. From bank accounts to street addresses to book clubs, we can get so focused on where we fall, that's exactly what happens.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT BULLETIN A "newsy" look at what's new in the world of PrayFit

Faith and Fitness in Demand: Thanks in part to a very gracious endorsement from PrayFit supporter Tyler Perry, "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days," spent the day yesterday as the No. 1 book on Amazon's Movers and Shakers list and climbed to No. 49 on the site's sales rankings. We also welcomed over 100 more subscribers to the PrayFit Daily list, which delivers devotionals and healthy living tips to readers' inboxes each morning.

PrayFit Steps into the Ring: This weekend (April 9), boxer/believer Robert Guerrero will tangle with the relentless Michael Katsidis on HBO Pay-Per-View but he won't be alone. An endorser of PrayFit, Guerrero will be wearing our website address on his trunks. For more info on the fight, visit HBO Boxing.

“Being a big believer in Jesus Christ, PrayFit gets me on track to start my day off in the right direction.  In boxing there is no room for error. You have to be not only be physically prepared but spiritually strong as well.”

–Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, 3-Time Boxing World Champion

Store Remodel: Check out our streamlined store -- newly remodeled for your purchasing pleasure -- by clicking here. If you're into the whole faith and fitness thing, you may as well dress like it.

(Pray)FitFabFun: E! News host Giuliana Rancic does more than dish on celebrity gossip. Her website, FabFitFun, which caters specifically to the ladies, is filled with tons of info on exercise and nutrition. PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, who serves on the site's advisory council, will be featured on the site this Monday (April 11). Among the things that Pena will be discussing is the concept behind "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days." Set it to your favorites and check it out on Monday, or for a quick tour of Rancic's site, click here.

HOPE FOR HEALTH

March 1, 2011Read: 3 John 1

"I hope all is well with you, and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." --3 John 1:2

If you missed it like I did, read the verse again. Yep, that's it. In one verse, God has woven permission for a healthy concern of the body. Never at the expense of what's most important, but when was the last time you and I hoped the same for someone? Oh, we often ask how the kids are, how the job is going, and the progress of one's golf game -- but what about their health? Not the casual, "So how you been" or "How you doin'?," but rather a real longing to see your friends and family as healthy on the outside as they are on the inside.

Truth is, we may be as timid to ask as we are to be asked. But either way, it's okay. Because we have both permission and an obligation to hope for health.

--J.P.

PASS THE PECANS Research shows that almonds may not sit alone in the nut hall of fame

Over the last several years, the almond has become the rock star of the nut family and rightly so -- it's a wonder food that promotes heart health and aids in fat loss in addition to a host of other health benefits. But new research is showing that the pecan, which is also rich in healthy fat, may deserve at least co-billing as top nut.

Researchers at Loma Linda University demonstrated that the naturally occurring antioxidants in pecans, specifically Vitamin E, may help contribute to heart health and disease prevention. The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that a pecan-enriched diet lowered levels of LDL cholesterol by 16.5 percent -- more than twice the American Heart Association's Step I diet, which was used as the control diet in that study. Similarly, the pecan-enriched diet lowered total cholesterol levels by 11.3 percent (also twice as much as the Step I diet).

"This does not give you permission to pound down pecan pie," says Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" (Regal Books). "But having three ounces of raw, unsalted pecans daily, as in the study, could help you ward off heart disease and some cancers."

Source: Science Daily

CALL HIM

November 22, 2010Read: Mark 10

"Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' So they called to the blind man, 'Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you!' Throwing his cloak aside, he leaped to his feet and came to Jesus." --Mark 10:49-50

Most of us can't fathom what the blind man was going through that day outside of Jericho. What we do know is that he spent his days begging in the dark. In the verses leading up to this one, we learn he's rebuked and told to be quiet for calling out for Jesus. But nothing stirs the blind like a close encounter with a sight giver, and when Jesus finally called for him, he jumped.

Nobody knows what you're battling today either. Though your eyes may work just fine, things like family matters, school issues and work problems might be darkening your spirit and blinding you from all that God wants you to see. But whatever you do, don't sit there quietly. Despite what those around you might say, cry out for Him with every functioning sense, and then cheer up and jump to your feet. He's calling you!

--J.P.

PRAYFIT WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Abs in 10

It's funny that while most people revile the thought of having to spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike, most will spend as long...as...it...takes...training abs. Folks will do reps until they cramp if it means having a flat, strong-looking midsection. Well, the good news is that abs training is more about the quality than the quantity of your sessions. Abs, mostly comprised of endurance-based muscle fibers, can quickly adapt to marathon crunch sessions. Your focus, then, should be on the accuracy of each move (are you doing it right?) and the intensity of each workout (how hard are you training?). This 10-minute session allows you to target all three areas of your abs with proven, easy-to-execute exercises.

Choose one exercise for each section to help target different sections of your abdominals. If you choose an exercise that requires resistance, select a weight that allows you to fail around 15-20 repetitions. If it's a bodyweight-only move, do as many reps as necessary until you reach failure and if you have time, repeat the cycle -- up to three times total. Perform this workout twice per week -- after weight training or on non-weight training days -- and, with a relatively clean diet, you should see results in no time!

Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raise Reverse Crunch Hip Thrust

Upper Abs Standard Crunch Lying Cable Crunch Machine Crunch

Obliques Crossover Crunch Woodchopper Decline Cable Twist

Core Plank

>> FACEBOOK: "Like" us here for the latest PrayFit news, exclusive tips, contests and more.