Fitness and Well-Being


Welcome to my weekly blog. On this page I will be sharing, reviewing, and recommending resources for children’s, family, and all-age, church-based ministry. I love to explore and discover new ideas, and creative ways of supporting this fantastic ministry. It’s such a privilege to serve the church and to help make worship meaningful and fun for children and families. I hope you’ll find my ideas and recommendations helpful.

Physical and Mental Fitness

During those long dreary months of lockdown, that we would all probably rather forget, something very positive emerged out of it for me. I discovered the benefits of daily prayer walking for my physical, mental, and spiritual fitness.

Ish and I have always loved walking, especially on holiday when we love to explore the rolling hills of Dorset each year, as in this recent photo. And Ish of course walks many a mile on his beloved golf course! Due to lockdown, we were only allowed out for a certain amount of hours each day. We took full advantage of that and aimed to walk at least 10,000 steps daily, which for me was the equivalent of about 4 miles. Thankfully I have managed to keep that up ever since, with only the occasional lapse. It’s not always easy and sometimes I have to persuade myself to put on my trainers and go outside, but once I am out, I love not only the physical benefits of walking in the fresh air but the mental and spiritual feeling of well-being. It gives me space to think and pray and as I pass a familiar building, for example our school or someone’s house who I know, I pray for them.

I also love to observe the local green areas that are familiar, like gardens, parks and fields, and I note the changes that come with the rhythm of the seasons. It makes me appreciate God’s creation all the more. This photo was taken while we were walking up Langdon Hill a favourite haunt of ours in Dorset. The birdsong here is amazing. But I understand for those of us who are unable to walk, due to physical disabilities or unsociable working hours, thankfully there are other ways to exercise and a quick on-line search reveals much that can be done in our home. Again, thanks to lockdown the awareness of the benefits of physical exercise for our mental health has been highlighted and guides to exercise that are all-inclusive have become readily available to us on-line and on TV.

During the school holidays our grandson has been doing regular workouts that he has devised himself. And as well as our usual trips to the park for frisbee and football he has promised to teach me some new exercises – nothing too strenuous, I hope! I’ll keep you posted.

Spiritual Fitness

I am also aware that as Christians our spiritual fitness is really important. Ish and I follow the Anglican daily pattern of prayer and in today’s readings our attention is drawn to the life of St Dominic who was born in Spain in the 13th century. He was a theologian and a philanthropist and sold his books to feed the poor during a famine. He travelled Europe and became interested in missionary work because he was shocked at the amount of heresy being taught. Dominic and his followers devoted themselves to teaching and preaching. He believed that sound teaching should take priority and that preachers and teachers should live a life of poverty and humility. Dominic was so zealous about teaching and combating heresy that three times he refused the position of bishop so that he could concentrate upon his mission. He rejected pomp, ceremony and finery and preferred a life of humility and prayer. He took the gospel into cities and universities and challenged those he met with his astute teaching grounded in his personal experience of God. Like Dominic, we are also well-advised to take good care of our spiritual fitness by listening to sound teaching and devoting ourselves to prayer.

Bible Fitness

An encouraging Bible text that always inspires me and lifts me up when I am feeling tired or low: Hebrews 12 v 1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Resources for Body and Soul Fitness

Scripture Union have some helpful resources for children’s mental health and well-being.

And also lots of resources for Sport in Church

The Church of England has put together an excellent list of Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Do also visit the Church of England Sport and Well-Being Project

For more information about St Dominic see: Extract from Saints on Earth: A biographical companion to Common Worship by John H Darch and Stuart K Burns (also available on Kindle).

I’ll be back next week with more ideas and resources, in the meantime have fun and enjoy the summer.?

Multi-Sensory Ideas for Worship by Irene Smale

Each of the 100 ideas in this book offers different ways to use our senses in prayer and worship. Each idea has an accompanying prayer and song suggestion (all songs have been written by Ish, some especially for this book).