Leading a religious congregation requires an immense amount of both spiritual and physical energy. Pastors do more than deliver religious messages to the masses, they also serve as a role models to their followers. As such, they have vast opportunities to influence healthy lifestyles. This why we here at Health Fitness Revolution, we’ve compiled a list of the fittest American Christian leaders- who we view strong in every sense of the word.
At HFR, we believe that there is a strong connection between fitness and spirituality. That’s why we have been ranking the fitness of religious leaders since 2013. Our previous lists of Fittest Female Pastors and Fittest Religious U.S. Religious Leaders have received national media attention and our lists are regularly picked up by thousands of media sources- all to which we are grateful for helping spread the message of healthy lifestyle. We have even conducted exclusive interviews with a number of high profile pastors to spread their message of healthy living.
HFR Institute founder Samir Becic, who over the years has become a world leading health and fitness expert is also enormously respected among the christian community. He says of this list “With over 70% of Americans identifying themselves as Christian, I believe that these physically fit spiritual leaders can be a strong influence on an obese American population in a positive direction. Please leaders, spread the message of healthy lifestyle!”
Samir also believes “Spiritual awareness is one of the key components of healthy lifestyle that impacts the whole body and rejuvenates the spirit. Physical fitness and healthy nutrition allows that spirit to flourish to new dimensions and many people experience a closer relationship to God.”
Becic continues “The Mega-Churches of today hold a strong influence on the general opinion of mainstream America. Followers look for daily guidance from pastors and heads of ministries on the best way to live their lives and raise their families. It is enormously important to provide the churches with the correct knowledge on fitness and proper nutrition so they can influence and better their members lives. I am glad that some mega-churches are currently trying to do this and are already having very respectable results in the field.”
Now Samir Becic and the HFR team have poured over all the data on pastors to rank the top fittest pastors of 2017. We used a combination of interviews, internet, library, industry literature, and Samir’s knowledge of over 20 years as a fitness industry expert coupled with his experience as a four-time No. 1 Fitness Trainer in the world.
Billy Graham, 98 (main pic)
— The Bottom Line (@TBL2014) December 5, 2016
- Samir Becic: “Considering his vibrant, dynamic, and spiritual energy- and all of this while being almost 100 years old- he deserves to be on this list!”
Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 62
Head Of The Episcopal Church Says It’s ‘Sinful’ To Ignore Climate Change http://t.co/Dko2UnC7Ie
— K Jefferts Schori (@KJeffertsSchori) March 27, 2015
- Has been active her entire life. In college, she played water polo and was a competitive swimmer.
- Said she runs 3 to 7 days a week in an interview with Runner’s World.
- Since her first marathon in 1979, gas completed several others.
- In Nevada, she enjoys running in the woods and doing hills.
- Wrote the foreword to the book All Shall Be Well: An approach to Wellness, a book that explores the theology of wellness and identity, core values, creativity and passion, renewal, emotional health, spiritual practices, balance, transformation, and fitness.
- Was elected as the former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. She was the first woman elected as a primate in the Anglican Communion.
- Previously made our list of the Fittest Female Pastors.
Pastor Joel Osteen, 53
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) April 17, 2016
- Made headlines a few years ago when the paparazzi snapped him in Hawaii with 6-pack abs, which is a testament in itself to how much he exercises.
- Regularly posts diet and fitness advice on his website, encouraging people “to take care of your temple. Don’t put things in that you know shouldn’t be in. Limit the sugars. Limit the caffeine. Drink more water. Eat more fruits and vegetables and don’t live off of these packaged lunch meats.”
- Osteen suggests “Eat more organic when you can. More baked and less fried.”
- He cares so much about the well-being of his congregation that he even appointed one of the top fitness experts in the world, Health Fitness Revolution founder Samir Becic to be in charge of fitness and health at his mega-church, Lakewood in Houston, TX. We wrote about it in an article here. Samir says “Joel Osteen makes me laugh so hard that sometimes I have a sore stomach, laughter is a key component of health.” Joel also made our Top 10 Fittest Religious Leaders in the U.S. and Top 10 Fittest Christian Leaders in America list.
Pastor Rick Warren, 62
— Rick Warren (@RickWarren) June 29, 2016
- Had an epiphany one day while he was baptizing 858 people. After dipping the 500th body into the water, Warren’s aching arms led him to conclude, “We’re all fat.”
- While he admits that it wasn’t a very spiritual thought for a pastor to have, but he also thought, “I’m fat, too. I’m as out of shape as everyone else is.” Prompting him to want to change his life.
- From this moment, he decided to create a health program with leading experts such as Dr. Oz, that Christians could follow by writing a book named the “Daniel Plan.”
- On this outlined plan, the pastor himself has lost over 30 pounds.
- Even though critics have questioned Warren’s mix of church and health, he says: “You think that God is only interested in your soul? No, he is interested in your body, mind and soul. Jesus went into each village teaching, preaching and healing. The Daniel Plan has to do with healing.”
- Rick also made our Top 10 Fittest Religious Leaders in the U.S. list.
— Pittsburgh PG (@PittsburghPG) November 16, 2016
- Spoke to Samir Becic in 2015 about the importance of physical health and how it positively impacts spiritual health.
- Said he remains active.
- Has great posture, indicative of a man who works out.
Joyce Meyer, 71, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Charismatic Christianity, Fenton, MO
— Gospel Hotspot Radio (@GospelHotspot) December 12, 2016
- Meets with a personal trainer 2-3 times every week.
- Squats and lunges are among her favorite exercises
- Realizes the importance of resting and gets adequate amounts of sleep.
- Drinks plenty of water daily.
- Makes healthy eating choices and takes daily vitamins
- Is fully aware of how physical fitness and healthy lifestyle impacts her body and rejuvenates her spirit.
- Tries to exercise while on the road and traveling.
- “We need to do the best with what God has given us. God cares about your internal spirit, and looking nice is a reflection of a happy, healthy internal state.”
- “I believe that we can overcome certain illnesses by doing simple things like eating right, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and exercising.”
Bishop Mike Rinehart
— Gulf Coast Synod (@GulfCoastSynod) September 20, 2015
- Works out regularly.
- Understands the importance of how healthy lifestyle can positively influence his synod.
- Joined the Push-ups Everywhere campaign and posted a video of him doing push-ups.
Dr. Ed Young, 80
- Believes that the body is temple of God and made it a point to make sure that his church gave people from all walks of life the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of physical fitness activities.
- Has jogged for years.
- Works out on an elliptical 3-4 times a week.
- Does light weights.
- Told us in an exclusive interview “The bottom line is, I’m addicted to exercise, and I think that is a good addiction. When your mind is dull, your body is weak, and it is more difficult to concentrate, even on things that speak of the eternal.”
Dr. Juanita Bynum, 57
— RollingOut (@RollingOut) October 1, 2016
- Bynum, who was diagnosed with diabetes a couple years ago, shed 30 pounds and is well on her way to reaching her goal weight of 135 pounds.
- Has attributed her weight loss to healthier eating and a variety of workouts.
- Does Bikram yoga
- Weight trains.
- Does spin class.
- Walks on the treadmill.
- “All that I had gone through, I felt like it was an opportunity to recreate myself,” she said of her new healthy lifestyle in an interview.
Victoria Osteen, 55
— Joel Osteen Radio (@JoelOsteenRadio) December 4, 2016
- Works out 3-4 times a week.
- Receives personal training twice a week.
- Her workouts are varied, she cycles, uses the treadmill, elliptical and strength trains with weights.
- Her background and childhood was active- her parents liked to take walks and her family lived in an active neighborhood.
- Worked out with her husband at the gym before they were married.
- Eats healthy foods, and also teaches her children healthy nutrition.
- Was on our previous list of Top 10 Fittest Female Pastors in America.
- Also her Husband Joel Osteen is on this list and is one the fittest Pastors in the nation. “Health runs in the family.”
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