The Health Fitness Revolution team and its founder Samir Becic voted Pope Francis as the fittest and healthiest spiritual leader in the world. The decision was not easy to make, considering that more than 100 of the largest names in the religious and spiritual world take very good care of their health. Also in the running was the Dalai Lama (a Buddhist monk, who are known for physical, nutritional, mental, and spiritual high awareness) and many other physically fit religious leaders that were included in previous lists of Top 10 Fittest Religious Leaders and Top 10 Fittest Christian Leaders in the US. Nonetheless, Pope Francis was unanimously chosen as the fittest and healthiest spiritual leader.
“I believe that spiritual wellness is one of the key components of healthy lifestyle that impacts the whole body and rejuvenates the spirit,” Becic said. “Physical fitness and healthy nutrition allow the spirit to flourish to a whole new dimension. Spirituality is a very personal experience for every individual, a unique expression of their own understanding of the world. I respect every religion and accept every person’s belief system and the peace it may bring.”
Here’s why Pope Francis was chosen as the fittest spiritual leader in the world:
- No other religious/spiritual leader has made such a positive impact in the world in a short period of time.
- Pope Francis had one of his lungs removed when he was a teenager, and he still manages to live a healthy, energetic, positive and inspiring lifestyle.
- He enjoys long walks on a daily basis.
- He loves the tango and enjoyed dancing in his youth before discovering his religious calling.
- A 2009 profile in an Argentinian daily newspaper said that Pope Francis prefers frugal, healthy meals, such as fruit, skinless chicken, and salads, and is widely known for skipping caloric Argentinian dishes, such as empanadas.
- As part of the Jesuit diet, he emphasizes moderation in everything he does, especially when it comes to the quantity of eating. Their philosophy is, “if tempted to eat more, eat less.”
- He enjoys listening to classical music. It is widely known that music enhances our mental health, helps us focus, de-stress, and motivates us too.
- He is a passionate reader, and reading helps preserve memory in old age.
- Pope Francis also maintains close relationships with his parishioners, so he is very socially active. Especially in older age, it is crucial to be socially active because social ties are associated with better health and longevity.
- He is well-known for maintaining a humble lifestyle, even as the pope. Higher levels of humility may be related to better health outcomes. A study published in the 2012 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology found that older adults who were more humble tended to rate their health more favorably over time.