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  • Writer's pictureMichaela A de Guire

Is it a sin to exercise?

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

Do I have to go to the gym, do I have to exercise, to be active, to do all this "health mumbo jumbo"?

The short answer darling is no. Why would you have to do something you do not want to do?

Now a question worth asking is: should I go to the gym?

An even better question to ask would be: how do I want to feel, look and treat my body three months from now?

Because everything you do today may not affect today directly, but rather will indirectly affect you in three months.

I personally exercise five-six days out of the week, and I have the body that I envisioned having, so I only exercise for “maintenance”. Which is beautiful, because I do not need to spend an hour each day at the gym, six days a week. As a matter of fact I have never used a gym in my life. And you don’t have to either. Imagine not going to the gym, imagine being self disciplined enough to just do your exercise and love doing it. I found a fitness coach that I personally resonate with, I have also found a fitness group of women I love connecting with. But you need to find your own tribe (if you will) of women to connect with an exercise buddy or fitness coach, a group of women or just a single person. You need to find a group that you personally resonate with, you connect on the same or similar level with. Imagine looking back at this day three months from now. How would you feel about yourself for pushing yourself just one more rep, one more breath, one more step, one more time. Imagine looking back on this day in three months. Would you be proud of yourself?

Let me put it in this perspective, (you know the perspective of a Catholic) your body is a temple, a dwelling place for God. Would you feel honored to dwell in the place of you? What can you do today that would make you feel proud in three months?

Now let me ask you, do you have to go to the gym? Probably not, you could do everything at home if you’d rather, that is what I do! Another question I get is, is it weird for Catholics to exercise? Isn’t it a sin, like vanity or something?

And I say to that, it is not a sin to want to take care of one's body, one's temple for the Lord. It is a sin if your intentions are a sin, such as to look more attractive to another. If your intentions behind that is a sin, are wrong, then it becomes a sin. If you have the right intentions then it is not a sin. If you exercise to gain others attention then I suggest, to continue exercising, but also reflect on your intentions, your reasons, and perhaps journal and speak with a spiritual director and God directly for assistance, work on redirecting your intentions, make them for the glory of God. Because if you are exercising to gain the attention of another, then you are placing that person in God’s place in your heart, and thus creating your own idol, thus, worshiping false gods.

You should want to maintain and keep your temple, your body healthy and strong to help others. As women we are naturally drawn to assisting others whenever possible. It is our instinct, our feminine genius. But if we do not have a fit body, a strong body, a healthy body, how can we expect ourselves to live out our feminine genius?

God gave us this beautiful gift, He gave us this beautiful body (including all your gorgeous according to society “flaws”), we have the ability and responsibility to tend to it, nurture it, take care of it to the best of our abilities, and that includes exercise. I look at exercise as a celebration of all that my body can do. Imagine how much more enjoyable exercising would be for you if you did the same.

The question that many ask is… is it a sin for a Catholic to exercise and care for her body? Heck no.

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