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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

A joy to be fit © Gospel Aerobics ministry for the prevention of obesity and cvd

Stephanie Joy Jackson-Rowe, BS, MS and Barbara T. Baylor, MPH, CHES. Christian Aerobics Fitness Association, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, 2167363708, baylorb@ucc.org

Research conducted by Perdue University found that people who are religious tend to be more overweight than their less-religious counterparts.

In July of 2001, the Christian Aerobics and Fitness Association (CAFA) was formed to respond to the health and fitness needs of faith-based organizations. CAFA, a non-profit organization is dedicated to saving the lives of African-Americans and other ethnic groups with disparate health indicators. The program provides gospel aerobics and personal training certification to low-to-moderate income congregants.

CAFAís principal grass roots, faith-based program, ďA Joy To Be Fit Gospel Aerobics MinistryĒ incorporates cardiovascular fitness classes lead by certified aerobics instructors, pre and post fitness assessment screenings, educational workshops, scripture references, devotions and a pastorís Personal Training Program. This program is designed to teach, motivate and encourage transformation of spirit, soul, and body. The program provides training and certification for participants to become health and fitness professionals, aerobics instructors and personal trainers. A critical success factor of this program is the partnership with pastors who have completed the training. These pastors become advocates for the program, thereby ensuring success and sustainability.

The program is managed by CAFA staff, with support from trained church volunteers. CAFA maintains collaborations with health care providers, educational institutions, health organizations and corporate businesses to provide the services and resources necessary to sustain the program. An evaluation component assesses whether or not participantís knowledge of obesity and CVD and its associated risk factors increased upon completion of educational sessions.

Learning Objectives: This session will convey information on how a faith-based institution can begin a "Joy To Be Fit" ministry that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and general health for members of their congregations (who are at high risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer)by providing safe and effective physical activity and coordinated health services in a faith-based setting. At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Faith Community, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Founder and President of the Christian Aerobics and Fitness Association

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Models of Physical Activity to Reduce Obesity in Faith Based Settings

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA