Bible Verses on Exercise

Last updated on February 26th, 2023 at 12:38 am

Bible Verses on Exercise

Exercise can be a wonderful way for us to care for our bodies, and it can be good for our bodies and minds. It can even be good for us in a spiritual sense, too! The Bible encourages exercise, as it is believed to be a way for us to honor God and please Him, too, by taking care of His creation.

By keeping our bodies healthy and cared for, we can offer our bodies to the Lord as living sacrifices. There are even Bible verses that discuss exercise and physical fitness. Read on for some verses from the Christian Bible that are related to exercise and its importance. 

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“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1.

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You Are a Living Sacrifice 

The first verse about exercise that we will be discussing is Romans 12:1. It discusses how exercise can be a holy undertaking, and should not just be a goal to lose a few pounds or become an obsession with losing weight or anything like that. Instead, you should remember that exercise and physical fitness is an act of worship. You should not lose sight of this in your quest for physical fitness. Physical fitness is actually about surrendering your body and every other piece of yourself into God’s loving and caring hands. The Bible verse is below. 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1.

I Do Not Run Aimlessly

The next verse we will be discussing refers to the reason that a person exercises. That is important, too! In 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, it is written that spending time taking care of your body and exercising is not a waste of energy. Physical exercise is an investment into yourself so that you are able to live more fully for God and for Jesus Christ. When exercising, you should be sure to keep your focus on the ultimate prize, connected with and honoring Him. The verse is below.

“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Your Body Is a Temple

Another verse that discusses exercise is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. It reminds us that our bodies are precious things. Your body is a temple! You have surely seen this sentiment often. The verse says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. This is another reason that we need to take care of our bodies, such as with physical exercise. We should treat our bodies as the holy vessels that they are. The Bible verse is as follows.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do It All For the Glory of God

1 Corinthians 10:31 is another one of the verses in the Bible that touches upon physical exercise. It can be applied to anything that we do in our daily life, and can be applied to exercising, too. It tells us to be sure to devote our every effort in life to God and His glory, which also gives our tasks a greater purpose or meaning. Instead of just exercising for yourself or to gain weight, you should do so in an effort to honor God and grow closer to Him. The Bible verse is as follows. 

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Work Vigorously

This particular verse is one of the Proverbs. It is Proverbs 31:17. It does not refer to physical exercise or stimulation directly like some of the other verses we have discussed. Instead it alludes to it, making it open for interpretation. The verse discusses how her arms are strong for the tasks that she completes with vigor. It can be interpreted to mean that exercise helps aid us in our daily lives. When you begin to exercise, strengthen yourself, and get healthier, then your everyday tasks become easier to complete as well. The Proverb reads as follows. 

“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” – Proverbs 31:17

I Can Do All Things Through His Strength 

Of course, exercise is difficult. The Philippians 4:13 verse is one that discusses the difficulty of physical exercise and why it is still worthwhile and should be worked through. It can be looked at as a way to be encouraged to push through a workout or a long term exercise plan so that you can see it to fruition and be rewarded by your efforts at the end. It tells us to borrow the strength of the Lord to face even our most difficult obstacles, and a grueling workout can be seen as one of these challenges. The verse is below. 

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

Renew Your Strength 

Isaiah 40:31 is another verse that talks about the mental fortitude that is required for exercise, and discusses exercise in general. It reminds us to commit to our health and do the workout, even if we are tired. The Lord will equip us with the strength and stamina that we need to reach our goals and to soar, if we are believers of Him and of Christ. The verse is below. 

“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Train For Godliness

The last verse we will be discussing here is 1 Timothy 4:8. It says that godliness should always be what comes first, and reminds us to prioritize our relationship with God. However, it also tells us that there is value in physical exercise and that it is not just a meaningless task or activity. It can be a way to connect with and honor God in your life. The verse is as follows. 

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Bible say about exercise?

There is no doubt that exercise is good for our bodies and for our minds, too. There are many studies that point this out, but you may also be wondering whether the Bible has anything to say about exercise, too. The Christina Bible encourages us to work out and to strive for physical fitness, keeping our bodies healthy in order to please God and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. 

What does God say about physical fitness?

God and the Bible encourages physical fitness and exercise, too. The verse Isiaiah 40: 29-31 also touches upon physical fitness. It says: “He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar with eagles’ wings, they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”. Faith in the Lord can revitalize even the old and weary, and the Bible encourages believers to exercise in order to honor God and offer their bodies as living sacrifices, too. 

Does God want us to workout?

God cares greatly for us, His creation, which is why He wants us to care for our bodies and minds. A great way to do this is to work out and keep up on our physical fitness. Treat your body as the important vessel that it is. God wants us to honor Him by caring for our bodies, and 1 Timothy 4:8 says that “Physical training is good…”. Another benefit of this is that it will help us to fulfill our God given purpose if we keep our bodies in tip top shape. 

Why is exercise important in the Bible?

In 1 Timothy 4:7–8, Paul writes that we should “Train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come”. One of the most important reasons to exercise is because, by taking care of our bodies, we are able to honor God for creating us and loving us, as well as honoring Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and allowed us to continue living on, forgiven. 

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About the author

Lucas is a former worship pastor and Hillsong College graduate (2005). He has spoken at churches, conferences and worship events and loves inspiring people to be more than just a Sunday service-goer. He founded 15 Degrees NE and is one of our leading authors.

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