NAD Health Ministries encourages Adventists to exercise, involve communities.

With more than 650 named skeletal muscles in the human body, it is clear that humans were “Made to Move!” And as part of its Adventist Healthy YOU health initiative launch, the North American Division (NAD) is continuing to encourage members, congregations, and organizations to plan physical activity events for their communities. 

“A great time to encourage exercise, and get started if you haven’t, is this year’s ‘Made to Move Challenge,’” said Angeline Brauer, NAD Health Ministries director. “This special health emphasis week, which runs September 19-26, 2020, can work well for individuals and church groups and more.”

Brauer said that coming up with a plan, as well as being flexible, encouraging, and careful, is key. “Churches are encouraged to coordinate a time when they exercise together using carefully formulated exercise guides, which are available for beginners, intermediate, and advanced activity levels. The ‘together’ part can be through an online tool, such as Zoom, or individually at home but at the same time. 

“If churches decide to have the activity in person, appropriate social distancing measures should be carefully put in place. We welcome individuals to follow the exercises on their own; however, we want to encourage the church to serve as a center of activity. This is also a great opportunity to invite non-members to join the church community. There are creative ways we can be safe and still get moving!”

Brauer said she is excited to hear reports from groups in the division planning events for this year’s “Made to Move Challenge.” She referenced one entity in particular that happens to be in close physical proximity to the NAD headquarters. 

The Columbia Union Conference is hosting a 5K/1 mile run/walk, which coincides with the NAD “Made to Move Challenge.” And although the union headquarters is just a few miles from the division offices, the event will be held in cyberspace.

“As part of our Columbia Union Healthy 2020 theme and to celebrate the Visitor magazine’s 125th anniversary, we have planned a Virtual Visitor 5K/1 Mile Run/Walk,” said Kelly Butler Coe, Visitor magazine art director and Communication Services assistant director. Coe explained that the race window will be for one week, from September 20-26, with pre-registration required. “Because it is virtual, anyone can register and participate, where they are. We are also excited that a portion of the registration fees will be donated to Adventist Community Services.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long promoted a message of healthful living. In 2007, the NAD launched Adventists InStep for Life. It served as an opportunity to make schools and churches healthier by teaching about the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle.

For the past few years, the NAD Health Ministries department has been working on rebranding this initiative to bring together the many other healthful living areas into one package, resulting in the new initiative, Adventist HealthyYOU. “This is not to re-create what is already available, but to share our numerous resources into a comprehensive and relevant whole, with an emphasis on success through the community,” Brauer said. “It’s important to demonstrate the wholistic approach to health that has always been a part of our church’s messaging. Of course, fitness is still a major component.”

More information and resources for the “Made to Move Challenge” are available on the Health Ministries website. The Health Ministries department will hold a series of webinars to train churches on how to use the program.

How to Take the “Made to Move Challenge”

It is always important to consult one’s physician or health-care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Anyone thinking about hosting an event should consider these ideas (and how to bring them to people in safe, creative online and socially distanced ways):

  • Virtual 5K walk/run
  • Family Facebook fun activities
  • Children’s Olympics
  • Healthy lifestyle education
  • Online healthful food cooking demo (with the church’s YouTube page)

Invite community partners, such as:

  • Nearby churches
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Schools and universities
  • Fire and police departments
  • Public health department
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Athletic groups (runners, bikers, and others)

The original version of this story was posted on the North American Division news site.


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