What’s up with fitness?

I am a Happy Warrior and have listened to your podcasts and read your books for several years. I am curious as to why Fitness was not incorporated in your teachings to the other four F’s (Family, Faith, Friendships and Finances) until rather recently. 

Can you explain?


Pedro A. P., Coral Gables, Florida

Dear Pedro,

You certainly noticed correctly that what we used to term the 4Fs, about two years ago turned into the 5Fs with the addition of (physical) fitness. This actually took place due to reader/listener input and suggestion.

We know that as a stone stays the same but a tree constantly grows, living organisms constantly change, grow and adapt.  In that spirit, we are always trying to improve our own understanding of how the world REALLY works and grow the value of the content we bring to our friends and subscribers.

While we have long been aware that care for our bodies is of concern to the Bible,  we generally set it aside because we possess no special expertise or knowledge in promoting, say, paleo eating over keto or swimming over cycling. Truthfully, while we make efforts to have balanced meals and Susan is committed to her aerobic and strength exercise plan, we both eat more sugar than we probably should and move less than is good for us. 

Whenever we did discuss fitness in past Thought Tools, podcasts, or other teachings, it usually involved the mind/body connection in areas such as placebos as well as the spiritual aspects of eating. We have compared the Greek view of the body to a Biblical view and pointed out that we need both our bodies and our souls to follow God’s guidance for healthy living. 

For instance, the Bible emphasizes how the body is really a vessel for the soul, thus care for the body is also care for the soul.  Caring for the body as an end in itself is discouraged.

One of the foundational principles we explore in Scrolling through Scripture Unit 1 is that the world was created, and continues to exist, on two levels, the physical and the spiritual. (You will be amazed at how this idea leaps off the pages of the Hebrew text.) These levels both intersect with and mirror one another. 

Thanks for your question, Pedro.   After receiving feedback asking us to discuss fitness more, we included it in our free ebook, The Holistic You, and look forward to receiving more questions that we might explore. While we won’t weigh up various fitness programs, we can use the lens of ancient Jewish wisdom to help emphasize the integration of our bodies and our souls and to increase understanding of how caring for the body fits into the complete integrated picture of life.

Wishing you a ‘Happy Warrior’ day,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

We’ve been noticing a lot of pink hearts around!
Roses are nice, but an enduring relationship is priceless.

The Lasting Love Set

3 thoughts on “What’s up with fitness?”

  1. The RDL podcast certainly had a measurable impact on my approach to the 5th “F” of FITNESS because my most strenuous workout of the week coincided with new episodes when I began training for a marathon. My reward for commiting to my longest run each week was the enjoyment of hearing the messages by RDL as I pushed through the miles!

    I’ve only run one marathon to date, but the first hour of the tough race was filled with encouragement from RDL’s quite timely new episode at the time talking about the power of GRATITUDE in impacting our ability to be OPTIMISTIC. It’s a lesson that sank deep into my soul during the first several miles of the race, but I must confess I needed my favorite tunes to keep me going after that haha

    I for one am grateful to see some attention on the fifth F, but I seem to recall RDL saying at some point in the past that the 5th “F” of Fitness flows quite seamlessly into a life where the other F’s are given proper attention. I couldn’t agree more.

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Thanks for such an upbeat and evocative letter, Jim,
      Stay strong in everything,

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