February is American Heart Health month and as any fitness organization, Body & Soul is all about celebrating healthy hearts and helping people strive toward the best heart health possible. According to the Cleveland Clinic, our hearts beat 100,000 times a day, pumping 1.5 gallons of blood each minute, and are about the size of our hands clasped together. In addition to these important and informative facts, here are a few things about our hearts that you may not know:

  • A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost 8 beats per minute.
  • The more education you have, the lower your risk of heart disease.
  • The first heart pacemakers plugged into a wall socket.
  • Modesty prompted the invention of the stethoscope. Doctors pressed their ears directly against a patient’s chest to hear the heartbeat prior to its invention.

Regular exercise is the single most important key to heart health, and the American Heart Association makes the following recommendations for exercise based on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, second edition, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

  • Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
  • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.
  • Gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.
    Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

At Body & Soul Fitness, we aren’t only celebrating healthy physical hearts – we also love helping people strive toward the best spiritual heart health as well. As we meet in groups to challenge our physical cardiovascular systems, we also exercise spiritually. We hear Scripture song in the lyrics of upbeat, motivating music. We pray together and share stories that make up these beautiful lives we live. And we support one another as we pursue balanced, active lifestyles. Join us this month in a class in your area. We would love to celebrate with you!


Amy Stafford is the President of Body & Soul Fitness, certified personal trainer, ACE faculty and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She is a leader in the fitness industry and a popular speaker for women’s events, retreats, fitness conferences. For information on booking Amy for your event or for an interview please email amy@bodyandsoul.org. Amy currently teaches in the Williamsburg, VA area.

“I’ve been changed. I’ve been saved; I can feel it now. Brand new day; I believe it. I’ve been changed; oh, I believe. Tell me why would I turn back now? There’s no end to the love I’ve found. Future’s bright, and there ain’t no doubt. I’ve been changed.”

What a changed-life story we hear in this song! Listen to the joy in Jordan Feliz’ voice and feel it in the music—he is full of hope because he has found the love of Christ and it has changed his life. He experienced the transformation from being lost to being found. He knows his future is bright, no matter what it holds, because he has the Lord by his side. What about you? Has your life been changed like this—or do you need to recommit or commit for the first time to inviting Jesus into your life? Take action and he will begin the changes that will give you hope. It is just a prayer today. Your brand new day can start right now. Your future is bright, too!

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Questions: How have you been changed since that moment when you chose to believe? What do you want your “brand new day” to look like? What is the most important thing that could change to make your future bright?

Prayer Power: Lord, I need to be changed by you. Help me to trust you and believe that you will guide me to a future that is bright as I trust in you. Amen.

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Jeannie Blocher is the President Emeritus and Director of Spiritual Impact of Body & Soul Fitness. She and her husband Roy founded Body & Soul in 1981, and now Jeannie serves in a volunteer capacity. She is an author and speaker, who treasures first her role as wife, mother of three and grandmother of eight. She wrote the First Place 4 Health Bible Study “Make Every Day Your Best Day” and the book “Encouragement for the Body & the Soul.” She enjoys speaking on behalf of Body & Soul, sharing the message of faith & fitness.

Contact Jeannie at jeannie@bodyandsoul.org

“Can you hear the sound of a life changing, the sound of a dream that’s waking up inside? Can you hear the song of a new beginning? Amazing grace, how sweet the sound of a life changing…could this be your defining moment, the moment you decide to cross that line and leave the past behind?”

Is there something changing in your life, and you are doing your best to keep up with it, wrap your head around it, and deal with it? Let me encourage you to surrender to it, let it go and allow God to be in control of it. When you do, the sound of your life changing will be the sweet sound of God’s grace at work, molding and shaping you into his image. Do you have a dream that is waking up inside, a change has not yet happened, but you want it to? What about letting God transform your striving for it into his grace-filled guidance? Take one step at a time toward your dream, with your hand in God’s. Maybe you are in need of a spiritual transformation.

Will you pray and take the step to say “I believe,” accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord? Your life can be transformed from fear to faith and worry to trust as your life changes from being lost to being “found” by Jesus. This spiritual transformation will give you hope and a peace that passes understanding. I hear the sound of a life changing, the sweet sound of God’s amazing grace at work in your life!

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

Questions: Are you in the middle of a life-change right now? Do you have a dream that is waking up inside of you today? Are you in need of a spiritual transformation? Will you allow God’s amazing grace to guide you through the changes that are coming in your life?

Prayer Power: Dear Lord, help me to seek you, listen to you and trust you as my life is changing. Thank you for your sweet, amazing grace that is ever-present, giving me peace and hope. Amen.

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Jeannie Blocher is the President Emeritus and Director of Spiritual Impact of Body & Soul Fitness. She and her husband Roy founded Body & Soul in 1981, and now Jeannie serves in a volunteer capacity. She is an author and speaker, who treasures first her role as wife, mother of three and grandmother of eight. She wrote the First Place 4 Health Bible Study “Make Every Day Your Best Day” and the book “Encouragement for the Body & the Soul.” She enjoys speaking on behalf of Body & Soul, sharing the message of faith & fitness.

Contact Jeannie at jeannie@bodyandsoul.org