For the last two years, exercise has been the goal I just can’t seem to meet. I know I need to exercise.  I don’t need to lose weight, but I do need to become intentionally active.  I’ve been battling it — trying and giving up, repeat — and, at some point this year, I actually sent up some prayers asking for divine help.  I have found that help.  It’s called The Rosary Workout, by Peggy Bowes.rosary workout logo

I did not want my exercise program to be yet another entry on the crowded list of quick-fix, instant-result workout plans. Instead, I decided to create a plan that would help a person improve both physically and spiritually.  This is not a multi-tasking prayer-and-exercise plan, but rather an integrated approach to taking care of the body and soul together.”

When I saw that (a) it was an e-book and (b) it was 250 pages long, I almost faltered. I almost gave up on the idea before I gave it a chance.  I’m glad I didn’t.  Though I prefer books with pages, I was able to read through this with an appreciation for the ability to click through on the reference links (and there are a delightful many of those) and knowing that I would be able to print out parts for reference.  There are five parts (the fifth is the largest, and you’ll see why below).  (Note: the links in this section open PDF documents.)

  • Part I – a summary of the Rosary, its history, the significance of Rosary prayers, and its power as an intercessory prayer. See a sample page.
  • Part II – an introduction to the concept of the Rosary as the School of Mary and the importance of Mary’s role as advocate and teacher,  the Nine Choirs of Angels and their significance in Rosary prayer. See a sample page.
  • Part III – an explanation of the scientific principles of exercise that are the foundation for the workouts and great information on nutrition and hydration. See a sample page.
  • Part IV – the preparation to begin the workouts, including suggestions on how to start and commit to The Rosary Workout™ and how to handle setbacks. See a sample page.

The program builds on this foundation with a scholastic approach to exercise and prayer. I will show you how Mary is our teacher in the ―school of the Rosary, leading us to a deeper understanding and love of her Divine Son and ultimately, our Heavenly Father.  Concurrently, I will guide you in a periodized exercise program using the unique structure of the Rosary and the latest principles of exercise science to advance your fitness level and overall physical health.”

My problem in the past has been a combination of time and motivation. I think I’ve found motivation in a way I never looked for it before: through my favorite prayer (though, admittedly, the hardest one I have to pray).  I love that Peggy encourages readers to keep a journal that includes not only details about each workout, but also details about spiritual things.  Did you go to Confession?  Have you been struggling?  Do you have a special intention?  Tying my physical and spiritual health together in such a tangible way feels right in a way that excites me, that makes me, for once, WANT to work out (though I’m sure I’ll change my mind next week, once I actually start).

With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love.  Through the Rosary the faithful  receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.”

– Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Rosary of the Virgin Mary

Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win your own copy of The Rosary Workout. But wait; there’s more! Everyone is a winner today, because Peggy has shared a discount code that’s good for the month of October, when you go to purchase The Rosary Workout online.  Enter MARY (caps needed) during checkout before October 31 and you’ll save $1 off the normal price.  Note: this doesn’t affect the amount donated to St. Vincent de Paul (10% of the retail price of each e-book sold).  If you’re inspired to learn more or purchase your own, all the details are here.

Will you join me? Most of you probably already work out and are experts at the health thing.  I’m not.  (FAR from it.)  Can we support each other in praying and keeping up our temples?  (If you’ve never prayed the rosary before, NEVER FEAR.  This might be one of the best introductions to the technique that I’ve seen.)

Be sure to visit Jen at Conversion Diary, the Quick Takes Headquarters.

Update: Congratulations to commenter Susan, who was the winner!