Body and soul: Classes help others reach fitness, spiritual potential
Christians, according to research, are healthier people thanks to the hope, optimism and purpose their faith provides them.
But studies also indicate that people of faith tend to be more obese than the general population, possibly related to all the food that is shared at church functions and congregational meetings.
Local personal trainer Pat Moldenhauer is committed to changing that statistic in the New Richmond area.
"My greatest desire is to help Christians to become healthy and fit," she said. "I help them take care of their spirit, soul and body, so that they can become all of what God wants them to be."
Moldenhauer, who lives near Horse Creek, offers several faith-based fitness and health classes through her business Fit for Every Good Work. She is offering a 45-minute "Strength for Such a Time as This" class for women at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 4, at Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in New Richmond.
The brief course will show participants how they can be strong physically and spiritually by devoting just two and a half hours a week to a simple routine. Among the topics covered are exercise levels needed to stay fit, goal setting, relaxation, muscle strengthening, balance and more.
"God does want us healthy," she said. "And a little exercise goes a long way to cut disease and death risks. Consistency is the key."
Moldenhauer said the class is scripturally based, and the gathering will open with various Bible verses that speak to God's desire for people to be healthy.
She also calls on her own experiences to inspire others to take better care of themselves.
The fact that Moldenhauer is alive to teach classes about health and wellness is a miracle in itself.
While pregnant with her first child, Moldenhauer was in a serious accident in 1977. She was in the hospital for three weeks and her child was eventually still born.
"I wasn't expected to live," Moldenhauer said, noting that she had life-threatening cardiac rhythms, was in and out of consciousness, and her organs began to fail. She had 21 fractured ribs and massive internal bleeding in her abdomen and lungs.
Moldenhauer became a Christian following her accident and she slowly recovered, however she never felt fully healed.
Six years later, doctors inadvertently found a large aneurysm in her chest caused by trauma to her aorta due to the previous accident. The aorta was surgically repaired and Moldenhauer began to recover her strength by closely following prescribed healthy behaviors in every area of her life.
Then Moldenhauer said she committed herself to helping others improve their health and wellness as well.
"I knew God had a plan for my life. I'm glad to be fully alive," she said. "I'd always been physically active, but after my accident I was more determined to be healthy."
Moldenhauer's family moved to New Richmond in 1986 and she quickly became an aerobics instructor, offering both secular and Christian-based classes.
In 1996, she was hired by the Wellness Center at Holy Family Hospital. She later worked for the New Richmond Area YMCA as a fitness assistant and personal trainer.
Moldenhauer later decided to branch off on her own, starting "Fit for Every Good Work" and working as an independent trainer and wellness speaker.
Moldenhauer offers classes to area churches that wish to host wellness and health events. The classes help people take the first step toward better health. The classes are geared toward all ages and all fitness levels.
"It is very basic," she noted. "I help people get started."
After the classes, if participants are interested, Moldenhauer said she will meet with each one on an individual basis to come up with an customized fitness plan. Those wanting even more help can hire Moldenhauer for personal training sessions.
Moldenhauer has been involved with the New Richmond Vitality Initiative for the past year and said she's encouraged by the efforts to improve overall health across the community.
"I like being with people who are like-minded," she said. "By being involved with the group, it is an opportunity to use whatever talents I have."
For more information about Moldenhauer's classes or business, call 715-294-4034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.