Taking Care of Your Temple

Exercise guru Donna Richardson Joyner tells women they can't be God's 'leading ladies' if their bodies are unhealthy.

Donna Richardson Joyner has been in the business of helping people become healthier for the past 18 years. She was co-host of ESPN's "Fitness Pros" and has helped countless people get strengthened and toned with "Platinum Buns of Steel." Donna's Christian faith has always been a big part of her life, and recently she made the decision to incorporate spirituality into her physical fitness teaching. Her latest DVD, the top-selling, "Sweating in the Spirit" brings together aerobics, strength/pilates training, and stretching exercises with live performances by gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, and Shirley Murdock.

Last year Donna was a speaker at Bishop T.D. Jakes' God's Leading Ladies Tour, a conference designed to empower women in their personal, professional, and spiritual lives, and will once again join him on stage as a part of his MegaFest tour this summer.

Donna recently spoke to Beliefnet about the joy of working out to gospel music, the important role women play in keeping their families healthy, and the biblical message, from 1 Cor. 6: "[Y]our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God...Therefore, honor God with your body."

Have you always been so involved in physical fitness?


Yes, all my life. From the time I was five years old, I was [involved in] swimming, dancing, baton lessons, gymnastics, softball, cheerleading, and track and field. So it's been a lifestyle for me.

When did you first make the connection between fitness and spirituality?

I grew up as a Christian and I remember even in church we'd have dance recitals-it was more like praise dance-and I was a part of that.

How is your video, "Sweating in the Spirit," different from other fitness videos?

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Interview by Dena Ross
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