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5 Reps With... Chris Asmus

Chris Asmus is the lead pastor of The Vertical Church St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. Chris has a special place in my heart as he was the first stranger to endorse my first attempt at writing a book.


How did you get started with health and fitness?

I was always an active kids growing up, but didn't get serious about health and fitness until high school football.


What does your exercise routine look like? How has it changed over the years?

3-4 times a week, I run for 60-75 minutes followed by 15-20 minutes of bodyweight exercises (pushups, burpees, etc).


What is your favourite way to exercise outside of the gym?

I just love waking up early and going on long runs, listening to sermons/worship music, and watching the city wake up.


How do you incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your life?

I think of it as a spiritual discipline, a means of God's grace. When the goal moves from "lose 5 pounds" to "enjoy more of God", healthy eating and exercise transform from duties to delights.


How do you balance stewarding your health with your real life commitments?

I don't think of these things as a balancing act but one intricately serving the other. Stewarding my health is how I prioritize my real life commitments. My wife needs a healthy husband, my kids a healthy dad, my church a healthy pastor; so I'm going to prioritize their needs by prioritizing my health.


If you could make one unhealthy food healthy, what would it be?

Peanut butter...


What is your favorite exercise? Least favorite?

Fav: Running.

Least Fav: Stairclimber


What is one simple tip you would give to someone looking to get started with stewarding their body better?

Break free from the all-or-nothing mindset. Stewarding your body isn't pass or fail; it's grace upon grace. So, become a student of what gives you life, seek to lean into those things more and more each month, and when you "fail", relax back into the goodness of God. God isn't trying to help us lose weight, he's helping us become humble, happy, holy, and healthy.


How has eating well and exercising helped you better perform the tasks you are called to?

My diet has a massive effect on how to live the rest of my life. When I eat in a healthy way, I'm more prone to be alert, energetic, hopeful, alive. When I don't, I tend to be irritable, sluggish, unmotivated, and discouraged.


When it comes to eating and exercising, where are you vulnerable to poor stewardship? What steps do you take to safeguard against it?

I'm prone to "crashing" my diet every night right before bed. To safeguard this, I eat more for dinner, spend a few minutes in pray after dinner, and go to bed when my wife does so I'm not left alone in the kitchen!


What challenges do you face that make it difficult to consistently steward your body?

Again, fighting the all-or-nothing mindset. Often I will set an unrealistic health standard only to fail a few days (or a few hours!) later. Stewarding my body is mostly a mind game to be realistic about what a "win" is to me and rooted in what a "win" is to God.


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