Heavenly workout

June Casagrande

If you're going to sweat, you're going to need some inspiration. And

for that, the women of Body and Soul go straight to the source.

Body and Soul Ministries is a program of aerobics and strength

training to contemporary Christian music that some find nothing short

of heavenly.

"There's a joy in doing it. It's such a blessing to work with

these women," said Rosa Cermak, who led about a dozen of her students

in a 45-minute aerobics demonstration at the fair on Friday.

Warming up to some upbeat Christian tunes such as "Let the Praises

Ring" by Lincoln Brewster, Cermak led the group in moves that uplift

while they lift up. Mixed in with the many standard aerobics moves

are lots of arm-raising, God-praising gestures that infused the

performance with just a touch of spirituality.

Cermak and her students sing along with the lyrics, enjoying the

occasional opportunity to throw in "praise him."

And if you think it's unusual that a Christian group is involved

in exercise, think again. Body and Soul Ministries has more than 200

instructors in the United States and another 200 spread throughout

the world. There are more Body and Soul instructors teaching classes

in Africa than there are in California, Cermak said.

Cermak's group is based out of the Calvary Church of Santa Ana, of

which Cermak and many of her students are regular members.

"It's a lot of fun and a good way to keep in shape, and my husband

likes that I keep in shape, too," Cermak said.

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