UT Tyler alum honored for work as Christian fitness expert - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

UT Tyler alum honored for work as Christian fitness expert

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UT Tyler is honoring five distinguished alumni at its Alumni and Friends Gala Friday night, including a fitness expert who is changing the meaning of 'working out.'

UT Tyler Alumnus Jimmy Peña started PrayFit.com five years ago. He did so to encourage Christians to think of their health as a means of service and weight loss as a means of Biblical obedience.

"As a Christian in the fitness industry, I knew that life is not about the body," Peña said.

Peña got his Master's of Clinical Exercise Physiology at UT Tyler 15 years ago and was writing at Muscle and Fitness Magazine and working on fitness projects with celebrities when he knew he had to start PrayFit.com.

"C.S. Lewis was right when he said, 'You don't have souls, you are souls. You have bodies.'And PrayFit.com was born in my heart," said Peña. "And we started PrayFit as a place where fitness-minded believers can come together, get energized, motivate the heart, to move the body."

PrayFit.com is completely free to use. Currently, about 10,000 people subscribe to receive the site's daily fitness devotions, and Peña has written a New York Times' best selling book, which led to two best-selling fitness DVDs.

"Jimmy is probably one of the most knowledgeable fitness resources in the nation, and we choose our distinguished alums because they excel at what they do...and they do great things," said Derrith Bondurant, the Alumni Relations Director at UT Tyler.

Peña says he is humbled to receive the award and see old professors like Dr. Jim Schwane, who have helped him get where he is today.

And he wants to show the world a fitness company can be more concerned with inner health and serving the Lord.

"We want the Lord to be in everything we do at PrayFit. If we're helping people get flat abs but we're not encouraging them to hit their knees, then we're not doing a very good job," Peña said. "I want people to be healthier on the inside than they are on the outside."

"Life is quick. It's not about the body," he added. "But as long as we're here, let's use our health to serve Him, to serve others, to do what's right; to see health as stewardship."

To learn more about PrayFit, please visit their website.

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