Spiritual fitness: Pastor works out during sermons

LODI, Calif. A pastor is so committed to fitness that he's now working out while delivering his sermon, reports CBS Sacramento.

Emmanuel Lutheran Church Pastor Chris Townsend took a break from his bike to speak to the congregation Sunday.

"There are multiple people at church who were getting fit before me and they were an inspiration to me," he said.

Townsend has decided not all his sermons would be done standing still, so sometimes he delivers his sermon while walking on a treadmill.

"I didn't run, that would be very hard to do," said Townsend.

Maybe he didn't run, but he definitely walks. Last week he did 25 minutes on the treadmill.

"Overall, it was received well. People were surprised I could speak for that long while walking at the same time," he said.

Townsend has used a yoga ball and even brought in a stationary bike.

"It was a surprise for many because they never seen it before; and after I emailed my friends around the country, no one had ever seen or heard of a pastor doing it," he said.

There's no question about Townsend's commitment. "So far I've lost 35 pounds. So I'm very thankful for that," he said.

The personal goals have brought huge rewards. "I've lost about five inches off my waist and built up muscle in other areas. So that's been good," said Townsend.

But his main message is to be physically and spiritually fit. Leading by example, Townsend is hopeful others will join him in transforming their mind and body.

"Hopefully it will inspire, prayerfully inspire, people to get fit. Not just physically fit, but spiritually fit working on the spiritual muscle that's the core muscle for us," said Townsend.

The pastor still wants to lose another 25 to 30 pounds to reach his goal weight.

In addition to exercise, Townsend has also completely cut out caffeine and changed his diet.