"CrossFit" Priest Shared Spiritual Reflections And Healthy Habits On Instagram
The "CrossFit" priest shared spiritual reflections and healthy habits on Instagramis now the talk of the town. Swedish hospital chaplain Oskar Arngarden, who is better known on Instagram as @crossfitpriest, uses his platform to help his more than 30,000 followers improve their physical and spiritual health.
For the benefit of many readers, the hospital chaplain provides spiritual instruction and pastoral care to patients and their families. As representatives of different religions, chaplains in hospitals and medical centers use ideas and principles from psychology, religion, spirituality, and theology.
Here's a video of how the Swedish priest documents his physical workout in the gym:
Lutheran priest teaches CrossFit and spirituality to Instagram followers
Arngarden is 38 years old and is also pursuing the importance of physical training and exercise aside from his spiritual routine. He said that he always considers God's thoughts in everything he does. The priest also mentioned the importance of relying on God's strength when doing physical training.
God is in every aspect of my life. When I'm working out, it's also in some way a relationship interaction, a prayer with God.- Swedish hospital chaplain Oskar Arngarden
He is a Swedish Lutheran Churchpriest who works at Uppsala University Hospital. He chose to record his workout on his cellphone and later shared footage of himself lifting weights and exercising to his Instagram account. Arngarden shared:
In the Bible, it says that your body is your temple. And part of that is to think: 'How should I treat my temple?- Swedish hospital chaplain Oskar Arngarden
Even though the bad things about social media are well known, Arngarden says it can also be a good place to talk about faith and health, as well as our existential mental health. His account also has posts with spiritual thoughts and tips for living a healthy life. In 2019, the young priest set up his first Instagram account.
It got a little bit out of hand... In a couple of months, I had 160,000 followers, and I'm a pretty shy guy so for me it was not that comfortable.- Swedish hospital chaplain Oskar Arngarden
The statement above only shows that he became such a sensation that he quickly found himself overwhelmed. But did you know that this Swedish priest is battling depression? Sadly, because of this, he ended up closing his account.
However, in 2020, he went back to Instagram with a clearer idea of what he wanted to say, especially to his followers in Sweden, which is one of the world's least religious countries. We could guess that he did this physical activity to help deal with his depression and improve his mental health.
We are held back by a history where the church was in the center, and people came to the church. Now we need to find ways for the church to come to meet people. And where are the people? They are on social media.- Swedish hospital chaplain Oskar Arngarden
According to him, there is something spiritual about social media and the way it allows users to communicate with people all over the world. He believes that modern technology provides a unique opportunity for him to reach out and demonstrate how his faith and fitness routines are intimately interwoven.
"In everything I do, my faith is always with me," he says. Some of his followers contact him directly via the social networking app, and "the more intense talks" pique his attention. Some people inform him about their personal life experiences or spirituality. The Swedish 'CrossFit priest' later said:
I want that interaction with other people, to hear their histories and stories. It's a blessing to me just to listen to that.- Swedish hospital chaplain Oskar Arngarden
Most people know about the basic services hospitals offer to their patients and staff, like food services, shuttle buses, and translation services. But chaplaincy is a common hospital service that is still a little bit of a mystery. A hospital chaplain's job isn't to try to push any kind of religious agenda.
Rev. Peggy O'Neil Files, who is in charge of the Spiritual Care Department at South Shore Hospital, said:
Instead, our goal is to come in with an open heart to sit and connect with people who may be going through tough times - regardless of their religious beliefs. At South Shore Health, our chaplains are part of the Spiritual Care Department. The goal of the Spiritual Care Department is to provide non-denominational support for people with emotional triggers, grief, vulnerability, loss, or change in their lives.- Rev. Peggy O'Neil Files
Chaplains also help patients and their families deal with the stress of having a loved one in the hospital. These services can include anything from helping a patient get in touch with a pastor from their home church to setting up support services for them after they leave the hospital.
The best part of being a chaplain is being able to connect with patients and their families in a way that makes them feel closer. In some cases, they help patients get in touch with family members they haven't seen in a long time as they near the end of their lives. This can lead to healing and peace.
The female priest mentioned earlier shared her favorite thing about working as a hospital chaplain. She said:
To be allowed into a person’s life and develop a connection with them through existential thought is truly a privilege for a chaplain. Chaplains are often thanked by patients who are grateful to have a listening ear, but the spiritual encounters we have with patients on a regular basis has a huge impact on us as well.- Rev. Peggy O'Neil Files
The best age to get the most out of working out at a gym is between 17 and 18 years old. It can make men strong, muscular, lean, and healthy. But even if you're in your 30s, you can still work out, as the hospital chaplain, Arngarden, did. Many people commented on his toned body, multiple tattoos, and likeness to Australian star Chris Hemsworth.