Health and wellness have been the center of personal and professional life for Katherine Pasour, Ph.D., professor emeritus of health, exercise and sport science and retired dean of the College of Health Sciences.
Since retiring in 2015 — after 18 years of service at LR — Pasour continues to teach online and has focused on writing, where she explores the connections between health, wellness and spirituality. Her first book, “Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle,” was released in October 2022.
During her years of teaching at Lenoir-Rhyne, Pasour noticed a common trait among both faculty and students.
"We were all so busy, that a focus on wellness and a healthy lifestyle was often on the back burner."
The issue of limited time to focus on wellness is not limited to those who live and work on a university campus, but campuses have resources to encourage healthier habits.
"For both students and faculty, I stressed the value of maintaining balance in our health. Lenoir-Rhyne is fortunate to have a fitness center, track and wellness opportunities. Just walking around the campus is wonderful exercise that provides time to meditate and enjoy the beauty of God's creation."
Over her years working with students and faculty, Pasour refined her vision of a balance in good health, which is the guiding principle she shares in “Honoring God with My Body.”
“Maintaining good health involves keeping a balance among many dimensions — physical, social, mental, intellectual, emotional, vocational and spiritual. These dimensions interact with each other, so when one area suffers, others do as well.”
Having grown up on a farm, Pasour is an enthusiastic gardener and horse rider, but as a teenager, she struggled with her weight as many young adults do.
“I discovered fast food and sugar, and I loved both! I spent most of my early adulthood fighting the battle of the bulge. I recognize change is hard,” she shared.
Those early experiences and struggles motivated Pasour to expand her knowledge through her academic studies and to share that knowledge with her students and colleagues at LR as well as her readers.
“I felt the call to use my background in health and physical education, my teaching experiences and my own journey to develop materials to share with others seeking a better quality of life.”
As the book’s title indicates, Pasour’s approach in the text is faith-based, structured around a nine-week Bible study sequence that can be undertaken individually or in a small group.
“Throughout my own journey toward better health — and I know that journey isn’t easy — I recognized we need a support group to make healthy lifestyle changes. We can’t change everything in one day. We need time, effort and, most of all, encouragement.”
Pasour recommends small, incremental changes that are easier to maintain than grand plans — switches as simple as drinking more water or working in a few short walks into the course of the day.
“When it seems overwhelming to consider making healthy changes, pick one thing to begin,” she advised. “It is never too late to seek a healthier lifestyle.”