Want to get healthy? Skip the gym, and head to church. Churches everywhere are launching get-healthy campaigns. And doing everything from hiring special on-site health ambassadors to building work-out stations.

Want to know the healthiest place in town? It’s your local **church**. It may not sound like the typical place to get in shape, but churches everywhere are giving themselves a healthy makeover.

They’re doing everything from banning sweets at church functions, to building tracks on church property so members can go for a run after a service. The National Baptist Convention is going as far as hiring a “health ambassador” for every one of its 10-thousand North American churches. The ambassador will be like the church’s personal nutritionist, nurse, and trainer all in one. Since they’ll be responsible for organizing everything from diabetes screening sessions, to more active church social events, like bike rides instead of sedentary bingo nights. 

So why are churches on a health kick? Officials say they want to help crack down on obesity, which 1 in 3 North Americans now suffer from. And experts say it’s a winning move, because people are more motivated to work-out and eat right, if they’re alongside hundreds of other healthy, like-minded people.