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What Is Holistic Fitness?

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When people use the term fitness, they are generally referring to a state of healthy physical health. Physical health, in turn, is defined by strength, endurance and freedom from illness. In recent years, however, the concept of fitness has expanded. A concept by holistic fitness emerged from the broader holistic perspective of health and healing.

The holistic perspective on health and healing is multidimensional. It assumes that body, mind and spirit are connected in a way that is difficult to separate. Poor health is not just a matter of injury or illness. When healing is needed, people who have committed to this approach are open to a wide range of therapies. You can opt for a combination of conventional and non-conventional medical treatments. Or they are considering an intervention that belongs to a completely different healing tradition. The key requirement is an approach that takes the whole person into account. But healing is not the only concern when it comes to looking at health holistically. Advocates of the holistic approach to health strive to improve personal health and prevent disease before it spreads. These concerns have led to the concept of holistic fitness.

Holistic fitness implies optimal health of the human being as a whole. In order to achieve optimal personal health or holistic fitness, the individual must address the body, mind and spirit. This likely requires a combination of activities, including regular physical exercise, healthy eating habits, positive social-emotional experiences, and attention to our spiritual needs. One can say that when we are fit in a holistic sense, body, mind and soul are in harmony with each other.

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Achieving traditional physical fitness is an important part of the journey to holistic fitness. A large body of research shows that physical activity and exercise can have a profound impact on our overall health. There are many positive correlations between our activity levels and the health of our bodies and minds. For example, physical activity is correlated with a reduced likelihood of developing diabetes and certain types of cancer. It appears to improve cardiovascular and respiratory health. At the same time, it appears to reduce the risk of depression and cognitive decline.

While strength and conditioning exercises are important, other aspects of being cannot be ignored in the quest for optimal health. Advocates of a holistic approach to fitness know that the positive effects of physical activity can be offset by poor diet or excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs. Developing healthy eating habits may require nutritional counseling. Decreasing dependence on various mood enhancers generally requires psychological counseling and some type of inner, spiritual transformation.

In addition, the positive effects of physical exercise tend to be greater and better sustained when the person’s social environment is supportive. A supportive social environment can encourage people to continue with a physical exercise program. A supportive social environment can help people achieve healthy eating goals. Because of this, people in search of holistic fitness may need to assess their social environment and work to improve it. If they are lonely, they may need to join community and church groups. Such groups can be a great source of psychic rewards as well as potential training partners. If toxic friends are a problem, time spent with such friends may need to be reduced. The everyday environment at home and at work must also be taken into account. When it is very stressful, meditation procedures may be needed to complement the positive effects of exercise.

In a holistic sense, fitness cannot be achieved through a simple exercise program. Rather, it is only achieved when body, mind and soul are optimized and brought into balance.

Thanks to Douglas Hardwick

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