Friday, May 30, 2008

What is Holistic Fitness anyway?

What is Holistic Fitness?

Holistic fitness is a term that I have furthered and developed over the past 10 years or so with my own work, to identify the difference between exercising the body just for physical purposes or appearance, and the more integrated, multi-dimensional view that takes into account the different dimensions of what it means to be fit and healthy.

When I think of what it means to have a healthy, fit body, I ask – are you able to function and do all of the things you want to do in life, with relative ease, fluidity, and pain free?
Is your body flexible, strong, and full of vitality? Do you have the energy you require to meet life’s daily tasks? Do you feel good, both internally, and externally?

When it comes down to defining what it truly means to be fit… the end of the day, it isn’t just about having a chiseled abdominal 6-pack folks! Delete those misleading infomercials from your mind – for there are very few out there that preach the truth of the matter. One has to consider all of the necessary dimensions – emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically, to encounter what it truly means to be holistically fit and healthy.

We’ll focus on just a couple of these in this blog entry, and look at the key point that allows the ‘fitness’ wheel to keep turning and burning for you.

What I find to be the synthesizing point that holds all of these together is the spiritual component, because our connection to our source (or our highest self) is in direction relation to our ability to be able to LISTEN to our own bodies, with the intuitive gift we are all given.

It comes down to this – when your body tells you what it needs, do you listen and respond? Have you developed the awareness and consciousness with which to pay attention to the cues? Your body is a wonderful vehicle, perfectly designed to shuttle you effectively through life, if you cooperate with it, take great care of it, and refuse to abuse it! You must become skilled at cooperating with the information your body sends you, if you want to most easily and effectively meet with optimal fitness for yourself.

If we had to make it through an entire lifetime with just one car – we would most likely be very cautious and thoughtful with its maintenance right? We would pay great attention to protecting and preserving it.

If we listen equally attentively to our body’s signals, we can effectively get in sync with what our bodies need to achieve harmony of health/fitness at any given time.
For example – if you are experiencing a lot of muscular tightness – would it make sense to go crank out some more heavy weight lifting sets or to take a yoga class? Similarly, if you’re exhausted, know your limits – and make the choices that shows you respect and love yourself – give it some rest, or a massage, or some healthy food to assist the restoration and rejuvenation process, instead of participating in any sort of ‘breakdown’ type activities.

Holistic fitness, to me, really can be that simple…….listen to your body, respond accordingly, and you’re there! Use that intuition and trust it! Your bodies are very wise – please don’t forget that!

Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding this article, or any holistic fitness related topics. In upcoming blog entries, I will expand on some of the themes and ideas I’ve introduced here, so come back for more!

Yours in fitness,