Many times when we think about creating fitness in life we really only engage one facet of fitness, the most common being diet or exercise. But the avenue to creating a truly “fit life” must be multi-faceted. Incorporating efforts in each of four areas of fitness will facilitate comprehensive fitness.
Physical Fitness is the first component. Physical fitness may include cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, or balance activities. Ideally, maximizing physical fitness would involve a balance of all of these. For example a marathon runner might have phenomenal endurance and yet not be able to do a chin up while a gymnast might be able to perform gravity defying skills while balancing on a beam four inches wide but not be able to run a mile. Most people would think both of these athletes are in ideal physical fitness. In truth the individual who can integrate and cross train activities across the spectrum of physical activity is the most fit.
Nutritional Fitness is the second component. On the surface nutritional fitness might be considered simply “eating a healthy diet”. Nutritional fitness, however, is only achieved when you include:
- A diet complete with nutrient rich food that is low in toxicity
- Necessary and appropriate nutraceutical support
- Proper hydration
- Elimination of foods that you might have a sensitivity or allergy to.
Eating a spinach salad loaded with vegetables and grilled chicken may appear to be a healthy choice but if the vegetables have been sprayed with pesticides, the chickens were factory farmed and the dressing laden with processed seed oil, it may be more harmful than helpful.
Fitness of Spirit may mean different things to different people. Wikipedia defines spirit as “the animating, sensitive or vital principle in that individual”. Creating spiritual fitness must include motivational, inspirational, foundational, fundamental elements that support each soul in achieving their dreams and goals and becoming the best of themselves. Some people achieve “success” but are spiritually empty. Filling your spirit may include prayer, meditation, affirmation, incentive, reward, contentment, giving, releasing, journaling, gratitude and achieving.
Finally creating Fitness for Life is about finding balance in all areas of life and consciously choosing to healthfully participate in the development of each area. These may include attitude, career, finance, personal growth, health, family, relationships, social life, and citizenship. Making small steps on a consistent basis towards fitness will ultimately lead you to true fitness.