Achieving overall health and fitness does not start and stop at eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. Physical health is just one element out of seven elements of holistic fitness.
We can absolutely achieve better health, and prevent disease, if all seven elements of holistic fitness are addressed. The seven elements are:
- Emotional Fitness
- Physical Fitness
- Spiritual Fitness
- Occupational Fitness
- Social Fitness
- Environmental Fitness
- Intellectual Fitness
If we can feel happy and smile at the day, rather than wallow in negativity, it helps reduce our stress and make us feel more positive. We are better able to deal with our emotions, and the people and events that trigger them. Instead of overloading ourselves with tasks, we seek balance by setting time aside for ourselves. When we do this, it greatly helps us to stop feeling overwhelmed with life and improve our emotional fitness.
Physical fitness can obviously be achieved by adhering to the basic requirements of physical health, like exercising regularly and eating a healthy, nutritious diet. It is also so imperative that we get adequate, quality sleep every night and make sure we are drinking plenty of water too!
Spiritual fitness goes deeper than just our religious beliefs. It includes our values in life. For example, a big part of achieving spiritual fitness can be found in practicing gratitude. Being grateful allows us to become more positive in life and allows us to look at life differently.
There’s a wise old saying, “I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” Let’s continue learning to be grateful for what we have in life. This greatly reduces our risk of developing depression or feelings of worthlessness.
The majority of the population worldwide are workers. That doesn’t only mean employees, or those that engage in physical labor. Business owners and anyone in the managerial chain is still a worker. Most of us have to work at some point in our lifetime. What’s important for our occupational fitness is that we evaluate whether the work we do makes us miserable or happy.
We can’t waste too much time in a career that causes our health to suffer. Yes, this can be difficult when we feel like we don’t have a choice, but we need to MAKE changes if we WANT change. If my job causes me stress and anxiety, then only I can do something about it. Waiting for someone else to make changes is disempowering, and usually glacially slow.
To better understand ourselves and our social needs, we first identify our own needs and values. Knowing ‘our self’ is paramount in our ability to set our own boundaries. This will help us to establish positive relationships with only the people we truly want in our life. It helps us connect with like-minded individuals, which are those people who share the same values as we do.
We surround ourselves with positive people and keep in contact with our family.
However, we must let go of toxic people that make our lives miserable, even if they are family members. Negative or vindictive people can easily drain our energy and emotional fitness, while contributing to unneeded anxiety and stress.
Getting involved in our community where we live is another way we boost our social fitness. You may not be a ‘people person’, so this may not be something you would like to do. However, if it is, it totally develops your sense of social consciousness as you become more in touch with the needs of your society and the people living around you.
Our environment has a huge impact on our overall health. We can’t be healthy if we live in an unhealthy environment. Just look at fish in a dirty pond; our fate is the same. So, we need to live in a place that not only promotes our own health, but we make sure our own personal environment is healthy too. We can start by maintaining cleanliness in our own home and by removing harmful substances. Even if we feel that some things are beyond our control, let’s take charge of the areas where we can influence the outcome.
When we stop learning, we stop living. Make it a point to keep learning new skills! Read books, play music, learn a language, or two or three, just don’t stop. If we keep learning, we are not only becoming more educated by the day, but we are also opening our mind to more opportunities and possibilities. We’ll be expanding our knowledge and values in life. We’ll be exploring a world full of wonder if we allow ourselves to.
There are so many things we can do to improve our intellectual fitness. If you don’t like reading or playing music, don’t let that stop you. Play intellectually stimulating games that sharpen your brain and/or play against other people and sharpen your wit.