So, it’s a universal fact that exercise and a healthy diet are the key’s to improving physical fitness, but what isn’t such a well known fact is that there are actually different sections of fitness and it is not just physical. In actual fact, there are six different sectors of fitness and by achieving all six it is known as ‘Total Fitness’. Here, I’m going to tell you a little about each sector and break it down into some bite-size chunks for your beautiful minds to digest!
1. PHYSICAL FITNESS
We all know what this is, part of every educational system! As we dedicated one hour a week in infant school all the way to high school doing P.E. (physical education). For some, it was the worst hour of the week but for others, it was a fun activity! A chance to get outside in the fresh air and run around whilst being repeatedly hit in the shins with plastic hockey sticks and from time to time, have a very muddy football hit you in the face. So, although this does not seem like any skill-based fitness, it is still exercise.
Physical fitness is sport based, gym based and any general form of physical exercise. Physical Fitness not only aids to enhance the physical appearance but also when you are exercising, your body releases cute little neuropeptides called Endogenous Morphine or Endorphin’s! These little cuties help the body to deal with the transmission of pain whilst giving the body a sense of euphoria and are the same little rascals that are released during sex and even when we eat chocolate! So, even though to some of us, the though of exercise is about as appealing at a hole in the head, it actually does you the world of good physical and mentally.
2. NUTRITIONAL FITNESS
Food glorious food! Such an important part of total fitness because that famous saying “you are what you eat” is as true as the sky is blue! Not only can an incorrect diet prevent you from achieving your physical goals but it can also have a large effect on your moods, your skin, your blood, your heart and generally your entire mind and body can suffer from an incorrect diet. The benefits of a balanced diet with your correct amounts of proteins, good fats, fiber and carbohydrate are fantastic. From my own experience it has helped me loose a considerable amount of weight and I have noticed my once blotchy and red skin is now clear and dominated by my freckles again, my blood disorder has shrunk itself and now is a very minor problem that I mostly forget about and coupled with my regular training program, my mind is so much more focused and relaxed. Eat well to live well!
3. MEDICAL FITNESS
This is looking at your body from a scientific aspect rather than an anatomical point, meaning that it looks more at the quality of health within your organs, bones, muscles etc. In this respect, exercise is used as a remedy to aid those who suffer with long or short-term medical issues as a preventative or rehabilitative format. It also looks at the effects of a person’s habitual lifestyle and what steps could be taken to aid medical fitness. For example; smoking, alcohol intake, nutrition etc. can all affect the body’s organs, thus making physical exercise more complex and difficult with regards to blood flow, the respiratory system and the condition of the lungs. Simply going to see your GP for a checkup will give you a clear view of your medical fitness and you can then begin to alter any areas of regression.
4. MENTAL FITNESS
This is something very few people recognize… From very young ages we are taught about every form of fitness to an extent. P.E. at school (Physical Fitness), Home economics at school (Nutritional Fitness), Falling off a bunk bed at your mates sleep over and breaking your arm (Medical Fitness), Deciding that the kid at play group with the huge collection of Pogs, Pokemon Cards and Beyblades is actually pretty cool (Social Fitness), Or like me for example, following some principles of Buddhism and Dhyana Meditation (Spiritual Fitness). However, no mention of Mental Fitness or anything remotely related to identifying, accepting or dealing with mental health… so it’s not a wonder that its not generally associated to the entire fitness umbrella. Mental Fitness can be accessed by your own knowledge of your current mental state. Talking and communicating is a great contribution to Mental Fitness as well as using regular exercise and good nutrition to aid things like depression and anxiety by giving yourself something to do, a healthy distraction to release some euphoric endorphin’s.
Also, reading books and setting targets for personal development is a fantastic way to promote Mental Fitness. The human brain and the mind thrive on routines as it delivers us with an unrecognizable sense of mundane security. So, setting short term and long term life goals and targets can really help with development of Mental Fitness.
5. SOCIAL FITNESS
Surround your self with good folks! People who are supportive and encouraging of your goals naturally channel good vibes and energy towards you, which you can then radiate towards your progression. This sector also covers your own approach to social situations for example; how you handle confrontational situations, how well you deal with emotions, how you socialize, listen, share ideas and learn from other people and also how diverse you will allow your social circle to be. The long and short of Social Fitness is this ‘Be nice and smile so the world can smile with you’. Positivity is infectious and also contributes to your Mental Fitness.
6. SPIRITUAL FITNESS
This is something I am going to leave quite open for interpretation because spirituality is a very personal thing and also not everybody is a believer in it… But what I will say is this… In my opinion, personal spirituality is the knowledge of your self, the absolute indefinite awareness of your matter, aura, vibe, worth and energy. Understanding your journey and not being consumed by desires or the opinions of other but being in a total content state of knowledgeable awareness of your journey through life.
As I always say:
“You don’t have to fight with your paddles to change the direction of your boat…Sometimes, just leaning and looking in another direction and changing your perspective… is enough to change your course. You will only go where you aspire to float, and you will only float where you dare to explore.“