Wellness and Fitness
What are your fitness needs?
As we go about our busy lives, our fitness needs do not often come to mind. In fact, probably the only thought that is given to our fitness needs relates to the 15 pounds we think we need to lose. But even when we are fairly fit, we have needs that help us to sustain that fitness. Have you ever given thought to what those needs are?
Meditation, an exercise recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles, is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature. Meditation has been shown to relieve stress, and promote overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day, and finding happiness within ourselves.
Your nutritional needs levels are dependent upon your eating habits and whether you use daily supplements of vitamins and minerals in order for you to sustain optimum physical health. Much discussion is centered on this topic right now, because our nation faces obesity problems of epidemic proportions. Our eating habits make up a large portion of our nutritional daily intake. What we consume goes a long way to keeping our bodies fit.
Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfill those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right. We hear nutrition in relation to our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need “nutritional value” from our food choices. But what really is nutrition when applied to our daily bodily functions? Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes. Quite often, our vitamin and mineral needs outweigh our caloric needs. In those instances, we turn to manufactured vitamins and minerals to fill the gap.
Alternative medicine options such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal cures, and holistic medicine are all ways we can help to keep ourselves fit. All of these alternative healing approaches offer ways to incorporate their use into staying fit and healthy. Of the examples given here, chiropractic and acupuncture are becoming more widely accepted as complements to the traditional forms of exercise and nutrition. Herbal cleansing and healing are used by many to provide for ways for body keep itself in a state of fitness and optimal health.What role does exercise play in this process? Well, exercise conditions our body to keep it in optimal shape. To keep muscles functioning correctly and build muscle mass. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories we burn. The more calories we burn, the better our metabolism is at using up the calories we take in through food consumption. Can you begin to see how our body is really a well functioning machine? It’s a continual circle of events, one feeding off the other. When all the events are coming together properly, we are healthy, happy individuals.
What about Fitness Centers?
There are facilities that cater to the young, the old, the male, the female. There are 24 hour facilities, facilities that offer daycare, individualized programs, youth programs, organized classes, and fitness assessments.
It would seem with all these choices, that Americans would not have any problem controlling their weight, their health or their overall wellness. Many fitness centers offer the new client an opportunity for an initial assessment, personalized training plans, and continued consultation services, free with their membership.
If you happen to be a mother, with small children, many of the fitness facilities offer built in daycare facilities. You are free to exercise, while your children play in a supervised and safe setting. If you also happen to feel uncomfortable exercising in mixed company, there are fitness centers that offer men only or women only exercise times.
If not designated times, often they have segregated facilities.
What about Pilates, aerobics and other forms of organized and instructed toning and cardiovascular health? Most fitness facilities have that covered also. Upon joining a gym or center you are usually provided a schedule of classes that are being taught, and the times that they are taught. Then once each month, you will receive a newsletter and calendar that provides updated information about facility changes, class offerings and any other points of interest.
There is just simply no reason that a person could not locate a fitness that suits his or her needs and become a part of the health movement. Cost is usually not an issue, either. Today, many companies offer free memberships for their employees in an effort to cut medical expense and lost time due to sickness and injuries. On the average, a healthy employee costs an employer $1000 dollars less each year, than the coworker who does not participate in health and fitness programs. That simply takes medical costs into consideration. What about lost productivity due to illness or injury?
If you find that your company doesn’t offer such a plan, the monthly expenditure for a membership to the gym, should more than pay for itself in the course of your attaining a level of increased health. You should see a decrease in your medical bills, and over the counter health needs, simply because your body is in a better position to fight off germs and bacteria.
Fitness centers and gyms across this country open each day, to provide persons form all walks of life, a better chance at health; to afford each person the opportunity to work toward overall wellness and a fit and conditioned body. It is up to each individual to take advantage of that opportunity.
How do we evaluate Wellness?
Wellness of the body occurs when all the body processes, physical and mental are functioning as the peak levels. What does it take to achieve a complete body wellness? It requires more than simply taking a trip to the gym, or a walk in the park.
To evaluate our state of wellness, we must establish the goals we achieve through being well. We make our lives more enriched and easier to live. We are able to reap the benefits of well thought out plans of diet and exercise many years into our life, just because we have taken the time to remain well and fit.
Your immune system is a tale tell sign of your state of wellness and one of the real benefits of a healthy, well immune system is the prolonging of the onset of many age-related diseases. Conditions such as macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, strokes, heart attacks, and overall feelings of good health depend upon a healthy immune system.
Our ability to continue in a normal routine many years past the accepted age of retirement is a goal achieved through maintaining a state of wellness. To many older people, their work becomes a genuine source of enjoyment. Work no longer appears as the thief of our free time, it becomes an old friend that we are accustomed to visiting with. It can become a reason to continue to get up and go about our day. Either way, our ability to continue participating is a direct benefit of our state of wellness and continued good health.
In evaluating our wellness goals, and state of being, the mental capacity for continued learning, teaching, and experiencing is a top priority. Mental sharpness comes from continued use of the mind to learn, communicate and think. The benefit of retaining those resources is felt even longer than the benefit of physical wellness.
What about the physical benefits of continued wellness? The peace of mind that comes from knowing your body is in top shape, ready to deal whatever comes along, is a priceless possession. To be able to ascertain that you’ve spent your day wisely, and invested in yourself is a real accomplishment. The benefit seen from adding just 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine are unbelievable. I can attest to the tremendous increase in energy, as a participant in walking for exercise. I lost a total of 74 lbs. in one year, by simply adding walking to may routine. I had been dieting for almost two months, with very little in the way of results. Walking was suggested by my physician, and I’ve never been so impressed. My energy levels were three times what they were prior to beginning the exercise program. Increased energy levels are one of the greatest benefits of a well and fit body.
Continued wellness and evaluation of our level of wellness is a lifetime responsibility.
If we use our resources wisely and educate our selves about the things our body needs to maintain wellness, over the duration of our life, it isn’t a difficult thing to attain. The benefits of continued wellness are reaped will into our later years. Look at it as an investment you make, not of dollars and cents, but of time and education. The return on your investment is as yet unmatched by any prescription available.
Body Mind Fitness Video
There are many words today associated with fitness. Many of those terms are new for readers, and some of the terms are interchangeable between fitness, wellness, and health. So let’s take a minute to explain some of the terms you may see from time to time.
Fitness is defined differently from different sources, but the overall meaning of fitness is our ability to function with vigor and alertness throughout the course of our day to day responsibilities.
Fitness refers to the condition of our physical body and mental fitness would of course be addressing our mental state. Often we will join and participate in fitness centers that provide personal trainers, and stationary fitness equipment. There are numerous pieces of equipment available that perform many different exercises to address specific areas of the body. The best time to learn about this equipment is during the orientation session of the fitness center you have chosen.
Meditation, an exercise recommended for everyone, but especially those of use with hectic, stressful lifestyles, is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature. Meditation has been shown to be an effective method of lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and promoting overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day, and finding happiness within ourselves.
Your nutritional needs refer to the physical supplements of vitamins, minerals and calories needed in order for you to sustain optimum physical health. Much discussion is centered on this topic right now, because our nation faces obesity problems of epidemic proportions.
Alternative therapies refer to the alternative medicine options such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal cures, and holistic medicine. Of the examples given here, chiropractic and acupuncture are becoming more widely accepted as complements to the traditional form of western medicine. Studies are conducted often that support the evidence that chiropractic care and acupuncture are effective forms of medicine.
Herbal cleansing and healing are terms used by many of the natural healers to describe what ingestion of certain herbal combinations can provide for the body in the effort to bring it back to optimal health, or to sustain optimal health.
Exercise covers a lot of ground. There are so many forms of exercise that we can only try to cover some of the more popular and well defined programs. There are aerobic programs that focus on heart rate and your cardio health. There are water aerobics that again focus on your heart health. Weight training and free weights are used for building muscle mass, and sculpting the body. Walking is one of the best exercises available, as it doesn’t jar our bodies, but uses all parts for toning and building heart rate. Running, swimming, jogging, and skiing are all forms of exercise, but not recommended for the novice.
Today fitness is used not only in conjunction with health and wellness, but also fitness of the mind, body, and spirit. There is an ever increasing movement among the health conscious citizens, that fitness should include not only our physical being, but our mental and spiritual fitness.
Legs and Gluts Video
Fitness of the Mind
Our spirituality and meditation practices are the tools we have available to keep our mind as fit as we keep our bodies. The mind is a complicated and versatile machine, but it can become overwhelmed and unable to function correctly, if we don’t take the time to keep it cared for.
Our mind has varying levels of operation, known as brainwaves. As we pass through the different stages of our day, we enter various stages of brain wave activity. The brain uses this tool as one way to allow us time to rest our busy mind, and cope with all the pieces of information we’ve received, a way to kind of “mind file” for the day.
When we don’t give adequate time for these processes, or we simply don’t get enough rest, our mind cannot maintain its state of fitness, just like our bodies aren’t capable of fitness if there is no chance to rest and replenish.
Modern alternative medicine and holistic healers believe in the power of the energy that flows through our bodies; this energy radiates from our mind as well. It is believed to be the chief from of transportation for our body’s nervous system to carry out communication.
Breathing techniques, music, aromas, and candle therapy are all ways we utilize the opportunities to reflect on our day, allow our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. But are these methods keeping us mentally fit? Yes, but they don’t work alone. The absorption of new information, new opportunities to learn, and creative play provide our mind the stimulus it needs in order to stay fit and functioning.
The onset of many age-related mental disorders occurs because we haven’t taken the time to keep our mind youthful, and involved in new learning. Learning new things forces our mind to form new neural pathways. We need those neural pathways for the transmission of information from the body to the mind, or with our ability to form new memories. If we don’t exercise the mind, we lose the fitness.
We must remember over the course of our daily routine, to make time to maintain mental fitness, as we strive to maintain physical fitness. The nice thing about the whole process is that, as we go about accomplishing these tasks, quite often the opportunities for preservation and care are interchangeable. We can help to quite our mind as we take our twenty minute walk. Or we have the opportunity to build muscle strength as we meditate.
Often just the opportunity to listen to music will allow our mind the chance it needs to relax and regroup. It’s not always the most formal of occasions that we find an available chance to reflect and listen to that inner voice. It can be in the middle of the day, with the wind blowing through your hair, and the radio turned up really loud!
Exercise and Play
Quite often, when our children return from afternoon play, they look exhausted, and ready for a nap. That is the most accurate description, and quite the truth. Play is hard work. It is exhausting to the mind and body of the young person, and plays an extremely important role in helping them to become productive, healthy citizens.
The role of exercise and play in a young child’s life provides them with many benefits. Exercise of the body is an important part of keeping the young body fit as it grows into an adult body. When we reach adulthood, if we have had the benefit of exercise and play, we tend to continue that habit into our adult years.
What else is to be gained from the opportunities that play affords? We often participate in organized sports, coordinated play times, and are a member of a large group during all of these activities. Play on this level teaches us how to interact with our peers, develop camaraderie and perform as a team with other players. These skills are absolute necessities in today’s business world. But what else is happening here, during this time of play and exercise?
What we learn in body language, coping skills, and the interaction of the mind and body during our interaction with others, is invaluable. When we learn these skills well, we not only learn how to interact with others, we learn how to interact with our self. Interact with our self? That seems like a pointless exercise, but it is an all important part of maintaining our health and wellness. There are times that our bodies try to tell us things about our physical or mental condition, and we simply refuse to listen. If we have learned how to listen to others around us when they attempt to point out a need or desire, we have a useful tool in listening to ourselves. This often can mean the difference between optimal health, and creating an unhealthy situation.
What else do we learn? We learn what our physical and mental limitations are. During play, you see children and young adolescents push themselves to the very limit. But as children, we are better able to distinguish between a real limit versus what society deems our limits. As a child, or young adult, the pressures of the world do not weigh on us as they do when we are adults. We are better keepers of the temple at ten, than we are at twenty. We are still very in tune to what our body tells us, because it is our true master as a child. As an adult, we have let outside influences master our body and mind, and dominate our time.
As you can see, the benefits to be gained during our exercise and play time as children, is a benefit to us for the remainder of our lives. Too often, we adults forget the importance of exercise and play and the principles that are to be learned from time spent in these activities. We want to rush our children into their daily responsibilities, forgetting that their chief responsibility during the younger years is the play and interaction of young minds.