Health & Fitness Have To Be Holistic: Here’s Why
The quest for perfect health and fitness is not a simple one. If it was, there wouldn’t be a huge industry worth billions worldwide trying to bring solutions to the variety of concerns we have about our bodies.
One of the major reasons that overall wellness is such a problem is because we don’t treat it as overall wellness. Instead, we break down our issues into separate groups, usually along the lines of:
- Weight concerns, primarily wanting to lose weight. Surveys have shown that at any one time, over 50% of women want to lose weight. Whether or not they are actively trying to do so is another story, but that’s still an overwhelming number of people who are fixated on weight loss.
- We know that we should be fit due to the way it can control our health not just in the now, but in the future too. Sometimes weight concerns and fitness are grouped together, but not always.
- Whether it’s for weight loss or just because you’re focused on consuming the right nutrients, diet is an important consideration for many of us.
- Mental health. Depression and anxiety disorders are commonly diagnosed these days, with around one in three people having a direct experience of mental illness. In an ever-busier world, taking care of our mental health needs has become a priority.
- Emotional health. This tends to encompass things like the need for meditation, self-care, and ensuring we’re thriving in life rather than just surviving.
Compartmentalizing Health Is A Problem
A big problem.
Our bodies are a living organism; our very own ecosystem. Like any ecosystem, how one part of the system is doing has a direct impact on how everything else is able to function.
This is why looking at health and fitness as an overwhelming singular entity – rather than splitting it down into groups – is an essential.
If you suffer from depression, then you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. That’s what medication and therapies try to correct. For you, your focus would be on mental health – and that’s fine.
However, the other areas influence your depression too. For example, exercise has been shown to be able to alleviate the symptoms of depression. There are also foods you can eat that can help ease depressive symptoms.
If you were just focusing on mental health, you’d never know about the exercise and food changes you could make that would also help your mental health. This is a fundamental reason why health and fitness should be approached as an overall, holistic concern. You don’t know what you could be missing out on if you choose to focus on one area selectively.
What Happens With Single Focus
If you do just choose to focus on one area, then the chances of success are slim. Let’s investigate another example to learn how focusing on a single area can be ineffective, and potentially even harm your progress.
If you make the decision to lose weight, you can throw yourself into a diet plan, count calories, and all those other activities. However, when you have a bad day at work, you forget all your good motivations and head right for the chocolate. Emotional eating is a real problem – but you wouldn’t know it, because you have only been focusing on losing weight. By not examining issues regarding how your emotions impact your appetite, you’re always going to be at risk of stymying your own progress.
So when you just drill down into a single area, it’s actually an inherently bad thing. The only way you can ever fix or improve your mind and body is by treating them as part of the same system – which, of course, they are: they’re all you.
How To Do It
There are numerous programs such as Thrive by Le-Vel that focus on bringing together all aspects of health. This can be extremely useful if you’re entirely new to holistic methods and need some guidance.
You can also self-manage holistic treatments. Start by taking an issue that you have and then looking for a solution in every one of the categories listed above. You can then tackle whatever your concern is from a multi-pronged stance, giving you far more chance of success.
This might take a little work, especially if you have previously been only focusing in one area. However, it might just be the key you need to finally solve issues that have plagued you for a number of years. So why not do something different, and give the holistic approach a try?