Health isn’t just about body. It’s the optimal state for a whole person: Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. Balance YOU for whole body health.
I officially proclaim myself a runner. I have been active my entire life. I have always had this insatiable need to expend energy and to run as fast as I could or jump as high as the sky or flip aimlessly through the air to attempt the perfect cartwheel. As a teenager, I turned to playing team basketball or any pick-up game I could get my hands on. I always had this competitive, athletic nature that was busting at the seams to let loose. When I moved into my twenties and thirties, I dove headfirst into weight training, figure competitions, dancing, yoga, Pilates, and running. As an athletic woman with a drive for ultimate health and well-being, I had always searched for ways to better my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, sometimes trading one for the other. Sometimes losing myself along the way.
As I professionally gravitated towards the world of fitness and health, I realized that having optimal whole-person health is not so cut and dry. Here is what I mean:
Physical health affects mental health which affects emotional health which affects nutritional health which affects physical health which affects emotional health which affects spiritual health. On and on the cycle goes.
To find one activity that completes you and balances all the vital areas of health can be challenging. Even though I cross train in many disciplines to balance out my physical body and my spirit, running is the one discipline that satisfies me on multiple levels.
Running conditions my nervous system, increases my strength, improves my cardiovascular and pulmonary health, and forces me to work on my flexibility.
It trains me to push through challenges, overcome obstacles, and encourages me to believe in my capabilities.
Running releases tension and anxiety, decreases symptoms of depression, and stabilizes my mood.
It connects me to the environment, grounds me, frees my spirit, and connects me to a power much greater than myself.
This realization and personal discovery is profound. When I look around at my clients, friends, and family, I realize that so many individuals isolate themselves away from what feeds their entire being—what frees their spirit and, ultimately, enhances every other aspect of their lives. Engaging in an activity that you love to do will create an internal platform for more positivity, creativity, and productivity. Maybe for you, it is running or biking or weight-lifting. Maybe it is cooking or drawing or playing music. Whatever it is, the more you envelop yourself in your activity, assuming that it brings you true happiness, the more your commitment, courage, vitality, energy, and positivity carry over into other aspects of your life.
Even though healthy eating habits, regular exercise, hormone stabilization, healthy sleep habits, mental and emotional stability, increasing spirituality and inner grounding, and lowering inflammation are all vital for staying strong on the almighty quest for "whole person" health, it is the satisfaction and love for the activity that will either make or break any other efforts made.How can you find the activity that motivates you to be a better person? There are a few questions that you can ask yourself:
- Do you get excited when thinking about the activity?
- Do you carve time out regularly to make your activity fit into your schedule?
- Do you feel a sense of satisfaction and release during and after the activity?
- Does the activity make you feel better about yourself and who you are becoming?
- Is it healthy for your body, mind, and soul?
- Does it challenge you and can you grow because of it?
If you can answer yes to the majority of these questions, then you may have discovered a passion that can fulfill you and take your whole-person health to the next level. And, after you declare your passion, engage in it. Engage in it often, and make it a priority. Schedule the activity like you would schedule any other appointment on your calendar. Make a ritual out of it so it continuously has a chance to feed your body, mind, and soul. With repetition of healthy changes, we become more fulfilled and transformed.
So, get active and live life. Take chances and try something fresh and new. Experiment and listen to what your body is telling you. Engage in what fulfills your soul. Then, run as hard as you can. Jump as high as the sky. Cook until your palate is gleaming with delight. Sing as loud as you wish. Be free and declare yourself . . .
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