Many people associate health with just the physical features of a person. If he looks lean and muscular and doesn’t have any visible diseases, then safe to say he’s healthy and fit. What many people fail to understand is that there’s so much more to health. And although we won’t ever debate on the importance of physical fitness, we just want to put our point forward that the significance of spiritual and mental health is often overlooked. Physical fitness partnered with mental and spiritual fitness is the quintessence of a healthy lifestyle. So, with the help of our experts, we’ve curated the ultimate guide on fitness productivity to walk you through the three pillars of health and help you understand how workout can improve these three areas of our health.
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Exercise has tremendous health benefits on the mind, heart, and body. It also plays a starring role in body countering and managing noncommunicable diseases like some types of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular complications.
If you struggle with depression, physical activity may be the only therapy you need to manage those symptoms. What if we told you that if up to 5 million deaths every year could be prevented if the entire global population chose to be more active?
Well, if you are insufficiently active, you have around 20 to 30 percent heightened risks of death than your peers who are efficiently active. You can reduce these risks by modifying your lifestyle to avoid unhealthy habits. In a nutshell, physical activity can improve your overall well-being.
Now, being physically fit doesn't imply that you have to be the ultimate marathoner. Besides, it doesn't mean that you have to perform a specific number of reps every day.
Ideally, the meaning can be different to you as it is to another person based on several variables. For example, an athlete can view physical fitness as a state of feeling good and being able to move around swiftly.
For you, it may mean being able to feel healthy in your body and partake in your day-to-day activities without feeling any pain. Despite the benefits that most people know about staying fit and the campaigns on the same, several people still find attaining their physical fitness goals a significant challenge.
From personal barriers to environmental barriers, there are several things that would come in your way with the goals you are trying to achieve. That is why personalized fitness programs customized by industry experts exist—and that's also where we put all our effort and focus on.
Bodybuilder strength training with weights
Pillars of Physical Fitness Explained
The variation in human capabilities is limitless. Ideally, the external manifestations of being physically fit are superficial in most cases and, in some cases, even temporary.
At Mighty Gyms, we truly believe that being physically fit means the internal processes that can translate to different accomplishments—for example, being bulky as is the case with body sculpting exercises or being stronger as is the case with resistance workouts. Here are the three pillars of physical fitness that ought to define your fitness goals
Many people view the Physical aspect of fitness as hitting the gym, running marathons, engaging in long walks, and dancing among others. To some extent, this is true since the Physical aspect involves engaging different muscles of your body.
The exercises, in this case, don't have to be excessive. Ideally, they can be moderate and geared towards helping you achieve a specific goal. In this regard, here are the five goals you would be aiming to achieve under the Physical pillar of fitness.
Muscular strength loosely translates to your ability to lift or move objects. In physical fitness, muscular strength is measured by the amount of weight you can lift for a short duration and the amount of force you can exert.
Therefore, if you begin a physical fitness program to increase your muscular strength, some of the exercises you can expect your personal trainer to recommend to improve your power and muscular strength include resistance band exercises, weightlifting, climbing hills, and bodyweight exercises, among others.
Body Composition Exercises
Even though genetics play some part in your body composition, there is always something you can do to influence the composition. This best explains why body toning exercises are such a hit among fitness buffs. Now, your body composition is largely impacted by the exercises you engage in and what you eat. If you wish to improve your body composition, you will need to work with a qualified personal trainer to determine whether the goals you want to achieve physically are realistic.
For example, if you want to reduce fat, gain muscle or add some healthy weight, your trainer may recommend enrolling in specific fitness classes or fitness programs to help you stay motivated. You will also need to watch your diet. Some of the exercises your trainer may recommend include burpees, pushups, interval training, squat jumps, and dumbbells, etc.
Cardiovascular exercises are designed to get your heart rate up and maintain it at the ideal levels for extended periods. These exercises can be recommended if you're trying to manage your weight, counter diseases, improve your moods, and even make you live longer, according to some studies.
When incorporating cardiovascular endurance exercises into your physical fitness routine, your PT will primarily focus on exercises you enjoy doing to keep you motivated. Some of the exercises you can find helpful in this case include jumping rope, dancing, power walking, boxing, swimming, hiking, walking, and cycling, among others.
People tend to confuse muscular endurance with muscular strength. Unlike muscular strength, which aims at improving the weight you can lift or the amount of force you can exert, muscular endurance aims at making your muscles to be able to sustain constant contractions against a resistance for long durations. Some of the exercises you can find effective if you're trying to improve your muscular endurance levels include bodyweight squats, pushups, sit-ups, and planks.
Flexibility exercises aim to improve your body posture, mobility, muscle coordination, reducing risks of injuries, etc. You can do flexibility exercises any time of the day. If you fancy or need to do flexibility exercises, some of the common options your PT may recommend include cat stretches, lunges, full leg stretches, etc.
Engaging in regular physical exercises can be beneficial for your mental health. Ideally, it can help improve your sleep and improve your mood to deal with issues like depression, stress, and anxiety more easily.
It will also give you a definite sense of well-being, make you feel more energetic, and, even better, have sharper memories. Studies also point out that people who exercise more frequently feel more positive about their lives and health in general.
In fact, if you were struggling with disorders such as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), being physically active can help improve your symptoms significantly. Did you, however, know that you need stable mental strength to be able to achieve all that?
Exercise takes care of mental health as a pillar of your success to help you achieve your fitness goals. Here are two ways your mental health impacts the productivity of your physical fitness program;
There are exercises that require you to persevere to be able to achieve your ultimate fitness goals. This doesn't imply that you have to go to the extremes but work just within the recommended levels to achieve your fitness goals. Perfect examples of exercises in this category include strength training and muscle building. Now, being mentally tough during the exercises will help you persevere even during challenging phases when exercising. Ideally, your mental strength will ensure that you do not back down in phases that may seem difficult to progress through so you can achieve your goals.
You will not be able to achieve your fitness goals overnight. Ideally, you will need to stay dedicated and even try new things to see improvements. You will need to be mentally strong so you don't give up easily even when you think that the odds are stacked against you. A positive mindset will ensure that you overcome psychological barriers where your body may feel like not being able to go on so you can manage to see even tasks that seem impossible to achieve to the end.
Woman doing her stretches
A good fitness program or workout routine will help you set realistic goals so you don't end up feeling like you can't make it. It will also help you reframe any negative thoughts you could be having and replace them with positive and more realistic thoughts.
Finally, a good fitness program will ensure that you complete at least one difficult task every day. This will help you analyze the boundaries and give yourself challenges on purpose. This will make it easy for you to have the courage to take on new things outside the boundaries.
You may not be aware of this, but spirituality is a core pillar of physical fitness. The spiritual aspect of physical fitness in this case helps develop your health and, most importantly, strengthens your soul.
Spirituality in physical fitness is also pivotal in improving your soul's ability to resist gratification and avoid lower impulses. This helps keep you poised for higher achievements, overcome your weaknesses as well as the temptations and ensure that you make important decisions with higher levels of wisdom and willingness to serve people around you and progress. Workout has tons of spiritual benefits to offer as well. Some of these include
Increased blood flow, and getting our heart rate pumped up can clear our heads and prepare us for meditation.
Improves Intuition and concentration:
When our mind is clear we develop a nonchalant attitude and develop a deeper connection with ourselves and our intuition. Similarly, a clearer mind makes us more aware of our surroundings and nature and helps improve our concentration a great deal.
The mental benefits of exercise such as alleviating anxiety and stress, in turn, act to improve the sense of wellbeing in an individual, and can make a person more positive physically, mentally and emotionally.
There are several workouts with spiritual connections that can help you connect with your inner self to gain the benefits of spiritual training. An excellent physical fitness program should also have them as part of the exercises you can engage in. Yoga is one such exercise that emphasizes the spiritual aspect of fitness.
What to know about Yoga and Spirituality
If you anticipate joining a physical fitness program, yoga is one of the exercises you must have come across. Now, yoga aims to spiritually develop the body to train your mind and body to be fully aware of nature.
Ideally, it helps you cultivate self-regulation, discernment, higher consciousness, and awareness. Other than the spiritual aspect, here are some benefits you can get from yoga that you probably didn't know about.
- Balance, Strength, and Flexibility
The deep breathing and slow movement approach of yoga improves blood flow in your system. It also warms up your muscles and helps you to build strength.
- Back Pain Relief
If you've been struggling with back pain, yoga is one of the exercises that your physiotherapist is most likely to recommend for you. It helps stretch your back to ease the pain and improve your mobility, especially if you're troubled with lower back pain.
- Improving your Heart Health
Regularly practicing yoga can help reduce inflammation in different areas of your body and different stress levels. Yoga can also address excess weight and hypertension, some of the factors which are heavily linked to heart disease.
Woman practicing yoga