Balanced fitness can mean different things to different people. What does it mean? For some, it is working out 3 times a week, eating low-fat food and getting drunk every Saturday night? Or it is walking the dog and doing Weight Watchers diet before the holidays but still having a glass of wine every night.
A healthy balanced life is important for a person’s effectiveness, peace of mind and life. The challenge to this is balancing the things we need to do and what we enjoy. This is a challenging task. A healthy balanced lifestyle can have so many benefits for us. While if we ignore the effects of stress and continue to have an unhealthy lifestyle, we can suffer physical and emotional consequences on our healthy in the long run.
We need to have a whole body approach to our health and wellbeing. It means knowing the 5 health building factors. These are Stress, Hormones, Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle. People have different reactions to the 5 health building factors. For stress, it can mean “Everyone gets stressed, there’s nothing you can do about it!” Some may say that fitness is “I do a lot of cardio, weights give you big muscles, and swimming and running are good for you aren’t they?” For other nutrition is “I know what to eat, I eat a balanced diet, I eat low fat, I don’t eat processed food and count calories.” Lifestyle may be viewed as “I don’t have the time, I have too much on at the moment.”
Balanced Fitness Edinburgh Approach
Health, nutrition and lifestyle overview: Score how good or bad you are. How important is the role of food in your health? Do you focus on the quality of food you eat? What time do you to bed at night? You eat a “balanced” diet but does your body absorb and process a “balanced diet”? Are you immune to viruses and parasites in your body?
Everyone needs to undergo a health assessment to determine if they are healthy or at risk. This includes physical examinations and other procedures to determine if you have health problems. Even if you feel and look well, a health assessment is still helpful, as it is essential for early detection of disease or conditions that may arise in the future. Earlier detection can lead to the process of treatment and control of medical conditions.
When you do an assessment, “test don’t guess.” You should do an assessment on these five factors: stress, hormones, fitness, nutrition and lifestyle. Take note of the good, bad or indifferent when you do an assessment. Strengths and weaknesses are part of balanced fitness. The priority areas you need to focus on are Hormones, Digestion, Detoxification and Immune Systems.
Types of stress – There are three major types of stress. First is Acute stress. It is the most common; typically it is our body’s immediate reaction to a new problem, event or challenge. Acute stress triggers our fight-or-flight response.
Episodic acute stress is another type. We usually experience it when our acute stress becomes frequent. People who suffer from this type of stress are usually short-tempered, anxious and irritable. This also occurs to those have a lot of worries and pessimistic view of things.
The last type is Chronic stress. If you don’t manage acute stress, it eventually increases or lasts longer, eventually becomes chronic stress. This can occur constantly and does not go away easily. It can be rooted from factors like poverty, a dysfunctional family or a bad job. Chronic stress can affect your health and can contribute to several health risks like heart disease, cancer, and suicide.
Hidden causes of stress – Sometimes stress can be caused by the things we don’t usually notice. First is nutrition, too much fast food, caffeine or alcohol can lead to stress. Also, the lack of sleep and exercise are contributing factors to stress.
Peace of mind is also essential when dealing with the cause of stress. If we are connected to text, email and calls for long periods in a day, we are most likely under stress. Criticisms and unrealistic expectations are also hidden causes of stress. Toxic people are also causes of stress, choose the people you want to be with. Immersing with toxic friends can only lead to stress in your life. Having so much mess at home and at work can also cause stress.
Stages of stress
- Alarm – It occurs when we recognize danger or threats in the situation. Our nervous system sends out an emergency to the brain. Then our body coordinates with the different parts to fight or flee from the danger or threats.
- Resistance – If we do not get any relief from the response on the first stage of stress, we will feel a decrease in our energy levels. However, some of us keep on resisting from the danger, this causes us to feel impatient and frustrated. Because of this, we find hard time sleeping and our body also reacts. Changes in our health can be seen because sugar and fats that are stored in our body is released.
- Exhaustion – The final stage, if stress goes beyond the second stage Exhaustion occurs. We will feel too tired and drained. Our drive for work and desires in life decreases. It can also mean the breakdown of our emotions and body.
- Adrenal gland
- Burned in stress
- Digestion, detoxification, and immune system
- Quality of food
- Timing of food
- Quantity of food
- Sleep and Recovery
- Blocking factors
- Physical stress (physiotherapy/ chiropractor/ osteopath)
- Mental/ emotional health
How would you rate your health?
Unhealthy fit – Trains like a lunatic (Crossfit or marathon junkie), nothing fazes you, eat what you want (good or bad), work hard and play hard. Being fit doesn’t mean we are healthy. Too much high-intensity training and excessive consumption of processed carbohydrates can lead to reduced health and impaired performance to people.
Unhealthy – Eats the wrong food, doesn’t do exercise, poor lifestyle choices, several long-term medical symptoms and on medication. Eating snack even though we are not hungry, eating our meals too fast and skipping breakfast can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Healthy and fit – A person who follows a healthy diet and exercises regularly is fit. He or she can manage stress and is emotionally well we can say that he is totally healthy and fit.
Health and fitness go hand-in-hand. There should be a balance between the two factors. A person cannot focus on exercise alone, he or she needs to have a good diet for a sound nutrition. We need to be mentally healthy as well, so stress management is very important. Our habits can affect our health so we need to let go of the bad ones. Lifestyle is also a factor we need to consider for a balanced fitness. If we want balance then we need to improve the different aspects of our life.