In this episode, we are taking you back to the basics of holistic fitness by providing basic tips for physical fitness, mental fitness, and spiritual fitness. Please Comment, Like, Share, and let us know if you have questions! — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/reach-the-unreachable/message
Today, I want to take you back to the basics in fitness. Sometimes, we look in many places to learn how to get fit, and with so many options out there, it can become overwhelming. So today, I want to streamline the process and make it as simple as possible. I am going to give you some basic tips on physical fitness, mental fitness, and spiritual fitness because that’s what we do here at GFI: holistic fitness for the body, mind, and spirit so you can Reach the Unreachable in your fitness goals!
Let’s start with spiritual fitness and work our way to mental fitness, and then to physical fitness. I’m not going to say that I am saving the best for last, but physical fitness basics is probably the part you are most looking forward to. Am I right? Let’s dive in!
Spiritual fitness is not about religion. Let me make that clear right off the bat! It’s about improving the health of our spirit within. Of course, the Holy Bible is the BEST way to improve your spiritual health, but there is something even more simple than that. Whether you believe it or not, we are spiritual beings. We have a spirit within us that needs to be uplifted in order to be healthy. We can lift our spirits with positive thoughts, positive actions, and positive feedback from others. It is so easy to have a negative attitude, negative thoughts, and negative responses to what other people are doing, especially in the current world that we live in. However, I challenge you today to look at a negative situation and see something positive in it. Take a negative thought and put a positive spin on it. Some people call that looking for a silver lining. Being who I am, it is almost second nature for me to switch something negative into something positive. For example, I hurt my ankle and wwas in a lot of pain, but I thanked God for the pain because it meant I could feel it. Feeling pain means I am still alive. Dead nerve cells cannot feel pain. It hurt to walk, but I was still ABLE to walk. I still had the use of my limbs even though the use had been diminished. I also knew it was a temporary setback, and the COMEBACK is always STRONGER than the setback. The whole thought process that I went through in that situation resulted in my spirits being lifted because I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. I had hope for the future. It helps me to be thankful and grateful even in a situation that is not ideal. The quicker YOU can come to that conclusion, the better your spiritual fitness will be. It takes practice though. There is something to be said for the statement “practice makes perfect.” The more you practice something, the better you will become at it. As you continue to improve, eventually, you can become a master at it. Finding the positive in daily life is very important to our survival in this broken world. Yes, this world is broken, but thankfully, this broken world is not the end of the line. I realize that some people think that once you are dead, you are done. HEAR ME TODAY! That is a LIE from the devil! The world we live in is a TEMPORARY place. Not only are we spiritual beings, but we are eternal beings. We were created to exist forever. Yes, this body will die, but our soul will live forever. The question is, WHERE will your soul live forever? It will be in one place or another. I am not going to get into that now, because that will take me away from the basics. Besides, I think I already did a blog and podcast on that. Perhaps I need to bring it back as a reminder… In the meantime, to sum up the basics of spiritual fitness, positivity is the key to a healthy spirit and improving your spiritual fitness.
Now let’s talk about mental fitness. First, I want to clarify that mental fitness is NOT the same as mental health. Mental health is typically mentioned when there are mental health issues, like depression or anxiety. Mental fitness deals with strengthening the mind and developing mental toughness. If you have good mental fitness, you can improve you chances of NOT developing mental health issues. I mentioned positive thoughts when talking about spiritual fitness. Those same positive thoughts can improve your mental fitness. The three parts of holistic fitness are intertwined. I will explain that a little more once we get to the physical fitness discussion. For now, let’s continue talking about the basics of mental fitness.
Your brain is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, you will lose it. You exercise your brain by learning new things, or studying things you once knew, but may have forgotten. When you exercise your brain, you make it stronger. The same happens with your body. You can exercise you brain by participating in educational activities, like tutoring or informational workshops. There are some games you can play that exercise your brain. If an activity challenges you to THINK, you can use it to exercise your brain. Writing the content for this blog/podcast is exercising my brain. When you exercise your brain, you improve your mental toughness. When you improve your mental toughness, you can lower your risk of developing mental health issues. My favorite scripture is Philippians 4:8 because it reminds me what I need to THINK about and focus on every day. It improves my spiritual fitness AND my mental fitness. To sum up mental fitness, learning is key to exercising your mind. When you stop learning, you stop growing mentally, and you lose the fitness of your mind, which can lead to mental health issues. In case you misssed the connection, your brain is the organ in your head that controls your movements, thoughts, and emotions. Your mind, on the other hand is basically your thought process. When you exercise your brain, your thoughts begin to take shape. In a similar fashion, exercising your muscles will cause your body to take shape. Do you see what I did there?
Finally, let’s talk about the basics of physical fitness. I’m sure that’s what you all have been waiting for! If I could use 3 words to describe physical fitness, it would be exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Some may call that 4 words, but that’s irrelevant! Focus please! Physical fitness, at it’s core, is getting your body into shape. You do that with physical exercise that consists of cardio and strength training. There is also an element of stretching that should follow, to ensure long, lean muscles AND to reduce the risk of injuries that are caused by stiff muscles. Cardio builds endurance, while strength training builds muscles. Cardio burns calories. If you burn more calories than what you consume, you will lose weight. Building muscles will burn fat. Muscles are smaller than fat, but they weigh more than fat. So, as you build muscle, your body will begin to take on a smaller shape, but you may not see a lower weight on the scale. That is perfectly fine, AND it’s the reason why you should only weigh yourself once per week when you are consistently working out with weights or resistance equipment. Your weight is not the only factor, so it should NOT be the only thing you are looking at on your fitness journey.
When talking about getting your body into shape, we MUST look at what we are consuming, or eating. What goes in must come out, right? WRONG! For example, you can drink a lot of water, but if you are also eating foods high in sodium (or salt), your body may start to retain that water, which can result in swollen legs or feet. Essentially, the water went in, but it did not come out, at least not fast enough to keep you healthy. In addition, when you eat a lot of carbs, your body turns it into sugar that can be stored by your body for future energy. Well, if you are not exercising, you are not using up that stored energy, so it is just hanging out and collecting dust, right? Not really. It is hanging out alriight, but it is collectting or producing fat the more you continue to consume it without burning it off through exercise. Are you starting to see how all of this is working together? This is why holistic fitness is so important, because physical fitness, mental fitness, and spiritual fitness work together to create the best version of YOU that you can have.
Think about what mental stress does to your body. Often, when a person is stressed out, they are not eating right, and they are not sleeping enough. Well, we already talked about how proper nutrition is important, but adequate sleep is just as important. Our complex bodies are designed to REST. If you try to go all week on the minimum about of sleep, by day 7, your body will start to shut down and MAKE you get more rest. Have you ever thought about why God rested on the 7th day of creation? It was NOT because HE needed the rest! It was because He wanted us to realize that WE need the rest. God does not slumber or sleep. He does not need to. He is God almighty! Ok, don’t get me started talking about Jesus! We will be here all day AND all night! Another reason why our bodies need proper sleep is because our complex bodies are designed to self-restore while we are sleeping. All of the activities from the day are processed while we sleep. That is why women prefer to weigh themselves first thing in the morning. We truly do weigh less when we wake up after a proper night of sleep. Stay tuned for our blog and podcast on recovery and restoration coming soon. As for now, to sum up the basics of physical fitness, you need proper nutrition going in, proper exercise to help distribute the nutrients throughout your body, and proper sleep for your body to process it all.
I hope this was helpful information. I also want to throw in there that when it comes to proper nutrition, read the labels! We did a blog and podcast on that as well, so I will repost it for your convenience. I also want to encourage you to talk to your primary care physician or nutritionist to find out what foods are best for YOU and YOUR body. Not everyone is the same, so don’t look at what other people are doing to decide what you need to do for yourself. Talk to your doctor. If you are being hones with them, they can help you consume the correct foods in the correct amounts, and during the correct times of day. That is the best place to start on the nutrition piece, and remember that it is all working together for your good.