Although we usually think of them in separate ways, holistic living and physical fitness have a lot in common. When we talk about physical fitness, we think about a state of health that enables us to perform our daily activities, jobs, or athletic pursuits without restrictions. Holism is defined by the theory that parts of a whole are intimately connected. Holistic living usually focuses on the integration of mind, body, and spirit.
How Holistic Healing and Physical Fitness Are Alike
- Both stress the importance of diet, exercise, and rest.
- Both seek a healthy balance.
- Both value the importance of positive thinking.
- Both like to prevent health problems.
- Both believe in the power of the mind.
How Holistic Healing and Physical Fitness Are Different
- Physical fitness stresses physical health.
- Holistic healing equally emphasizes mind, body, and spirit.
- Physical fitness is associated with equipment, gyms, and sports
- Holistic healing involves spiritual, physical, and mental practices.
- Physical fitness focuses on performance.
- Holistic healing focuses on harmony.
Are They Really As Different As They May Seem?
Are holistic healing and physical fitness that far apart, or do they just use different languages? No holistic practitioner would deny the benefits of physical fitness, and no personal trainer would be likely to argue the importance of a balanced lifestyle.
Research shows, in fact, that physical activity has a strong influence on our mental and physical well-being. It makes us less likely to get chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and dementia, and it is known to be a key component in treating depression and anxiety. Physical exercise also boosts creativity and encourages community, particularly through classes and sports teams. One could even argue that sports help children learn teamwork and cooperation, making them more well-balanced as adults.
Holistic healing recognizes the benefits of physical fitness and the importance of its connection to a comprehensive health plan. It is different from physical fitness in its approach to the mind, body, and spirit as one entity and its belief that anything that affects one aspect will also affect the others. It sees a practice that centers on only the mental or physical realms as being incomplete.
Although the word “holistic” is often used to describe an alternative, complementary, or natural method of healing, a healing treatment could be complementary or natural without being holistic if it fails to focus on the big picture. Some physical fitness centers are taking a more holistic role is promoting synergistic practices proven to enhance performance, just as holistic healers value the importance of a good physical fitness program.