The Five Aspects of Fitness - Essay Example

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As the world evolves, new theories erupt and there is reformation in the outlook of people towards life. A very important aspect of living, that is foremost in the minds of people today, is fitness. For decades, experts have preached exercise and diets to people claiming fitness…
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The Five Aspects of Fitness As the world evolves, new theories erupt and there is reformation in the outlook of people towards life. A very important aspect of living, that is foremost in the minds of people today, is fitness. For decades, experts have preached exercise and diets to people claiming fitness. Of late, fitness has broadened as a term and is not just about being physically non-obese, anymore. Contemporary man has adopted the new-age ideas of being completely fit, which includes many realms important for a healthy and happy life. These realms can broadly be categorized as physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social fitness.

The world is very conscious of itself. People want to be looking good, feeling good, doing good and being overall happy. Happiness is the basis of everything. Whatever one does, whether it is earning a million bucks or working for a charity, it is only to satisfy one's inner yearning for happiness. Being happy is a relative term, and poses a different implication for everyone.

Physical fitness is the first and foremost aspect of fitness occupying the lives of the world-conscious people today. Everyone wants to attain a lean and toned body, much like that of the model in the nearest fashion magazine available. Various organizations cash in on this very desperation engulfing the people. Many proclaim medications guaranteed to make one lose weight instantly, while others propogate various techniques involving absurd methods to attain weight loss. Some might even benefit from these, but mostly these means are mare gimmicks. The tried and trusted age-old approach remains exercise and regulation of one's diet. No pain, no gain! And there is absolutely nothing like instant weight loss. As the body adapts to more exercise and low fat diet, it takes up nutrition from the already present fat reserve in the body, thereby depleting that source and attaining loss of weight and inches. However, this only happens over a period of few months. Also, there is a very thin line between being physically fit and being thin (a la weight loss). And very few people are on the right side of this line, owing to fashion consciousness and anorexic models. The stress should be more on being physically fit, feeling good about one's body and eating a diet rich in all the vitamins and minerals required for the proper functioning of the body. A fit body not only inculcates self- confidence, but also ensures a long life.

To be able to live in the world today in harmony with the people around us, is no easy feat. Complications of the world have borne into our lives, resulting in emotional disorders, addictions, depression etc. This is where emotional fitness comes in. An article I read, which summarized it all, went like, "Emotional fitness is the ability to deal with life's challenges in a positive way. It means taking control over your choices and actions, having the inner strength to be who you want to be. Becoming emotionally fit is important, because it enables you to live at peace with yourself and those around you. By becoming emotionally fit, you will be able to resolve conflicts faster and avoid the sand traps of self-condemnation, anger, and resentment." The more we show negative emotions like anger, shame, depression or guilt, the more negative and unhappy our life becomes. To have a positive outlook is very important to maintain the fragile balance of our emotions along with the invariable ups and downs of life.

Ever wondered why as people age, their memory starts declining and they gradually become senile Just as the body ages, so does the brain and this is followed by impairment in its functioning. Hence it is also important to maintain mental fitness. Studies at Duke University, Sweden and National Institute of Aging show that physical and mental decline with age is not inevitable, and can be repressed with correct way of living. The simple concept of "Use it or lose it", applies here just as it is applicable for physical fitness. In a book called Brain Fitness by Monique Le Poncin, founder of the French National Institute for Research on the Prevention of Cerebral Aging, she has devised an exercise regime to help activate and strengthen those areas of the brain, which become decrepit with age. Indulging in hobbies, doing puzzles, memorizing things instead of using memos in daily life chores make sure that you make use of your brain, ensuring mental fitness.

Aside from al these is a higher form of fitness, which involves the spirit and soul. Spiritual fitness ensures that we are not bogged down by our failures and try to learn from each of them. It prepares us for a life of prejudices and unfair means, and makes sure they don't take a toll on us. By believing in a higher power, we rest our worries by "letting go", thus amending things that we can but without feeling bad about things we cannot control. The power of prayer has proved to be immense, not because it reaches out to the God above, but because it instills a sense of peace and content necessary in situations of turmoil. Also, by getting the support of believer's in the same faith, one feels protected and re-ensured. Hence spirituality and faith are also important factors to a good life.

An aspect that remains untouched is people and relationship management. Ability to communicate and negotiate are key ingredients of success. To be able to handle new situations and challenges is in itself a task. Hence social fitness helps maintain a socially balanced life, which is important to be able to handle work and relationships problems well. It includes the spheres of public speaking, assertiveness, initiating and maintaining conversations, stress management, and even relocation adjustments. Social relationships make up a big part of our life, and fluctuations regarding them can have a large bearing on all the other aspects of fitness that we have enumerated, be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Therefore interpersonal functioning skills are mandatory for a happy living.

Unless and until all of these realms are in proper coordination and balance, one cannot live a life devoid of apprehensions and worries. The maintainence of the delicate balance poses quite a challenge and works just like an inflated balloon, which would burst if its inner equilibrium does not match with that of the outer environment.


Redman Warren; Emotional Fitness: The missing link.
Loney Dave; Sweating From Your Eyes
Mental Fitness Tips article in newsletter of Canadian Mental Health Association
Tannen Susan; Mental fitness--exercises for the brain
Le Poncin Monique; Brain Fitness
Barette Karen; Spiritual Fitness Read More
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