Nowadays, the term ‘holistic’ is becoming more and more of a buzz word in the Health & Fitness Industry. It doesn’t mean that to be fit and healthy you need to become a hippy and start to hug trees. ‘Whole’ simply means ‘the sum of all its parts’ and therefore ‘Holistic Health’ means placing emphasis on diet and lifestyle factors as well as your exercise routine. Its not just about your physical health but also mental, emotional and even spiritual well-being.
The human body is a system of subsystems and in order to be truly healthy, look great and feel happy we must address more than just physical fitness. The musculo-skeletal system is just one of many systems that, together, synergistically contribute to overall levels of vitality and the ability to achieve desirable aesthetics.
In order to achieve peak fitness and enjoy robust health, the ‘holistic’ approach attempts to improve all of the sub-systems i.e. it is a more whole, balanced approach that addresses the musculoskeletal, digestive, immune, hormonal, nervous, cardiovascular and the detoxification systems of the body.
The human body adapts and evolves as a direct result of its external and internal environments. More and more diseases such as Type II Diabetes for example are now recognised as being a direct result of your diet and lifestyle. Although your genetics load the gun, its your diet, lifestyle and your environment that pulls the trigger.
Vary and balance your diet; try new foods and try new recipes, eat a wide variety of fresh organic, seasonal vegetables, eat fresh wild-caught fish, organic grass fed red meats and white meats, mix up the colours, eat a variety of fruit, berries, oils, nuts and seeds etc. Balance your proportions of proteins, fats and carbohydrates but also focus on the quality of your food, not just quantities. If weight loss is your goal, specifically balance your blood-sugar levels and balance your hormones i.e. levels of insulin and cortisol
Vary and balance your exercise; do a variety of different exercise programmes, change your routine every 4 weeks, play a variety of sports, don’t do the same thing every time you train. Balance your training by improving stamina, strength, speed and power (work-out) but also look to increase your flexibility, balance, co-ordination and mobility (work-in). Balance your musculoskeletal system by working on and improving your posture. Stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weak ones, optimise your spinal alignment, stabilise your core building a solid foundation first on which to build.
Vary and balance your lifestyle; go to new places, try new activities, meet new people, learn new skills. Work hard but also find time to rest, play and enjoy the things in your life that you love.
Minimise physical and mental-emotional stress - Balance the stuff that stresses your body with stuff that regenerates and repairs your body. As well as training and working hard, learn how to recover correctly. Try some yoga, Tai-Chi and breathing exercises or look into learning how to meditate, being mindful or how to relax and rest your body properly. Sometimes, Less is more !
Variety and overload stimulates the body to adapt, progress and constantly improve. Keep your body guessing and reap the benefits of living a balanced lifestyle. Doing the same things over and over again but expecting different results was Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity !
Balancing your exercise, diet and lifestyle allows you to optimise the energy in every cell, in every organ, in every system of the body which in turn allows you to balance all the systems so that they all work together to optimise the health of the overall system, your body. This state of balance is better known as ‘homeostasis’. In order to achieve homeostasis take the holistic approach for optimal results.