Most individuals want to get fit. All of us aspire to be fit enough to say ‘yes’ more often to engaging in these things that can add quality to our lives. But being healthy is more than physical fitness. Emotional fitness, spiritual fitness, and psychological fitness can not be ignored.
Advantages of Physical Fitness
Nobody understands the importance of physical fitness. And you are never too old to exercise. It’s over 2,000 years because Cicero (106-43 BCE) advocated that we ‘take moderate exercise’, and since then we have gymd, jogged, walked, dieted, worshipped at the shrine of bodily attractiveness, and jumped onto the most recent fitness bandwagon. And in later life, we have heeded Ben Franklin’s information about early to bed and early to rise.
As ancient Greek society appreciated physical perfection, we’ve begun to appreciate the multiple advantages of physical fitness. As people search for ways to enhance the quality of their lives, the significance of psychological fitness has become increasingly obvious. Abraham Lincoln made the observation: ‘The face you’ve got at age is the one you’re born with; after thirty-five, it is the face you’ve made’. Since that time, there has been increased awareness of keeping mental energy by keeping your cool.
Research informs us that psychological stress accelerates aging and that we should avoid at all cost being involved in toxic relationships. We will need to be certain that the energy we provide or contribute to a relationship is positive. Taking the time to link to one’s deepest values could be rewarding too. And there is a smorgasbord of techniques to help-prayer, meditation, journal writing, service to others, walking in the hills, watching a sunset.
The best pathway is very likely to be the one which helps a person to find and understand their energy resource. In 1980, Harvard psychologist Charles Alexander taught mind-body methods to eighty-year-old residents of three age-care houses in Boston. Residents chose either a relaxation technique, or meditation, or a set of word games designed to sharpen cognitive abilities. Follow-up tests demonstrated that mediators demonstrated improved learning ability, reduced blood pressure, and improved their mental health.
When he returned to the age-care houses three decades later, Alexander discovered to his surprise that, though one third of the inhabitants had died, one of the mediators the death rate was zero. Mental fitness helps ward-off some of the negative effects associated with aging. But maintaining mental fitness is a vital quality of a high quality lifestyle for all ages.
One of the intriguing features of psychological acuity is that there is not a time when our mind isn’t working for us. Even if we are engaged in a seemingly mindless activity like jogging, singing in the shower, or weeding the garden, the answer to a vexing problem can present itself. The qualitative information to ‘sleep on it’ can prove beneficial; the subconscious often finds a solution. It’s essential for us to realize sustained psychological fitness requires rejuvenation. And this typically happens during periods of free time or time out. And research is showing that through contemplative practices (such as meditation, by way of instance), the brain cells are rejuvenated.