Being physically and spiritually fit in the constant hustle of the modern day is highly important. Such practices as strength training and calming, relaxing exercises are vital to maintaining a balanced life.  Staying fit allows the body and mind to endure, withstand, and better relax.  However, being fit and spiritually whole are not enough without the upkeep that comes as a necessity with remaining healthy and in good shape.  To keep the mind and the body sound and hale, exercise is one part of a much needed regimen that most anyone can accomplish.

Many individuals think that heavy lifting, mile upon mile of running, or other extreme measures are necessary in order to gain strength. What is often confused is that in order to truly gain strength one must utilize exercises that are capable of building up muscular endurance and muscular strength.  Muscular endurance is the ability to lift less weight over a longer period of time, whereas muscular strength is the ability to lift mass amounts of weight in a very short period.  There are a few different exercises that help to improve both muscular endurance and strength, which are equally important to physical health.

Another misconception concerning health and the appearance of strength is muscle tone, which many perceive to mean that an individual is strong and fit. In truth this is simply the amount of tension that is shown when at rest.  In order to attain the desired level of tone, the balance of exercise and rest must be observed to avoid serious injury and imbalance within the body.

Isometric exercises, in which there is no movement, tend to work the muscles harder and

create great endurance, such as planking, or wall-sits.  Isotonic exercises involve tension and

eccentric contraction throughout the workout and can provide both endurance and strength. A

good examples of such exercises are dumbbell lifts and any other free weight exercise, as tension

is always present throughout the movements.  Isokinetic exercises can also grant endurance and strength through use variable weight and movements performed over a period of time, such as leg lifts.

Just as important as physical wellness however is spiritual wellness and flexibility.  When defined flexibility alludes to the harmony that one finds within their body as well as the meaning behind the manner in which they seek to balance their health and their lives (Knoerzer, 2015). Not only does being more flexible make it easier to move about, but it allows the life force, the chi, the prana, or whatever definition one uses for their internal energy, to flow unencumbered (Wilcox, 2012). Through gaining an active range of motion through exercise and stretching, an individual can attain a better overall feeling of both physical and spiritual health.

When it comes to stretching, ballistic stretching is great for warming up as it takes the body beyond its normal limits, but when used improperly can be considered high risk.  Passive stretching is among the most common methods used, as it involves stretching a limb or set of muscles and holding it for a certain period of time.  Only removed by a small distinction from passive stretching, static stretching involves going to the limit of one’s flexibility and then holding the stretch, rather than remaining comfortable and relaxed. PNF, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, is a means of using both isometric and static stretching techniques to build up strength in joints by using resistance and then working the joint through its new range of motion.  This is quite often used as a rehabilitation technique.

Overall the physical flexibility that can be gained through regular and balanced exercise can help to enhance the spiritual flexibility that allows an individual to feel calm, rested, and in charge of their life.  Physical and spiritual fitness are vital components to any life.  In remaining flexible in body and in spirit an individual attains harmony within their own existence.

References

Knoerzer, A. (2015). Five ways to improve your physical and spiritual flexibility. North Sydney

Yoga. Retrieved from

http://northsydneyyoga.com.au/five-ways-to-improve-your-physical-and-spiritual-flexibility/

Wilcox, J. (2012). Why Flexibility Is Important to Your Health. Mind Body Green.

Retrieved from

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4568/Why-Flexibility-Is-Important-to-Your-Health.html

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