Sunday, March 14, 2010

Achieving Balance

I have always been intrigued with the concept of balance. I think the idea of being well rounded is appealing to most people. When it comes to physical fitness, balance is obviously important. I have seen some people with incredible strength, but they have little or no cardiovascular endurance. Others might be conditioned for aerobic activities but have no flexibility. It's hard to be perfectly balanced in every area, and if you are training for a sport specific or preferred activity, you obviously have certain areas you want to emphasize, but you don't want to be deficient in other areas either.

When an athlete is lacking in one area of a sport, it can be an obvious weakness. There are some NBA players who routinely get yanked out towards the end of a close game since they are such poor free-throw shooters that they become a liability to their team. This blog obviously focuses on the Physical aspect of your health but you should also consider the following four areas of development.

Mental-Many people stop reading after high school. Find activities that challenge you and are intellectually stimulating. Learning about new ideas and concepts will help you grow mentally. If you found a topic you know very little about and spent a few minutes studying it each day, you could soon become an expert on that topic.

Social-The ability to interact and work with others is important. Some people are obnoxious, overbearing and rude, while others are withdrawn and extremely introverted. Since we interact with others regularly, it is important that we get along with other people and are comfortable doing so.

Spiritual-This is one of the hardest areas to analyze since you can't just measure it by taking your blood pressure or stepping on a scale. Spiritual health means different thing to different people, but having a spiritual aspect to your life is important. People who ignore this aspect are often unfulfilled.

Financial-Like physical health, this one is a little easier to measure and analyze. Money is not everything, but it gives you options. It is more difficult to maintain good health if you are living in poverty and can't afford proper health care, nutritious food, or don't have free time to participate in healthy activities.

These 5 different areas often overlap and affect one another like the sections of the rim in the photo above. A friend once advised me to "find the one area where you are the furthest behind in your life and that is what you should work on." I challenge you to analyze your life in these different areas and work towards creating better balance; (as if you didn't already have enough things to worry about.) You will have a better quality of life if you focus on body, mind, and spirit, as opposed to just your physical health.

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