I routinely talk and write about balanced nutrition for good health. I was thinking about fitness and wellness yesterday. I don’t think there is a collective ‘balance’ term that encompasses both fitness and wellness.
Fitness usually refers to the ability to do things – functional strength, skills, etc. Wellness covers several areas of our health – mental, physical and emotional. Some will add relational and spiritual – and, maybe one or two other topics.
We don’t hear or see the term balanced wellness. Should we? Can we be physically well and not mentally? Certainly. If we expand the definition of wellness – we could be mentally, physically and emotionally well, but not have relational or spiritual wellness.
If we expand the term fitness a little, then balance might apply there also. You might have the strength to do something a couple of times, but not the endurance to keep doing it for extended periods of time. Some might have endurance, but not the flexibility or hand-eye coordination to compete against other people in that arena.
Is fitness a subsection of wellness? If you are physically well, are you fit? I don’t think it automatically assumes so. I believe both fitness and wellness should be balanced. The same with wellness. You might very well be healthy and not fit.
I’ve always loved the quote of Yogi Berra. “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” This is a good example of balance in both mental and physical. However, I believe our mental health drives our balance and all other aspects of our overall health. Good mental health starts with balanced nutrition daily.
We should know and understand how each subsection (mental, physical, emotional, relational, endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, etc.) of our lifestyle intertwines and supports total health. It might then conclude that we should want, need, desire and expect to achieve balance in all areas of our lives to live a long, healthy and functional life.
However, there is a major disconnect. We can know and understand the totality of health, fitness and wellness, but not actually incorporate those required actions into our daily lives to achieve, support and maintain balanced wellness.