A Guide to Holistic Health, Part 2

Welcome back! In part 1 of this series on “holistic health,” we introduced our three main factors. We also looked at what you can do to deal with obstacles in daily life that might prevent you from being able to achieve holistic health. Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at one of the three cornerstones of achieving holistic health: physical fitness.

Being in good shape is one of the key foundations of overall health and wellness. We aren’t talking about competing in CrossFit competitions or dominating your Peloton friends. And we definitely are not prescribing 6-pack abs for everyone. However, from simple acts such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or playing outside with your children to running a fun run with a friend, physical fitness has many levels. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to be in good shape! While it can be difficult to get out and get moving, achieving physical fitness is something that is accessible to almost everyone - all you’ve got to do is get started.

So how do you know if your physical fitness is lagging? Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to tell - when your back aches after standing for long periods of time, you find yourself getting out-of-breath fairly easily during minimal activity, or you feel fatigued a lot of the time. But those are only surface-level; if you want to dig a little deeper, look for a heightened resting heart rate, weight gain, appetite fluctuation, and even disruption of sleep patterns. While some of these can sneak up on you, they can snowball over time.

With that in mind, is it possible to turn it around through physical fitness? The answer is absolutely yes! While some of these side effects may be a result of chronic underlying illness (or one of the other holistic health factors we will talk about in parts 2 and 3), for most people a good exercise routine will fix a good deal of these ailments over time. We began this 3-part series with physical fitness because it helps support the other factors of the “holistic health” triangle: by being more fit, you’ll be motivated to eat better to fuel your exercise (diet), and eating well and working out will improve your mental state and give you confidence and clarity of mind (mental health).  

So how can you start getting fit? There’s a lot of ways to answer that question, but at Caveman, we think the best answer is: to have fun. Think about it - if fitness requires discipline and dedication to see results, how are you going to stick to a routine that isn’t fun at all? Just like we believe that healthy foods need to taste good, the goal of a physical fitness routine isn’t torturing yourself.

So keep that in mind, and do what works for you based on what you enjoy and what your goals are. For example, if you like working out really hard in short bursts, look into boxing or weightlifting. If you have more time and love the satisfaction of long exercise sessions, look into jogging, swimming, or cycling. If you have a dog and want to just do long hikes, great. Oftentimes your physician can even recommend a great option based on your physical condition. In short, there’s a nearly endless amount of ways to get into shape, but what matters most is that you enjoy it - if you can do that, then you’re practically guaranteed to get something out of it.

So, if you want to get in shape - find something you love and run with it as far as you can (pun intended)! Just don’t forget to be smart, be healthy, and make sure you check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. In the next blog, we’ll be discussing dietary health and what you can do to make healthy eating a breeze. Until then, why not enjoy one of our delicious snacks?

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