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Embracing Holistic Fitness: A New Perspective on Health and Wellness Part 1

holistic fitness, health and wellness, amy slater

This blog post series has goals of helping to expand your views of fitness and create a renewed excitement, possibly even a craving for exercise AND movement in their own respects!

Part one-the goal is to help you better distinguish the difference between fitness and wellness using long standing principles like Darwin’s natural selection model.

Part two-i​s all about giving you some relief about “fitness” and possibly even reshape your goals about setting your sights on boosting health instead of aiming to become more fit. The goal with exercise will always be to improve quality of life now and later!

Part three–here you will learn how the cognitive domain helps to bolster new confidence in your ability to maintain a consistent exercise program using micro-dosing movement to improve exercise adherence. This is where we add in small bouts of exercise throughout the day strategically. There is a lot of research on this now. Demonstrating the efficacy of VILPA or intermittent bouts of high intensity exercise woven in throughout the day. This strategy is showing to be cardioprotective and improving all cause mortality.

Part four–Now we can learn how incorporating nutrient dense foods like that you find at US Wellness Meats can greatly impact exercise outcomes and help with recovery and regeneration. Using food instead of hundreds of supplements each month can have a much greater health impact!

Part five–NOW we get to put it all into action with your own Seven Movement training sessions. This is where we take all of the information that you learned in parts one through four and give you practical examples of how to implement these points into your life.

Let’s get started – Welcome To Part One

Fitness is defined as the condition of being physically fit and healthy. If we take a biological perspective, fitness can be defined as an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.  Darwin coined the term FITNESS to refer to the organism’s relative ability to survive and produce fertile offspring. Darwin’s theory is based on the mechanism of natural selection. This leads us to expanding “fitness” and moving more towards “wellness”

Wellness is defined as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.  Wellness can also be defined as somewhere between physical health and mental well-being.

So now, if we compare the two: fitness focuses on your physical health, while wellness is a broader term that encapsulates a balance between all types of health, including your physical health.

In the pursuit of health and wellness, the concept of fitness often conjures images of strenuous workouts, restrictive diets, and sculpted physiques. However, a growing movement within the wellness community is challenging this narrowed perception of fitness. Embracing a holistic perspective, advocates suggest that true fitness encompasses not only physical strength but also mental clarity, emotional well-being and spiritual harmony. This holistic approach to fitness is gaining momentum, urging individuals to prioritize a balanced lifestyle that nurtures their whole being.

At its core, holistic fitness acknowledges the interconnectedness of the mind, body and spirit. Rather than viewing each component in isolation, it recognizes that they function synergistically, influencing one another in profound ways.

Let’s look at a real-life example of how you can relate to this concept. Imagine a busy mom, we will call her Mandy, embarking on a body recomposition program. She is 44, frustrated with the weight that she has gained during a very stressful period at work. Mandy has lost control of her nutrition and is struggling to find a way to enjoy eating what she understands as healthy food. Adding to the stress at work, she has two children in middle school and both have early school start times and full activity schedules after school. She has little to no time outside of work to do anything for herself, including exercise. Mandy struggles to get going in the morning, she feels exhausted every day after lunch and her knees and back hurt which has all started in the last year.

If we looked at this from purely a “fitness” perspective…Mandy would need to start following an exercise program and a meal plan with the right balance of macros. This logic sounds good but the implementation of this program in the context of Mandy’s world makes little sense. She cannot change the variables of the stage of life that her children are in and her work responsibilities which would automatically give her more time to exercise. But, if we consider the mind, body and spirit Mandy has many opportunities to improve her health and wellness. A holistic view of fitness also known as wellness would offer Mandy the option of including:

  • mini workouts scattered in throughout the day
  • accumulating more walking and movement in during the whole day
  • learning how exercise improves her circulation and fatigue.
  • education of how to combine foods to help her feel satisfied and energized.
  • give options for more movement while waiting for her kids at sports practice.

If Mandy took on the fat loss only approach and tried to fit those strategies into the context of her very busy world with two kids and a full-time job, her success may be short lived and unsustainable during this season of life.

Physical fitness remains a conerstone of holistic wellness encompassing activities that promote strength, flexibility, endurance and cardiovascular health. However, the emphasis shifts from intense workouts geared solely towards aesthetics to a more mindful and intuitive approach to movement. Rather than fixating on calorie burn or muscle gain, individuals are encouraged to engage in activities that they enjoy and that nourish their bodies. This might include yoga, Pilates, dance, hiking or any form of movement that brings joy and vitality.

Moreover, holistic fitness recognizes the importance of nourishing the body with wholesome nutrition. Rather than adhering to dietary extremes, the focus is on consuming a diverse array of nutrient-rich foods that support overall well-being. By prioritizing whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats individuals can fuel their bodies for optimal performance and vitality.

Emotional and spiritual fitness are both important parts of wellness but beyond the scope of this blog series. Emotional fitness involves cultivating self-awareness, self-compassion and healthy relationships. Nurturing positive emotions helps enhance their overall emotional resilience and well-being. Spiritual fitness is about nourishing their soul and cultivating a deeper sense of meaning in life. 

Ultimately, embracing holistic fitness is about recognizing that true health and wellness extend far beyond the physical body. It requires a holistic approach that honors the intricate interplay of the mind, body and spirit.

In a world that often prioritizes external appearances and quick fixes, embracing holistic fitness offers a refreshing perspective that celebrates the multifaceted nature of human health.

As we move into part two of this series, we can take this foundation of holistic fitness/wellness and apply it to Mandy. Now that you have a different lens through which to view fitness, start thinking about how it could change the intention, commitment, dedication and drive to make exercise a staple part of your world. 


Read more from Amy Slater on the Discover Blog.



Amy Slater

Amy Slater

Amy Slater is a mother of two sets of twins (two boys and two girls) and currently practices as a women’s health coach. Amy has been in the health and fitness field for 22+ years with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, a fellowship in Applied Functional Science, and several advanced certifications. She is currently working toward her NP with an emphasis in Functional Medicine. Keep up with Amy on her Instagram and Facebook, and learn more on her website!

John Sinclair

John Sinclair

John Sinclair has been coaching for over 20 years and his experience with athletes, as an athletic trainer and performance and health engineer, allows for unique and creative strategies and programming insights for IoM.

John lives with his wife Lisa and dogs Jersey and Poppy in sunny south Florida. Follow John on Instagram.