The Four Fitnesses

image deathtostock photo simoneanne - 1862

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness.
Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.
(Mary Anne Radmacher)

What does health mean to you? To us, it’s more than being full of energy and free from illness. The seven foundations of health include the four fitnesses – physical, mental, spiritual, and financial – as well as love, adventure, and significance.

We live in a time when it’s more important than ever to take personal accountability for our health. Dedicating time, effort, and energy to each of the four fitnesses helps us practice healthy living.

foundations of health | happy living

Physical fitness is often what people focus on, and for good reason. Taking care of our bones, organs, muscles, and physical body is vital to our health. Too many of us spend hours in front of a computer screen, only to finish the day on our couches. So, we recommend taking a moderate, but consistent approach to physical fitness – get moving everyday!

Mental fitness, often referred to as mental health, is another vital piece of the foundation. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 1-in-4 adults in America suffer from a mental disorder each year. Caring for mental health is the first step, but this practice also includes lifelong learning and the pursuit of hobbies.

Spiritual fitness is the connection between our inner self and something greater. It can be faith-based, found through meditation, or observed through science. It is an area of wellness that we sometimes put to the side when our lives get busy with “more pressing” obligations. However, in those busy times, spiritual fitness supports health even more.

Financial fitness includes living in a way that does not exceed our income or put financial strain on our savings. Just like physical fitness, it is a daily practice that requires consistent effort. It’s important to save and make informed investment decisions, and it’s also important to spend the money we earn with happiness and pride.

Happy, healthy living is not a destination or a point to work towards. It’s a practice of choice, discipline, and good habits… that work for you. The four fitnesses, and the foundations of health, provide a framework to pursue healthy living each day. How do you make time for the four fitnesses? Leave us a comment below, and check back for future posts on the three additional foundations: love, adventure and significance.

First image via Death to the Stock Photo

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