Balanced, or holistic, health and fitness is aimed at improving the overall health and fitness of the entire individual: body, mind, and spirit. The reason this is important is many people try to improve one area at the expense of all the others. For example, a person bent on losing weight may choose a diet regimen that damages their kidneys, liver, or heart. In this particular case, the goal may be achieved but overall health and fitness is not.
The concept of balance is an important one, especially in the area of health and fitness. Why? Because so much information out there is one-sided, incomplete, biased, or just flat wrong. One example are the countless medical studies that focus on only one area of the body or only on one organ.
I saw a scientific study once that talked about the beneficial health effects of drinking wine on the heart. Of course, it was immediately adopted by the wine industry and you started seeing all kinds of ads claiming that drinking wine was “heart healthy.” Yes, it is true that grapes (and therefore the wine) contain antioxidants that support a healthy heart but this is only half the story. No mention was ever made of the bad effects that the alcohol content has on the rest of your body.
By necessity, all medical studies take one area of the body and study it in isolation. However, that’s not the way things work in reality. What may be good for your heart may be killing your kidneys, or some other part of your body. This is exactly why all of the drugs on the market have pages and pages of side-effect warnings.
The message from this should be pretty clear. Look for and choose health products and programs that take the health and fitness of your entire body into consideration. Look for and choose health products and programs that are balanced.