What You Need To Know About Holistic Fitness

Fitness trends seem to be a never-ending revolving door. As soon as people get tired of one thing, like P90X or Barre, a new program or approach rolls out that promises to get them the results the last trend didn't deliver. But some of those fitness trends stick around. In rare cases, they branch into something that goes beyond exercise and is better described as a wellness approach.

Holistic fitness is one of these trends. As explained by TAFE, a university in New South Wales, Australia, holistic fitness is a type of training that seeks to help people improve all aspects of their lives, not just their physical strength or endurance. Programs that take a holistic approach do have a physical component, but they also cover things like sleep health, mindfulness, nutrition, mental wellness, and, in some cases, spirituality.

This might sound like too much for some people, while others may feel that the multitude of focuses will weaken the effectiveness of their training. That being said, many find the holistic approach fixes issues they had with other fitness trends when it comes to total wellness. Even the United States Army has found merit in the program.

Holistic fitness is about the whole person

Training for the U.S. Army might seem like the kind of boot camp we see in movies. It often includes aggressive drill sergeants and endless pushups, coupled with miles of running. Those things might still exist, but in 2020, the Army released a full publication outlining its new holistic approach to the health and wellness of its soldiers.

Rather than focusing purely on the physical wellness of a soldier, the program also seeks to teach them proper nutrition while emphasizing their personal needs. Other aspects of the program address mental readiness, sleep practices, a sense of moral and personal foundation, and the ability to work effectively with others.

The program is much more regulated than the average person's holistic fitness approach would be, but it provides a window into the breadth of such training programs. TAFE lists fitness, nutrition, mindset, and mindfulness as aspects that trainers need to incorporate into a holistic program, each with its own focus. Rather than honing in on building muscle or losing weight, holistic fitness is about living a healthier life and making long-term, lasting changes.