Effective Fitness Integrates Mind, Body and Spirit
- by Ed Morris, MD, PhD
As a physician who started medical school 30 years ago, I was trained to use the body. We all know from our own experience that as humans we are much more than just our bodies. Medicine now recognizes how much our emotions, attitudes and even spiritual well-being affects our physical health. It's interesting that our mental, emotional and spiritual self affects our bodies, and likewise our physical conditioning affects our mental and emotional health.
Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to be one of the best treatments for depression and an excellent way to manage stress in our lives. Strength training with Nautilus or free weights improves our muscles and makes our bones strong, but also gives us a positive self image and improved self esteem.
There are certain exercise methods that are particularly aware of the mind, body and spirit interaction and connection. Yoga and Tai Chi have been practiced for thousands of years. The benefits for the body include improved strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. Tai Chi has been scientifically proven to be an excellent treatment for osteoporosis. It helps prevent falls and fractures, especially in senior populations. Yoga can help control or reduce hypertension and with the focus on breathing techniques and mental concentration it is an excellent method to control stress.
Many cardiac rehabilitation programs routinely include Yoga exercises and methods as a treatment and preventive measure against heart disease. If you haven't tried one of our very popular Yoga or Tai Chi classes, check the schedule and come to one of the beginner classes.
Many people feel uneasy thinking these exercises are too strange or exotic for them. All of our instructors welcome new members, regardless of your age or physical condition. Try one of these classes for your mental and physical health. You will love it!