Health, although it encompasses many components that are related to fitness, is not expressed solely through ones physical capacities and abilities. Health (unlike fitness) considers the total individual, not just aspects. Running long distances, eating the right foods or even meditating many hours a day does not indicate good health. Even the most physically attuned individual could be mentally and/or emotionally unbalanced, a situation that would certainly not form a favorable basis for good health (wholeness). Health, in essence, is a state or condition of physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being that is brought about through the harmonious interplay between man and the things around him.

To improve your health, first view your existing health state from the inside out. Consider how well the body’s internal systems are functioning. Next, consider how you function with or relate to the people and things within your external environments. Finally, consider the quality or degree of your relationship with nature, the universe, the spiritual realm, the creative force or whatever name you choose to give the supreme power that is the basis for all that exists.

Your plan to improve your health (wholeness) should not be simplistic. It should make use of components that are expansive and varied enough to assess your existing health state and determine needs that are important and capable of facilitating improved health. What follows are a number of concepts, principles and tips that possess the potential to enhance your existing state of health.

• Acquaint yourself with the nature and scope of health. Read widely and study those subjects and areas of interest and importance to you. Make use of the internet while keeping in mind that not everything offered there is true and/or correct.

• Do not limit yourself in your choice of health services and resources. Study, research and gain knowledge of those that are new, uncommon, unconventional and even strange. Your goal should always be to seek those services and resources that are safe and beneficial.

• Before proceeding too far with your health improvement efforts, it is important that you assess your existing state of health. There are quite a number of conditions (illnesses) that can be made worse when certain products and food items are used and when certain exercises are attempted. As a general rule, irrespective of your age, if you suffer from any pulmonary, cardiovascular or metabolic disease such as diabetes or diseases of the thyroid, liver or kidneys, you should have a health screening prior to participating in any type of strenuous exercise.

• If at all possible, communicate regularly and openly with your doctor or other health advisors.

• Keep in mind that your degree of health constantly changes. On one hand you have positive degrees of health. On the other, negative degrees. When you allow your state of health to move too far in the negative direction, you become ill. When, on the other hand, your state of health moves in the positive direction, good health is the result. Your task, therefore, is to do those things that will help to maintain your good health.

• Many of our hospitals are overcrowded with men and women, young and old alike, who found it difficult or impossible to cope with stress. We cannot avoid stress, but we can try to understand it so as to keep its negative side effects from causing us harm. It is estimated that 50 percent -or more- of our contemporary diseases are directly or indirectly caused by stress. It goes without saying that any effort made to control daily stress will go a long way towards helping to prevent certain illnesses.

• Whether in the world of sports or everyday living, the ability to move the various parts of the body freely and completely is quite important. Without a reasonable degree of flexibility, the body would perform its movements quite inefficiently. It would also experience much soreness and injury. You should, therefore, not underestimate the significance of flexibility. The Fusion One program offers a wide range of simple, safe and effective flexibility exercises. Many of the seated ones may be done while at home or even at work. Using the Fusion One system, you are able to select and perform exercises from three levels...a low (floor) level, a middle (chair) level and a high (standing) level. Using this system of levels will permit you to select exercises that suit your capabilities.

• Expand your social sphere. Take a health class or two. You may also wish to join a fitness or health club in your neighborhood. Keep in mind though that all clubs are not equal. Choose one that will best satisfy your unique health needs. Be willing to pay a bit more for the high quality service that you deserve, You should also keep in mind that all the wealth in the world will be worthless if you are too sick to use and enjoy it. Spend a bit more for your good health.

For quality fitness and health services, visit the Cultural Center’s Fitness Center at 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte. You may also call the center at 941-625-4175, ext. 263.

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