The importance of a holistic approach to health and fitness

The importance of a holistic approach to health and fitness

It’s safe to say that ‘health and fitness’ is a topic that attracts countless opinions. However, as professionals become more informed and more research is undertaken, certain ideas are coming to the forefront of the discussion. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘health’ is much more than the absence of disease, it is the incorporation of physical, mental and social well-being. So, rather than focussing solely on exercise, it is vital that individuals look after their body through their lifestyle and eating choices, as well as through attention to their mind and spirit. In light of recent events, it’s also increasingly important that Personal Trainers and Weight Management Consultants are well-versed in areas of both exercise and nutrition to offer their clients the best advice and support in their journey to health and fitness.

Following a national roundtable ordered by Health Minister, Greg Hunt, Australian personal trainers will be ordered to stop dishing out diet advice, and bodybuilding products will also now carry warnings. The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has agreed on two measures to ensure gym-goers are not led astray: including an education program for gyms and personal trainers to make sure they only provide basic healthy eating information and informing gym-goers about the potential risks of supplements. This makes it almost a necessity for PT’s to upskill in the area of Weight Management (Certificate IV in Weight Management – 10576NAT) to round out their knowledge on diets and nutrition. It’s also worth Weight Management consultants considering a course in PT (Certificate III and IV in Fitness – SIS30315 & SIS40215) to better support their clients with safe exercise advice.

Now, here are some basics on why offering a holistic approach to health and fitness, incorporating physical, social and mental wellbeing, is crucial!

1. Physical Wellbeing

A vital aspect of physical wellbeing is nutrition, along with hydration and sleep. Without these, physical exercise is far less effective. A healthy food plan and routine assists the body to regularise its blood sugar levels, increasing the body’s energy output. This makes it easier for the body to move more frequently and for longer periods of time. Approximately seven hours of sleep per night is also necessary to keep energy to a maximum.

The best foods to consume for weight loss and weight maintenance are whole foods. These are foods that are still in the most natural form. Wholefoods help the body to lose and maintain body weight because they let you know when you are full and also keep you fuller for longer (combatting that nasty overeating tick!). Water is essential to assist in the digestion and elimination of these foods. Between two-three litres of water per day is recommended for the average person.

2. Social Wellbeing

Lifestyle choices possess the great ability to influence weight gain and obesity. One obvious, however prevalent factor, is alcohol consumption. Alcohol is exceptionally high in calories (especially the sugary choices) and contains NO nutritional value. It causes sugar cravings and hinders the metabolism of the body’s already-stored fat. Therefore, it is recommended that alcohol consumption is limited and informed alcohol choices are made.

A daily routine that does not allow for positive eating and exercise habits is also another major aspect of social wellbeing. If the body feels over-stressed due to a packed schedule, this may impact weight gain. If this is the case, it’s highly recommended that you reconsider your weekly schedule to incorporate some ‘me’ time for exercise. Even a short walk a day can make a big difference. 

3. Mental Wellbeing

Depression and anxiety forge imbalanced hormones within the body which generally leads to weight gain. Therefore, in a lot of cases, it is important to focus on mental wellbeing before going crazy in the gym and/or drastically altering a food plan.

One of the best ways to improve mental wellbeing is to meditate. This can assist with the concept of ‘mindfulness’ – i.e. enjoying food as you are eating it and being more aware of when you are hungry or full. This also helps to identify why food has possibly been used to take care of emotional needs in the past. Once the mind feels strong, exercise can then be incorporated into a regular routine.

Onfit’s Certificate IV in Weight Management has been developed in consideration of these three pillars of wellbeing. It follows a holistic outlook because at Onfit Training College we believe this is the best and most advanced way to approach personal training and see great results. Even better, why not do both courses? See all course details here.

For more information on the health and fitness sector, or any of our courses, get in touch with Onfit today.