Is There a Link Between Fitness and Spirituality?

24 May, 2020
How are fitness and spirituality related? Well, simply put, they both form part of a healthy lifestyle. Read on to find out more!
 

Is there a link between fitness and spirituality? Well, first of all, it’s good to have a clear idea of what each of these is, before you try to join them together. Once we’ve done that, then we can start to talk about how they might be linked.

According to the National University of La Plata (2014), fitness is an important part of a positive lifestyle and taking care of both your physical and mental health.

On the other hand, spirituality relates to the way you communicate with the universe and yourself, how you establish your peace with the world through various practices and exercises.

Spirituality and fitness

Along your own spiritual journey, you’ll understand that as individuals, we need to fulfill goals to help us grow as people. It also helps us to stay motivated so that we change those things that are bad for us and stick to our chosen path. This is what’s meant by equilibrium.

So, yes, obviously there is a link between fitness and spirituality. The aim of both is to find the right balance to feel good about yourself. They also help you to establish healthy routines, make positive changes, and control your emotions.

If you manage to link fitness and spirituality, what you’ll get is a more holistic perspective on your life. A complete vision that unites both mental health and physical performance. With this, you’ll be able to create new habits that make you feel good and stave off boredom or fatigue.

Types of exercises liked to spirituality

 

According to Jonquiéres (2018), there are several types of exercises that can form part of this holistic vision, but it depends on your personality. For example, they can include yoga, CrossFit, aerobic exercise, and many others.

A woman in the gym giving a thumbs up.

The important thing to achieve the right balance is to combine meditation with an exercise that uses up energy. Some good suggestions are:

  • Running.
  • Squash.
  • Swimming.
  • Skipping.

And to complement this, spiritual exercises could include:

  • Meditation.
  • Yoga.
  • Stretching exercises.
  • Deep breathing.

Benefits of physical activity

The Public University of Navarra (2015) claims that linking fitness and spirituality helps to strengthen bones, joints, and muscles, makes you feel more energetic, increases elasticity, enhances coordination, improves metabolism and circulation, regulates your pulse, and increases the quality of oxygen that reaches the brain.

Furthermore, in terms of mental health, combining physical and spiritual exercises helps to release stress, improves self-control and perseverance, creates new healthy habits, and boosts creativity and self-esteem. It also helps you to identify your objectives and choose the right path to achieve them.

 

It helps address psychological problems

By combining fitness and spirituality, it can reduce the stress that builds up in everyday life. But how does this work?

Being physically active helps the brain produce endorphins, which puts you in a better mood. Then, meditation helps you to relax and reduces cortisol (Carrillo Aguagallo, and Romero Frómeta, 2015).

A woman meditating on her bed.

Columbia University (2014) has published research that suggests that these two activities can play a part in preventing depression. Through meditation, an important connection is established with the cerebral cortex, which influences attention levels and concentration.

Meditation has also been shown to be a useful tool to control anxiety. These exercises allow you to improve your thinking when faced with a crisis. Among other things, meditating can be helpful for staying positive and living in the here and now, without worrying about the future.

Fitness and spirituality, the keys to a healthy life

Joining spirituality and fitness within the framework of a healthy lifestyle will help improve your everyday routines and habits. This, in turn, will help reduce any stress, depression, and anxiety that we can suffer in certain situations.

 

However, it’s important to note that neither is a miracle solution. If you have problems with your physical or mental health, it’s always best to consult with a specialist first.

  • Carrera Hernández. 2015. Beneficios del deporte en la salud. Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  • Carrillo Aguagallo. A y Romero Frómeta. E (2015), Actividades físicas para disminuir el estrés del personal administrativo en Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE,  ISSN: 1390-4671
  • Jonquiéres.G (2018) Fitness espiritual: Ejercicios para estar en forma, 1, ED; Narcea, ISBN 978-8427724082
  • Miller. L, Bansal. R y Wickramartne. P (2014), Neuroanatomical correlates of Religiosity and Spirituality. A study in adults at high and low familiar risk for depression, DOI: 10.100, Recuperado de: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/1792140
  • Rodríguez. A (2014), El fitness es un estilo de vida: Gimnasios y sociabilidad en una perspectiva crítica. VIII Jornadas de Sociología de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. Recuperado de: http://www.memoria.fahce.unlp.edu.ar/trab_eventos/ev.4733/ev.4733.pdf