Weightlifters and bodybuilders spend a lot of time pumping iron, but physical fitness is just one of six dominoes when it come to balancing wellness. A fitness buff looks odd if her biceps and triceps are out of balance, but many weightlifters fail to keep their bodies, hearts and souls in balance. When too much time and preference is given to one area of wellness, another area may fall, taking all the other dominoes down with it, too.

1. Physical Fitness: Your body's strength and endurance

2. Emotional Fitness: The health of your emotions

3. Spiritual Fitness: Your soul's connection to a bigger power

4. Environmental Fitness: How you treat the world around you

5. Mental Fitness: Your IQ, how logical and reasonable you are

6. Social Fitness: Your relationships with others

Balancing those six dimensions of wellness should be a lifelong goal. How you order that list reflects your priorities. A preacher might put spiritual fitness first and have a very weak body and heart disease, while a professional body builder is in excellent physical shape but is the typical dumb jock who has no life outside the gym.

A Good Example of Balancing Wellness...

Imagine a hiker who loves to be in the outdoors. The hiker (exercise/physical) feels connected to something greater than himself (soul/creation/spirit) when he is outdoors, and he always respects nature when he is on the trails (environmental). He often takes friends with him (social) or brings a book to read (mental) while he stops to rest and eat a nutritious snack (more physical health).

A Bad Example of Balancing Wellness...

Give one area too much focus or too little focus, and the dominoes start to topple. Take a reclusive doctorate student for example. He is very smart, spending all of his time studying and doing research (mental), but he never finds time to go to the gym on campus (physical) where he would perhaps make friends (social). He lives on junk food and his home is a mess (environmental) of wrappers and dirty dishes. He's not sure what he believes because science is his god (spiritual).

What Happens When You Aren't Balancing Wellness...

if you don't care about your own physical body, chances are you won't care about taking care of others. If you care too much about others, you might not take time for yourself. If you lack a good social network, your mental and emotional faculties will also start to suffer when you go through a hard phase in your life and you have no one to lean on but yourself. And why exercise when you have no friends to compliment or care about how you look?

If you ignore your need for mental stimulation, you lose brain connections and you miss out on current research that tells you about the earth around you. If you have a hole where your soul should be, you may try to make up for that thirst in substance abuse, codependent relationships, or working too much to stay busy. It's a viscious circle of dominoes when you aren't balancing wellness, but it is a life-giving circle of impact when you are balancing wellness.

Your strength, mind and heart are all connected. How you view yourself is connected to how you view the world you live in, the spiritual world around us, and the humans who walk this world with you. Knock one domino over, and the rest will tumble if they are weakened, too. So spend a little time on each domino every day: Exercise, read, meditate and pray, re-use and recycle, and always take time to laugh and talk with friends about what you are going through.

Don't just surround yourself with weight equipment, or books, or friends. Surround yourself with all of them, balancing wellness with love and support, accountability and help. Then one day, if one of your dominoes should weaken - start to shake, start to topple - the others might just be able to stand strong and catch it, holding you upright.

Author's Bio: 

Bethany is the owner and founder of Fit2B Studio, your online portal to pilates and yoga from hom. Bethany has been a certified fitness instructor through AFAA for 14 years, and she has a degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Oregon State University. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two and loves writing and editing, because it enables her to stay home with her children. Get to know her more by visiting her blog www.fit2bmama.blogspot.com or her online Pilates & Yoga Studio at www.fit2b.us where you can actually workout with her!