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Finding Shelter in the Storm: The Undeniable Power of Fitness and Health in a Turbulent World

A woman meditating peacefully after a tough workout, with a world globe softly glowing beside her.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, October 25, 2023, 14:14

As the landscape flits by, streaks of bleak silver against a monotonous grey sky, I sink into my thoughts on today's topic - the importance of fitness and wellness. Outside, the chill of 4°C dass damp, icy fingers against the train windows, condensation tracing abstract patterns. The stark contrast between the cocooned warmth of my seat and the biting cold beyond the pane somehow mirrors my thoughts on the value of maintaining our wellbeing, both physical and mental, in an increasingly turbulent world.

With each rotation of the train wheels, I cannot help but contemplate how a healthy body may be an underappreciated shelter from the world's chaos. Just as this utilitarian locomotive protects me from the elements, a strong body acts as our first line of defence - shielding our souls from countless external influences. Physical fitness isn't solely about enhancing strength or achieving aesthetic goals; it also aids our responses to the various stressors life throws our way. The challenges life presents push us, test our resolve and endurance - not too unlike a rigorous exercise routine. Distance run or weight lifted are often clear indicators of our growth and strength. Yet the resilience we gain from overcoming these physical tests also bleed into our emotional fortitude, strengthening our minds.

Still, one cannot talk about health without considering mental wellbeing. In the complex tapestry of our existence, it's heartening to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between mind and body. While the mind relies on the physical body to interact with the outside world, the body draws from the mind's resilience to push beyond physical boundaries. Unsurprisingly then, as important as exercise is, mental wellness practices like meditation or simply adopting a positive mindset carry significant importance.

Weighty concepts, these, but then again, the world outside feels weighty today too. The pendulum, it seems, is in constant swing - events unfold quickly and intensely. An unexpected news article caught my eye, detailing looming emergency situations that might drastically reshape the fabric of our daily lives. Quite similar to a sudden illness, I suppose, where you're left to navigate the whirlwind and adapt on the fly.

Fitness and health, in times like these, provide much more than a shield. They empower us to cope with changing realities, to confront potential crises with healthy bodies and minds. More than the aesthetic appeal or the bragging rights of a marathon time, it is this armor of resilience and adaptation that makes maintaining our fitness and health crucial.

In our swiftly changing world, these refugee centers, like the rapidly rising heart rate during physical exertion, serve as reminders. The familiar rhythm of everyday life can be altered without warning, and may demand more than our bodies or minds are ready to give. It is through planned and consistent effort in maintaining physical and mental health that we gain the flexibility to withstand unexpected pressures, just like toning a muscle for potential loads it might have to bear.

I glance out of the train window once more, the cold outside seemingly amplified by my introspection. Yet, despite the external cold, I'm warmed by the thought that every effort I put towards my health doesn't just make me stronger, but more prepared. Prepared to deal with the unexpected, to adjust and improvise, to face head-on the unseeable challenges life might unexpectedly throw my way, like an unexpected refugee crisis in Norway.

I suppose, as the train carries me homeward and evening descends, there's a strange comfort in knowing that the power to withstand the storms, the ability to adapt, lies within us. We just need to cultivate it. And perhaps, in doing so, we might navigate the shocks and surprises of life, just like riding this train through a Norwegian winter, safely insulated from the cold. We might just find, even in uncertain times, the strength and stability to proceed. Such is the importance of fitness and health. Not only does it allow us to stand tall, but it also allows us to weather the storm, no matter how fiercely it blows.

Tags: mental wellness health resilience fitness mental health wellness

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