You (and me) often judge a person’s health and level of fitness on their appearance.
If you’re a guy, you may compare your muscular/physical appearance to whom you’ve caught a glimpse of. It’s second nature for a man to size up a potential opponent or threat.
But if you’re a woman, well, I’m not sure what you do when you size up another woman. And I don’t want to get myself in trouble because I’m married and I want to stay married.
Anyhow before this goes any further, here’s a couple of working definitions of the words health and fitness.
Health– is “a state of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. (1)
Fitness– the condition of being physically fit.
However, that doesn’t tell us a whole lot. Dan John describes fitness as the ability to do the task. (2)
Whatever that task maybe.
And that’s different for a professional athlete and for those who aren’t. The athlete relies on his/her fitness for a living. If they can’t get through game or competition, they see less money in their paycheck.
For people like you and me, who are not as genetically gifted, not blowing out your back after a hard day’s work is the very definition of being fit.
It’s different strokes for different folks.
Because an ideal state of health (and fitness) varies from person to person and from day-to- day. Some days you’re ready to take on the gym and smash PR’s and other days your back hurts so bad you can barely move.
And usually being healthy and fit go hand in hand. For example, when you’re healthy, you’re able to move more, which helps improve your fitness.
And when you’re getting fit, you’re getting healthier by dropping excess weight and by improving health makers like blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
However, people can look fit but they’re not healthy and some who don’t appear healthy but can-do things that you and I can only dream of.
For example, I’ve worked with people who have competed in fitness figure competitions, who’ve dropped a lot body fat to make their muscles pop. By out worldly appearances, they look extremely fit.
But the methods it takes them get there isn’t healthy. When you deprive the body of certain nutrients and train the body a certain way to drop body fat, it messes with the hormones and the mind.
However, this is usually for a short period.
Then there are people who are overweight and seemly unhealthy, like this girl.
And yet she can dance. Probably the most physically demanding style of dance. Because she is overweight, some people assume (and I mean me) that she’s not capable of such feats.
Remember being told to not judge a book by its cover?
And let’s jump into the diet world for a moment.
Because when it comes to weight loss, calories are king and as long as you’re in a caloric deficit you’ll lose weight.
However, are people who are dropping weight and eating unhealthily, getting healthy? I imagine there would be arguments on both sides.
Although health and fitness usually go together, there are sometimes differences. People can achieve fitness in ways that are NOT healthy and people can look healthy by doing things that are unhealthy.
Furthermore, there are people who don’t look heathy but are fit. The book cover is deceiving because health and fitness is more than just skin deep.
The best way to achieve lifelong health and fitness is not to go to extremes and stick to the proven methods of eating like an adult (and not like a kid) and regular exercise. Because health and fitness is not a race, it’s for life.