Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Health vs. Fitness

This can be a confusing topic. So many of use strive for "healthy" bodies but what we really mean is a visually fit body. Many of us think if we have a "fit" body, then we are healthy. So what is what, which is which, what is best? I will say that health and fitness are not synonymous.

To get some clarity on the topic, let's define what we are looking at.

Health - a) a state of well-being free from disease. (websters) (obviously a good thing)

              b) a level of functional and/or metabolic efficiency of an organism, often implicitly human. (wiki)

Fitness - a) good physical condition; being in shape or in good condition.

What a vague definition. No wonder there is so much confusion. It seems so abstract... What about...

Fitness - b) Physiological headroom. The distance between the least you can do, and the most you can  do. (re-worded from Arthur DeVany)

That sounds a little more
specific to me. It's what I refer to with my clients- increasing their movement potential to be able to move in all directions.

Health - Freedom from disease
Fitness - Increased movement potential

Which do you want? How about both?

The problem is we think that doing "fit" things are making us healthy. NOT true! Just because you spin, yoga, lift, run or eat shakes and bars does not mean you are or ever will be healthy. As a matter of fact, this could actually make you MORE unhealthy.

You don't have to be healthy to be fit or look fit, but there is a cost. Bypassing health is short lived and not sustainable. I have been there. This is me in my bodybuilding days.

 I was lean on the outside. I was relatively fit, but I was not necessarily healthy. I ate the standard low fat, high protein bodybuilder diet full of bad quality meats (cheap food was best), buffet lines and a vast supply of preservatives and pesticides. I paid for it on the inside. I had elevated liver enzymes, poor skin (bloated) and felt 'heavy' all the time. It was just too much weight for me to carry around. If I would have kept this up I was sure to be diseased. The kicker is, I was drug free. Nothing artificially enchancing. It makes me wonder the health of those that aren't natural or drug free? I can predict fairly well. I know it's not good.

With that in my past I am MUCH healthier and MUCH more fit than ever. My skin is worlds better, I have normal blood check ups and my energy is higher than ever, without the benefit of stimulants. I no longer feel heavy in my body and my movement potential has increased as a result. I didn't realize the recipe was so easy before. Now I work with my body and not against it. Here is what healthy and fit looks like to me-

Food - 
-Eat the highest quality foods I can find.
-Eat according to my biochemistry and not what someone thinks I should be eating. I seem to do best limiting my dairy and grain consumption, eating high quality fats/proteins and eating plenty of fermented and or cooked veggies. That may change, but it's working at the moment.

-I move my body according to my specific goals nearly every day for approx 20-40 minutes.
-I test my exercise most of the time to determine where my body is wanting to lead me.
-I lift heavy on occasion, do sprint work and I love messing around with bodyweight movements.
-I know my limits and work within them.

I rest when I need to. I work smart and efficiently allowing my body to direct my path.

Sounds easy. It takes work but is simple. Consistency is key. Knowing your body a must. Perfection is not the goal, but better is.


1 comment:

  1. Love it man!! I need to really come and see the gym. Peace
    Joshua Cuellas