Distinguishing Between Fitness and Health

Distinguishing between fitness, health

Dr. Connie Eckman - Article Author

What if I were to tell you that being fit does not equate to being healthy?

Fitness and Health are not interchangeable. Have you ever heard of a marathoner that collapses suddenly during their run and the collapse is later attributed to sudden cardiac death? Hearing these stories leaves an individual with that sentiment, “What's the point of exercising if it’s going to kill you?”

These tragedies always come as a surprise, as these athletes have been considered to be at the peak of their physical conditioning. There’s usually more to the story than what is reported and one of the most important things to note is that being healthy starts on the inside.

Where fitness is your ability to do a task, health can be considered freedom from physical pain or disease. Everyone has the capability to train to do a task. High volume workouts (45-minute bootcamps, long distance running, biking, hiking) can be done by most, if you invest the time and willpower.

Fitness is measured by completion of these tasks, how quickly each task was completed or how many repetitions were performed. Health, on the other hand, can be measured by your ability to recover from injuries or illness.

How does your body recover from an injury, or even a cold? Are you still complaining about that old high school football injury? Have you had the flu more than once this year? Does a simple cold get you down for days at a time?

I have always been an advocate and active participant of various forms of exercise. I encourage patients on a daily basis to get moving. The point of distinguishing between health and fitness is not to deter you from exercise, but for you to understand that there are far more requirements to making yourself healthy than simply walking or running.

Studies have shown that many runners are pre-diabetic. Can you guess why? For starters, carb loading or those pre-race pasta dinners is not an ideal way to eat. Have you ever been envious of that super skinny friend that eats anything they want and never gains an extra pound?

Being thin doesn’t equate to being healthy either. This, is what is referred to as skinny fat. It’s actually a case of starvation for your body, a state of nutritional deprivation from the important nutrients your body needs.

I remember a scenario where I taught at the community college and had to lug myself and my teaching supplies up the steps. I’d get incredibly frustrated with myself and the fact that my heart rate would increase tremendously by a seemingly simple act.

There I was, thinking to myself, I work out all the time, why can’t I even walk up the stairs without feeling like my heart was going to explode? The answer to that was my nutrition. What I was eating was not feeding the health of my body from the inside.

Remember, I don’t want to discourage anyone from exercise. In fact, it is just the opposite. I want to make sure that people can enjoy the activities they love for as long as they want.

It saddens me when I hear that someone quit their sport of choice because they kept getting hurt or could never recover from an overuse injury that became so bad they had to have surgery.

Perhaps their path could have been changed had they realized the importance of a healthy inside. Being healthy within will allow you to age gracefully and enjoy a great quality of life. Some things in life can’t be controlled, but what you put into your body on a daily basis is indeed up to you.

Stay tuned for next month where we discuss signs that you’re body is likely harboring inflammation and preventing you from being healthy within.

Dr. Connie Eckman is with Albemarle Chiropractic & Locust Health Center. For more tips, follow @drconniesmarket on Facebook and Instagram.


Story Credit: http://www.thesnaponline.com/news/distinguishing-between-fitness-health/article_3423c58a-4245-11e8-a15f-b715311b81cd.html