Being fit involves having a performance based goal. "I want to look or move in a certain way because I have an event or a sporting event coming up in so many months." Maybe it is a life milestone like a wedding or a high school reunion. Maybe it is a personal look that one wants to achieve. These are all good reasons to get fit, move your body, and choose nutritious foods that help you reach the goal. But what then? What about after you have met the goal? Do you have a new goal or a plan B afterwards?
Living our lives so that we perform well and can run away from the tiger in an emergency is wonderful. Long term fitness goals can lead to a healthy existence. We can, however, be fit and not healthy overall. Many bodybuilders eat a very low fat diet or a very low carb diet to the point where they are exhausted and cannot wait until the performance and competition is over so that they can binge. Fit does not necessarily mean healthy overall.
I have worked out with folks that finish the work out and look amazing with their abs and their biceps, but yet step outside to have a cigarette after every workout. Now how healthy is that? In my 31 years of professional modeling, I have worked with models who do not eat barely anything, looked amazing, yet lived on diet cola, cigarettes, and alcohol.
So fit means to me, eating and exercising for great performance.
Healthy means being well balanced in all of the body's systems overall. Blood tests and health markers can prove they are healthy. There are many folks who are generally healthy and don't have time or the will to exercise. There are folks in the construction field or the postal service who exercise for a living. There are servers in restaurants worldwide who walk hours and hours a day carrying heavy trays. Many of the blue collar careers are full of healthy people who aren't fit and they don't perform a sport outside of their daily activities. Entertainers are usually very active.
So healthy and fit don't necessarily mean the same thing. Ideally one is healthy and fit. After a certain age, lots of people get tired of chasing the six pack abs and the competition at the gym. They would rather be healthy than performance oriented. And that is perfectly okay. Ideally, I want to be both. I like pushing the envelope at my age, over 50. I like being pushed at the gym to new personal bests in weight training by my 15 year old. I like inspiring him with my tenacity and endurance, and he likes being inspired by his old mama working out alongside of him. I even teach him new exercises his PE teacher didn't know. My kids motivate me to keep on going because I have to be around for their milestones. I want to keep up with them.
One can be healthy without being fit. And one can be fit without being healthy. What do you think about these terms? I want to hear from you! Please fill out the contact and comment form on my home page.