Health is what we put into our bodies and how we live; fitness is what we do with our bodies through physical activity!
Let me explain further…..
When someone says “healthy” they should be referring to a person’s quality of nutrition - how their vital signs look, how balanced and normal their blood is, how they typically feel on a regular basis and so on. You can be a healthy couch potato, minus the chips of course. Health is derived by eating high quality, nutritious foods given to us by Mother Nature. As we feed our bodies a variety of high quality natural foods, our bodies will reward us with good health, very few illnesses if any, and a long life barring any genetic issues or injuries.
Fitness is our ability to run, lift weights, perform well in sports, etc. Fitness is derived from a high level of physical activity. This can be achieved by doing repetitive sports or workouts, lifting weights, yoga, and many other forms of regular exercise. The body has an amazing ability to increase endurance and increase its ability to perform at higher levels as you regularly do the sport or activity. Fitness may also be defined by our tone and physique.
So what does this all mean to you? You see a person at the gym and think “WOW that person is fit!” but they could have underlying issues with their health. I personally know many people who are very active and strong, but have very poor health. You could meet a person who can’t run a mile, but they can be very healthy on the inside and out. We tend to think of becoming healthy by working out. I say not so fast…..you really should be striving to have both!
By making changes in your diet you can make the fitness part easier and more rewarding. With proper fuel for the body - your workouts can become easier, you will experience faster recovery, and your level of endurance will quickly improve. I tend to recommend to folks that they must make changes in both areas of life.
I run across people all the time that want to lose weight and the only thing they change is their activity level. I think going to the gym or out for a run is great, and I hope it leads to other changes, but it will not make you healthier. Once you understand these principles then you can make more informed decision.
My own story reveals how I was able to make a lot of changes over the course of a year – both in my own health and physical endurance. Balancing both sides of the equation made my own journey enjoyable and injury free!