Are you FIT but unhealthy?

Health and fitness are frequently used as one term but they are different things.  It is very common to be FIT but at the same time not all that healthy!  Lets define the terms:

Fitness – your ability to complete a specific exercise task

Heath – your overall well-being a person’s state of well-being, where all the bodily systems – like digestion, muscles and bones, hormones and immunity – are working as they should.

Here are 5 common signs that your fitness regime is compromising your health.

Sign 1 – Injuries!

You have the kind of injuries that seem to just spring from nowhere.  So there has been no trauma,but you start with discomfort then pain which gets worse.  Often you can have one after another. It is a sign that your musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, tissues) are not working efficiently. They are not healthy!  This is not a normal part of getting older.

Sign #2 – Quantity over quality

You are more concerned with how often and how hard you exercise, rather than considering the quality of your movement.  How you move, so your posture, movement patterns and techniques are key to ensuring a healthy body.  Repeating exercises with poor form does matter as it is wearing down your joints and straining your tissues.  It is setting poor movement patterns as the norm so you will repeat these in everyday movement increasing the problems.  It will lead to discomfort, pain and injury. So more fit but unhealthy!

recovery types

Sign #5 Breathing

You can hear your breath through the day. Or you get breathless walking, yawn frequently, or breathe with your mouth.  Did you know its very common to have a breathing dysfunction?!  All your bodily systems  cannot work efficiently without functional breathing.  The way you breathe also changes the mobility, stability and health of your spine, the central structure of your body.  Breath is also crucial for optimal fitness – without proper breathing your oxygen cannot be efficiently be transmitted to your muscles, causing more fatigue, lactic acid. The heart has to pump harder increasing the intensity of the training and stress response.

Sign #3 – Not enough recovery

You don’t understand different types of recovery which is a fair sign that you are not building adequate rest into your schedule. Rest is absolutely key to health as well as exercise performance.  The body is broken down during exercise and actually strengthens in periods of rest.  You will perform better when you schedule recovery activity in.  Inadequate rest causes stress response in the body which leads to inflammation which is bad news for health.

Sign #4 – Hydration

You don’t drink enough water. 0.033l for every KG of body weight. More with exercise.

Our body is over 70% water and all our cells and bodily processes need water to be efficient. Caffeine is a diuretic – so you lose water.  Also drink other than plain water has to go through digestion before its able to be used by the body.  Water can be absorbed quicker.  If you feel thirsty this is a sign that your body is already dehydrated to some degree.

Why health and fitness

Paying attention to these points will help you find more balance in your health and fitness.  It will change how you feel everyday.  With great health you will have energy everyday, without caffeine, you will sleep well and wake feeling truly rested.  Your body will not ache everyday, it will move with ease and when niggles do arise you will be able to address them before they turn into a bigger problem.  Your immunity will thrive so you rarely get ill with coughs, colds or infections.  This will be evident in your fitness as you achieve more with less effort.

Small changes – BIG impact

Change is best made in small chunks, so make 1 or 2 small changes and let them bed in before you add more.  That way it is easier to sustain and those small changes, each small decision you make everyday they compound up in time to make BIG impacts.

Parinama are an injury rehab, running & sports performance specialist.