Darryl Canham writes for Deluxe magazine..

Darryl Canham writes for Deluxe magazine..

An article by Darryl Canham, Head Trainer at Kaizen Fitness, written for Dluxe magazine..

Health or fitness… Ideally both!

There’s always much discussion about what ‘fit’ means, and indeed, if you are fit, are you considered healthy?

Fitness is relative. It’s generally about being fit for function and purpose.
A top flight darts player is able to sustain a 4 day tournament and be at his best round after round. The players on the circuit will do this week in and week out. They are in fact, Fit…
Perhaps not as we generally see ‘Fit’, but they deliver the performance required to hit the board from just under 8 feet away.

The term ‘Fit’ by modern media standards, is mostly based upon visual appearance and aesthetics. Yes, you’ll assume that there are higher levels of physical aptitude, when there is a six pack and some big delts within the equation, yet hitting the gym for an hour every day doesn’t make you a marathon champion! It takes a completely different suite of abilities and fitness markers to be either, yet both are theoretically very fit in the terms of their chosen disciplines.

So, fitness we could see, as our ability to function at a desired level within specified tasks. If that is no more than to head to the office at 8am, complete a day’s work and then head home to relax and watch the TV, and you do that day in and day out, then the good news is You Are Fit! Well done..

As a coach, you work with people who are seeking to achieve higher performance levels in specific areas, it’s always about creating controlled stresses and adaptations to increase ability and develop a competitive advantage, even if that competition is only with yourself, based on last week or last year.. When you set goals and parameters within criteria set down by personal motivations, you are taking control of your own fitness. And thus, the chances of making your own perspective of personal fitness a reality, becomes all the more likely.

So, Health..
A definition by The World Health Organisation States ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
There will be professors around the world that will be able to create huge academic theses and wax lyrical for hours around each of these component explanations. So, let’s try and put it in simplistic terms.
An absence of disease or physical ailments, can be down to good luck sometimes, genetics can play a part, our relationship with food and nutrition and certainly bad lifestyle choices can be responsible for ill physical health. 
Yet we can add influence to the present and certainly the future state of physical health by moderating calorific intake, avoiding excess weight, ensuring regular appropriate exercise, avoiding the things that we know are bad for us and getting ones body to work through all its ranges through gentle exercise. 
There are theories and fads launched every week in the quest to be healthier, most of these are attached to some commercial or corporate gain. So, often it’s a quick fix, that will come and go and not really achieve the impact other than on a short term basis. None of these are a sustained campaign in health.
See a diet differently to dieting. A diet is what you eat each and everyday, made up of the required personal building blocks of nutrition, dieting is a variation of that norm, to effect change. Consistent healthy lifestyle choices naturally will lead to a consistent state of physical health. It’s better to start healthy, than try and achieve it, after the realisation of an ailment or condition. Get the fundamentals right, do them consistently and do them for life. Know what’s bad for you, excess sugar, bad fats, late night binging, excess alcohol and then avoid them!

Also judging by the WHO definition, there is also a mind, body and spirit balance to overall health and well-being. 
In these busy times, take time to be present, find a class or activity that takes you mentally away from the pressures of being you. Yoga is hugely popular these days, not only for its range opening stretches and core strength qualities, but also its meditative nature. De-stressing the mind, will develop a more relaxed physical state, just as a good workout will naturally make you feel more positive and upbeat.. 

Which brings us to Social Well-being. 
Speaking philosophically, a healthy life is a balanced life, you should feel connected to like minded people and communities and engage with life and the world around you. Many believe, herein lies the key to a happy and contented life.

So, there is a distinct difference between Health and Fitness. 
You can be fit and not be healthy. You can be healthy and not as fit as you would like to be for specific activities.
They are however, intrinsically linked and need to be considered in many of our choices to develop, maintain and prolong an active, balanced and contented living state. And it is that state of complete health and fitness that will certainly lead us towards a better quality of life.


Darryl Canham writes for Deluxe magazine.. was posted on Monday 13th June, 2016.

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