Health vs Fitness

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We bandy around the words ‘health’ and ‘fitness’ and often consider the two to be synonymous. If you are physically fit, you are healthy. Somehow it seems that activity means being healthy, and inactivity means not being healthy. In actuality, while fitness can certainly contribute to a person’s overall health, it does not mean that the person will be healthy and being healthy does not necessarily mean that you are fit. Fitness and health are not the same thing!

People who are fit are able to carry out physical activities more effectively. Fitness is a measure of physical capability and includes strength, stamina, flexibility, and cardiovascular efficiency. Fitness is almost entirely a result of action. Certainly food and drink can influence fitness, but the main way of increasing fitness is through exercise. Fitness is something which is completely within the control of every person.

Health, on the other hand, is not always in your control. It is defined as a state of complete mental, physical, emotional and social well-being. Health can be affected by many things – food, environment, disease etc. Healthy people are free from disease and infection, but they may or may not be fit as well. Health is complex, and it takes a complete lifestyle, not just an active one, to be healthy.

Now, fitness is an important contribution to good health. It can reduce stress, improve energy levels and decrease depression, among other things. Nutrition, too plays a large role in health as fitness. You can work out as much as you want, but if you are not eating right, you can still be unhealthy. We need to pursue fitness along with healthy activities such as eating healthy foods and exercising your mind.

Being healthy is a combination of everything we do as part of our lifestyle and should include being fit. Let’s all strive to be fit AND healthy!

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BlogClaire Edwards