Health vs. Fitness in The 21st Century
The Health and Fitness Confusion
There exists a lot of confusion around the topics of “health” and “fitness.” Entire billion-dollar industries have emerged that pretend to address this field, but the resulting products, services, expert advice, and strategies have often proven to be counterproductive.
It’s not just that many people have not been helped. It’s that there has actually been an increase in the lack of clarity, an increase in the wasting of resources, and an increase in the number of people who are worse off.
Our fitness professionals aren’t always healthy, and our health professionals certainly aren’t always fit. And this mismatch is evident in their clients and patients.
Let’s see if we can do our small part to help put people on the right track.
The Definitions of Health & Fitness
A good definition of health is “An appropriate, sustainable, and viable balance between the anabolic and catabolic states of the body.” So, not merely an absence of disease or pathology, but a balance between building and tearing down as the organism adapts to its environment.
A good definition of fitness is “A state of suitability for a specific activity or task and the maintenance of excess capacity above and beyond that which is required for that particular purpose.”
Please note well!
- Health is general to the organism as a whole, while fitness is specific to a particular task or purpose.
- Health and fitness do not necessarily move up and down together. It is possible to become healthier and less fit, and it is possible to become more fit and less healthy.
Pursuing Fitness Goals at the Expense of Your Health
This is the most common error that is committed due to a misunderstanding of the above points. Mistakenly believing that increasing your fitness always increases your health, people pursue specific fitness goals and undermine their health in the process.
Some great examples of this are long-distance jogging or aerobics that result in shin splints, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and other assorted overuse injuries. Or someone engaging in Crossfit or other weight lifting regimens that reliably produce injury over time since weights are inherently dangerous.
More fit. But less healthy.
The point can be made even more clearly at the world-class extremes.
- NFL running backs are all super fit. But there’s a reason that the average career is just a few seasons, and they’re not walking so well into their forties and fifties. They were some of the fittest men in the world, but it cost them their health.
- The world’s greatest Strongmen perform incredible feats of strength, and are uniquely fit for their sport. But just look at what happens to them from the beginning of a competition to the end, or from the beginning of their careers to the finish. Tears, pulls, strains, ruptures, and worse—and it’s seemingly unavoidable.
- Professional dancers are some of the fittest performers in the world, yet even a brief peek at their pre and post-show regimens would reveal hours of physical therapy and other recovery modalities to repair the damage that their training and performing causes.
More fit. But less healthy.
This is acceptable in the pursuit of competitive excellence, and the participants are fully aware of the trade-offs. Their goal is not health. Their goal is to win; to be great.
But now think about your average person just looking to improve their health, perhaps through weight loss. They might take up dancing (“Zumba” or “barre” classes or similar), start doing regular aerobics or “cardio,” begin Crossfit or Strongman training, or any number of activities that will make them more fit, but will undermine their health in the process.
Surely there’s a better way.
ARX for Both Health AND Fitness
An injury represents the exact opposite of health, and even one injury is too many.
So the first and most important element of any regimen with the purpose of enhancing your fitness is to do so in a way that reduces your risk of injury as much as possible. It’s akin to the Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm.
This is where ARX enters the picture.
You can maximally improve your fitness because you can maximally stimulate the body’s adaptive responses in the form of increased strength, enhanced muscle development, improved bone density, increased cardiopulmonary function/condition, and all the other benefits of strength training.
But meanwhile, you avoid injury in the process. ARX’s safety features ensure that you retain an appropriate balance between the anabolic and catabolic processes of the body, so you can get as fit as possible without any degradation of your full and robust health.
More fit. No less healthy.
You’re Fitter, Now Let’s Get Healthier Too
No discussion of health and fitness would be complete without some discussion of what we can do to further improve our health now that we’re getting maximally fit using ARX.
ARX stimulates the body’s adaptive responses without injuring you in the process, but a hallmark of good health is the body’s ability to actually produce the adaptive responses that have been stimulated.
Good sleep, proper hydration, and adequate nutrition are the primary building blocks for any health-enhancing regimen. But we have a few other tricks up our sleeves, too.
The following tools, methods, and technologies have proven useful as accompaniments to ARX workouts so you can be fit AND healthy:
- Red and near-infrared light therapy. Great for detoxification, a potent vasodilator to lower blood pressure, builds collagen in the skin, increases cellular charge by building exclusion-zone water in the cytosol, reduces inflammation, enhances wound healing, and an almost endless list of other global benefits.
- Cold water therapy. With thousands of years of track record, immersing your body in cold water has been shown to boost immune strength, enhance longevity, promote fat loss, enhance mitochondrial function, and help regulate autoimmune disorders.
- BrainTap or other biofeedback/entrainment devices. A disordered nervous system cannot efficiently adapt to environmental stimuli. This class of technology promotes a calming parasympathetic state in the body, improves mental clarity, provokes the release of thousands of beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones, and can even help us increase the amount of deep sleep we experience every night.
- Subtle energy devices like The BioCharger. It can be used to enhance energy, focus, recovery, physical performance, sleep, flexibility, and mental health.
All of the above are real, proactive ways of revitalizing the body’s ability to find homeostasis within its environment. Now that’s enhancing your health!
Health & Fitness Without Tradeoffs
Gone are the days when you’d be nursing an injury from an activity you were doing for your health. We’re past that now. We no longer have to put our health at risk for the sake of fitness.
With the proper perspective and tools, the fittest among us can also be the healthiest, and vice versa.
There’s a new way forward, and we’re proud to be part of the solution.
For more information, please visit ARXFit.com and join the community on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.