It is interesting how many layers there are to health and yet, it is often thought of in all-or-nothing terms: you either are or are not healthy. Rarely is anything that cut & dried. This week I had a conversation with a friend about the layers of health and it occurred to me that the topic would make a good blog post.
Most people think of fitness as health but you can be healthy without achieving fitness and you can be fit without the ability to perform. The the CDC, WHO and ACSM are all on the same page in recommending 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week for health. That breaks down to a 30 minute walk 5 days per week for exercise to improve your health.
This improvement can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, symptoms of anxiety & depression to name a few. Will 30 minutes of activity get you fit? To a point. Many tasks will be easier if you move regularly but for overall fitness you'll need to have more specific goals and work a bit harder. Wanna run a marathon, or participate in sports? You'll need to work even harder for performance.
The layers add up! You will first improve your health on your way to fitness and ultimately performance but you can't arrive at one without the other. Like learning a new language, you will learn words before you put them into sentences and have a conversation. What if you don't have fitness or performance goals? You don't have to peel all of the layers to get to the core of the matter. Better health seems like a pretty good reason to move your body, doesn't it?
Something is always better than nothing. Start with ten minutes, take a walk, no fancy apparel or equipment required. Watch a video, try a couple of exercises, no gym membership necessary. It may not seem like much but if you consider your less healthy habits; excessive sitting, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep, they all began with seemingly insignificant choices. Make the choice to start peeling that onion, how deep the layers go is up to you.
WOW: It's a triple play!
Check out the sites mentioned in this blog and explore for great ideas about health and how to implement change.