Everyone wants to talk about this year is health. Given that there is a global pandemic going on, this is pretty reasonable. But why is talking about health and fitness actually important?
For the last 4 or 5 decades, we have seen a change in the perception of “health” and fitness. Health is increasingly about looks, instead of internal health and fit-ness. Because of this, we get a new diet trend with every season. Every year lists are released for the top fitness gadgets and athletic outfits to help us fulfill our desire to fit in with the fitness crowd.
But again – none of this answers why health and fitness is actually important. Looking like a fitness competitor has no value beyond the aesthetic of the individual. If we look at fitness competitors when they walk on stage, although impressive and a reflection of hard work and dedication – they are exhausted and literally dried out. How does this actually contribute to long term health and fitness? (Hint: it does not).
The current global pandemic is forcing all of us to re-evaluate health and fitness. 94% of the deaths related to COVID-19 are due to comorbidities. A comorbidity is a pre-existing health condition that, when paired with another disease, is likely to cause death. The majority of the comorbidities related to COVID-19 deaths are lifestyle-related illnesses.
Things like high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome are all diseases that put people at a much higher risk of dying from COVID-19. In the united states, 60% of their population is overweight and therefore likely living with metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. In Canada – 64% of us are overweight or obese (2017 date).
This is not meant to shame people for their size or their weight.
There are a number of factors at play here. First of all, we have a ridiculous amount of food available to us. And food science is only getting more sophisticated, meaning that food manufacturers can create food that is more addictive than ever.
There are also more ways than ever to find yourself sitting on your couch all day. Between the plethora of streaming services, to all of the information on our mobile devices, you could get to the end of your day and have barely taken 1000 steps.
Most notably is the increase in stress levels within the general population. Whether it be from work stress, social media stress, or stress from living during a global pandemic, we are inundated with stress every day. It is important to know that one of our oldest brain functions is the drive for pleasure and satisfaction. So when we are stressed and feeling low on pleasure and satisfaction, we seek out things that increase those feelings in our body. Social media, food, and alcohol are all things that increase these feelings.
So we return to the question: Why is Health and Fitness Actually Important?
Why should you get yourself moving every day? Why should you be eating more leafy greens, lean protein, and healthy fats every day? What’s the point of it if they don’t help you look a certain way in a month like those fad diets and extreme workout programs do ??
You need to start prioritizing your health if you are not already. You have to start thinking of your daily physical activity as a “have-to” instead of a should. Although enjoying life and “treating” yourself is a luxury and a privilege of western societyYou need to re-evaluate whether or not you are treating yourself or if you are choosing the quick fix over the healthy foods that will actually serve your health in the long run.
We understand we have a certain level of bias when we say that personal trainers are the best option to help you make health a priority. But we actually chose personal training because of this.
If you don't know, we started as a big-box gym. But after months of seeing clients not make improvements, and showing up less often (if at all) – we switched to personal training. Offering just personal training meant that if someone was going to spend time, energy, and money with us that they would have a system of accountability That would actually get them exercising, eating well, and focusing on their health every day.
Having a personal trainer is like having a personalized encyclopedia of health information.
Your personal trainer lists to your stories, your goals, and your struggles and provides you with all of the information you need to live a full and healthy life. Our trainers help people every day to understand why choosing healthy foods is important. It is not just about telling people to choose the salad over the burger – it is about educating them on why the salad serves their health better than the burger.
Our trainers have helped people lose weight, not so they can look good, but so that their joints move well, and they no longer carry harmful fat on their bodies. For every pound of weight you carry you put 3lbs of pressure on your knees. This means that if you lose 10lbs, you take 30lbs of pressure off of your knees.
Visceral fat, the fat you carry around your middle, is somewhat important as it insulates your vital organs. However, Too much visceral fat is a pre-determining factor for developing cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, and diabetes. Even worse, the fat cells around the middle of the body have 4x the number of receptors for cortisol. Translation: more receptors for stress and therefore greater risk of chronic inflammation.
Understanding this: A body that is fed good food, that is physically challenged every day, and is cared for in terms of stress, sleep, hydration, and exposure to toxins – is a healthy and resilient body. If we had more people taking care of their health – in the longterm, healthy lifestyle-sense – then 64% of our population would not be at a greater risk because of this virus.
This is supposed to shake you a little bit. But we also want you to know that there is a hopeful side to it.
At Free Form Fitness our motto is: realize your full health potential. Potential, in physics, is the amount of energy stored within an object. It is the amount of potential energy an object could release if they are acted on by a force.
In the case of Free Form Fitness that force is education, consistency, and hard work. By working with a personal trainer you are given a personalized encyclopedia on all things health and fitness. We educate you on the food that fuels you. Your personal trainer gives you the exercises, stretches, and rehab work to have your body performing at its best. We are here to help push you and provide that physical challenge that the human body craves. We were designed to adapt. So the more sedentary we are, the less we are asked to adapt and therefore we are living with wasted potential.
Not only do personal trainers support you in the gym, but your trainer also gives you the support to help you make healthy choices every day. You are choosing to work with a personal trainer is already showing us that you want to take care of yourself. So if you listen to your trainer, ask questions, and put their advice into practice, you will be truly realizing your full healthy potential.
We know how good it feels to feel good in your skin.
From better-defined muscles to a flatter stomach, to living pain-free, we understand that focusing on these types of goals is enticing and rewarding. But think about this for a moment: your body is a reflection of how you feed it and how you treat it.
If you take more time to treat your body well – including positive self-talk, stress management, exercise, sleep, and hydration – your body will reflect that extra care. If you make conscious choices every day to feed your body what it really needs – including various protein sources, healthy fats, and lots of colorful fruits, vegetables, and grains – your body will reflect that it is well-nourished and you have the right fuel to take on any task.
Now We Can Answer “Why is Health and Fitness Actually Important?”
Because a healthy body is a resilient body.
Our health as humans is at a critical moment in time. We can either continue on this path of gluttony, sedentary lifestyles, and tipping-point-stress levels, or we can start making real investments into our longterm health. Investing more time into sleep, hydration, and educating yourself on what foods serve your health. Investing more energy into making conscious decisions about exercises and food choices. And investing more money in services that help us manage our stress and make our health our priority.
This is a major cultural shift we are proposing, but it starts with this community. It starts with you. You’re already taking important steps towards prioritizing your health by reading these articles and furthering your self-education. As you incorporate more of these healthy behaviors into your life, you will begin to reflect those healthy choices. Your body will reflect the way you are treating it and the way you are feeding it. This is more contagious than any virus. Lead by example and the rest will follow.
And if you need a little help getting started, we are here to help.
We know the importance of health and fitness
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