Did you know?
- Exercising makes you energetic as it releases endorphins into the blood.
- Only 10% of people can succeed in weight loss through diet alone.
Before getting into the importance of physical fitness and wellness, I would like to share an interesting success story that I read at Oxygenmag.com of Ms Wendy who lost weight before 50 years of age from 102 kg to 56 kg.
On her 46th birthday, she was quite fat and didn’t look very fit. She was not happy with the way she was looking. She decided on that day that ‘She will get fit by the time she turns 50.’To start with she started setting small but achievable targets like avoid eating fast food and walking. She realized that at 77kg her weight is getting stuck. To accelerate her weight loss even further, she decided to sign up with a personal trainer and started weight training.
Her fitness goals transformed from mere weight reduction to strength building. Wendy had equipped herself with relevant equipment such as weights, medicine balls, resistance bands and benches at home and did all the gym exercises at home. She reached her goal of 56 kg 2 years before the target. Since then she practiced a healthy lifestyle and continued to work out to maintain her weight.
Apart from Ms Wendy, I have seen so many people cure their health issues by making physical fitness and wellness a part of their life.
So you must be wondering why focusing on physical fitness and wellness is good for you? Here are a few reasons why you should give it a try:
- Anxiety, depression, stress and anger can be relieved easily by exercising. Working on physical fitness can lift our mood.
- You can become physically fit and able with regular exercise. Fitness exercises can help boost stamina, strength and ability to function properly.
- Physical exercises can help improve your heart health which can help you live longer.
- Physical exercise a day can help you keep the doctor away.
If you begin to work on your physical fitness and wellness:
- You will be calm as it helps reduce hypertension (high blood pressure).
- It increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.
- You will be much more active and productive due to enhanced blood circulation to all parts of the body.
- You will never look like a couch potato. You may look fit enough to impress your crush as it helps reduce obesity.
- You will never be made fun of for looking skinny. It helps gain weight for people who are underweight.
- You will be able to perform dance moves or asanas that not many people in your age group can perform as it improves your body’s flexibility. You will become fit and healthy.
After knowing such benefits, would you be interested in taking charge of your physical fitness and wellness?
Are you aware of what ‘physical fitness’ and ‘wellness’ means? How are they important? What’s the difference between physical fitness and wellness?
What do you mean by physical fitness and wellness?
For your better understanding, let’s go one by one and understand both of them in detail.
What do you mean by physical fitness?
Physical fitness is the ability of your body to collaborate with each part, work efficiently to allow you to be healthy and perform daily activities.
Physical fitness consists of 5 components:
- Muscular Strength: The strength that helps you to carry weights and objects.
- Muscular Endurance: The ability of your muscles to be used for specific time intervals.
- Cardiovascular Endurance: The ability of your body to perform exercises that forces the cardiovascular system to work for extended periods of time. This includes exercises like running, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.
- Flexibility: It refers to the agility of the body. A flexible body can move and perform exercises without any discomfort.
- Body fat composition: It refers to how much fat your body consists of. Ideal body fat composition (with respect to total body weight) for men and women should be less than 17% and 24% respectively.
What is wellness?
Global Wellness Institute defines, “Wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health”.
Wellness is multi dimensional. Broadly it can be categorized in 6 different dimensions:
- Emotional: Being aware of your feelings.
- Social: Being social and connecting with people.
- Environmental: Healthy lifestyle that values the relationship between ourselves, our community and our environment
- Physical: It refers to exercise, yoga, sleep, nutrition, etc.
- Spiritual: Searching for a higher purpose of life. It is usually towards peace and tranquility.
- Mental: Refers to using the power of mind to become healthy.
Why is physical fitness important?
Physical fitness helps in:
- Boosting your self confidence.
- Increases tolerance levels for stress.
- Helps you feel calm and relaxed.
- Enables the brain to think faster and more clearly.
- Helps you feel more alert and removes lethargy.
- Saves your money from going to doctors. A fit body falls sick less often and therefore doctors are rarely needed by someone who is fit and healthy.
- Increase your chance of having a long and healthy life.
- Enables you to have a healthy lifestyle.
Why is wellness important?
Working on overall wellness of your health:
- Can help reduce elevated health risks.
- Can help reduce healthcare costs. If you are well you need not see your doctor.
- It helps improve productivity.
- Helps you stay happier.
- Contributes to the overall well-being of the mind, body and soul as it works on overall health.
Difference between physical fitness and wellness
Here are a few points that help us to understand the difference between physical fitness and wellness:
|Refers to the ability to undertake physical activity or the lack of physical illness in the body.||It refers to balancing all health related elements.|
|Enables us to perform daily activities well.||Enables the well-being of our holistic health.|
|Physical fitness is a part of wellness.||Wellness is the super set. It is inclusive of all elements such as physical, emotional, mental, social, environmental, etc.|
|Physical fitness includes working only on aspects of wellness that focus on physical health such as strength, body composition, flexibility etc.||It involves your entire lifestyle and focuses on making your life healthier, happier and joyful.|
I hope that now you are well aware about what wellness and physical fitness means, why they are important and how they are different from each other. As fitness is mostly considered as physical in nature, the difference between fitness and wellness is similar to the difference between physical fitness and wellness.
But what is more critical to understand is how health, fitness and wellness are related to each other and how each of them can contribute to the overall well being of an individual.
Understanding the relationship between health, fitness and wellness
Before understanding the relationship between health, fitness and wellness let us understand what is health and wellness? How are they different from each other?
What is health and wellness?
Health is a state of well being. It could be both physical and mental well being. Good health can be maintained by physical exercise and yoga.
Wellness on the other hand, is a multi dimensional approach to lead a better life. Wellness is a way of living which includes the 6 dimensions that I have mentioned earlier.
Health and wellness are so closely related that if one of them gets affected then the other is also affected. At the end of the day, if you are not in good health, you cannot experience wellness.
What is the difference between health and wellness?
Do you think that health and wellness mean alike? No they are not. Well then, what is the difference between health and wellness?
Here are a few points that I have listed out which will help you understand the difference clearly.
|Heath is a condition or a state of being.||Wellness is a lifestyle. A holistic way of living life.|
|It includes only physical and mental health.||It includes different dimensions such as emotional, social, environmental, spiritual, etc.|
|Health is not conscious. It is an outcome of a long term series of healthy or unhealthy habits. We don’t consciously fall sick. It is a result of our lifestyle habits.||Wellness is conscious. We can control it by being in the present state of being.|
If we try to understand the difference between fitness when it is compared with health, we can figure out the relationship between health, fitness and wellness. We can understand how they differ from each other but still remain closely related.
Let’s figure out the difference between fitness and health.
|Refers to the attributes that people try to achieve to increase their ability to perform a physical activity. For example: If you want to be an athlete and run a marathon, then your fitness level will be defined by the miles you run in a specific time. Similar can be for a weight loss fitness goal.||According to the World Health Organization, ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’|
|Fitness has 5 major components: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and body fat composition.||Health is the super set of fitness. It can be merely divided into 2 categories: physical health and mental health|
|Fitness activities involve a variety of systems that work towards maintaining a certain condition within the body. Example: Building Biceps in a man’s body.||Health involves the overall functioning of all the systems of your body.|
I know many people who get confused with terms like health related fitness. Fitness is a part of health.
What is health related fitness? What are the components of health related fitness?
It is just another term for fitness. It involves activities that are done to improve physical health. The components of health related fitness are the same as the components of physical fitness which has been discussed above.
When it comes to understanding the relationship between health, fitness and wellness we can conclude that wellness is the super set, health is a subset of wellness and fitness is a subset of health. Look at the figure below for a better understanding on health, fitness and wellness.
We’ve had enough of conceptual understanding around health, fitness and wellness.
Are you ready to take action? Do you want to improve your fitness and wellness? Let us first understand how you can go about it.
How to maintain fitness?
Let me share with you how you can get started with your fitness journey:
- Get out of your laziness. Go to the gym. If you are not willing to spend money on the gym then you can workout at home. Here is another article for you to get started when you plan to workout at home.
Tips on maintaining fitness:
- Exercise at home or in the gym.
- Try to join a local sports team if possible.
- Try joining a local community yoga or exercise group.
- You can learn by watching Youtube videos & performing exercises simultaneously.
- Alter your diet based on your fitness goal. For example: if you plan to lose weight then you can consume foods with low carbs. Here is another article for you to learn tips for eating habits and healthy lifestyle.
How to improve health and wellness?
Here are a few tips for you to improve your health and wellness:
- Take 6-8 hours of sleep. Avoid sleeping too late.
- Eat nutritious food. Avoid junk or fast food.
- Sit under the sun for atleast 5 mins a day to get Vitamin D.
- Exercise every day.
- Practice meditation.
- Practice your hobbies atleast once or twice a week.
- Socialize with your family and friends.