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The Difference Between Fitness and Health

Photo courtesy of DanMaudsley


I know a man who’s in great shape but not very healthy.  He has been racing triathlons for the past number of years and trains hard six days a week for them.  He is arguably in the best shape of his life but he’s sure not healthy.  His crooked low back takes a beating from the pounding of long runs and is bothering him more often than it’s not.  His hips and knees are now degenerating quickly because of muscle imbalance coupled with miles on the bike and road.  His shoulders too, suffer, because swimming hasn’t freed his restrictions and he must compensate for this.  He’s ignored the advice of his trainer and exercises at too high an intensity which puts strains on his heart.  Yes, his fitness is good but his health isn’t.  I think we often get these two mixed up.


Fitness boot camps and triathlons seem to hold a great appeal for a lot of people but if your desire is to be healthy and live long you’d do well to lead an active life at a much lower intensity.  Get your heart rate up and move around, watch little television, eat well and get enough rest.  That, plus a healthy nervous system, is the recipe for health.


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3 Join the Conversation

  1. bestforminc says
    Apr 28, 2013 at 11:16 PM

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    • Dr. Ryan Lees says
      Apr 29, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      I appreciate your encouragement. Thank-you very much.

  2. Dr. Ryan Lees Blog – Do the Opposite says
    May 27, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    [...] to join a fitness boot camp; that simply increases your neurological stress.  Remember, you can be fit but not healthy. Instead, engage in long duration lower intensity physical [...]

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