What does it really mean to be “fit”?

IIn our society, there is an emphasis on being “fit”. Some people joke that they are “inappropriate” or “inappropriate” when they feel Shortness of breath after climbing stairs, but this can be perfectly normal and healthy. In magazines and advertisements, we see “fitness” depicted as people with abdominal muscles who regularly go to the gym. But TikTokers Ella Halikas and Laetitia De Carufel . also participatedBeing “fit” and exercising regularly doesn’t necessarily mean you look a certain way.

So, what does it mean to be fit? We asked doctors and personal trainers how they define fitness, specifically, as well as what they find most important than the label.

What does “decent” mean (and what it doesn’t mean)

“If I had to define ‘fitness’ now, I think so Cardiovascular EfficiencyAnd the Enduranceexercise capacity, flexibility and strength, ease of movementAnd the I would also like to remember that there is none of that moral or social obligation of any individual” Maggie Landis, Doctor of Medicine. “And you’ll notice that none of the ‘fitness’ criteria will be clear just by looking at a person’s physical appearance.”

While fitness can be measured in some ways, it’s time to clear our minds of the idea that fitness equates to a certain body type. Catherine Hill, MD, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician, eating disorder expert, and vice president of medical affairs at to equip. “Body size shouldn’t be part of the equation.”

Fitness also looks different for everyone – and being seen as “fit” is not as important as being able to live your life to the full. “Your goal should be for your body to be able to function as effectively and efficiently as possible to support you in work and leisure throughout your life,” he says. Nicole Chapman, personal trainer and creator of the Power of Mum training program. “For example, you might be able to run five miles in under 20 minutes, but if you’re struggling to get your baby in and out of the crib or put shopping away without aches, pains, or lack of strength, then strength training will be More beneficial to your life than stamina?”

Dr. Hill feels similarly. “I like to think of fitness or wellness in terms of: ‘Is this person able to do or enjoy the activities they need to do or enjoy to live a full life? Can they go on a bike ride with their family and mostly keep up with their kids? Do they sleep well most nights and feel good in the morning? Do they have positive and meaningful relationships with friends and family? “

As with anything, it’s all about balance. It is essential to note that overdoing it can be directly harmful to your body. Chapman explains that doing intense exercise without rest days can lead to higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body — which can lead to fatigue, poor sleep, fatigue, anxiety, and more. “So, are you really ‘fit’?” Says.

How to follow fitness in a healthy way

despite of diet culture People often encourage people to overdo it, it’s okay to have fitness goals, enjoy moving your body, and like to be able to get things done easily. So what is the best way to do this?

1. Choose exercises that meet your specific needs

“In practical terms, I think the best way for an individual to pursue ‘fitness’ is to identify aspects of fitness, like the ones I mentioned, that will improve their quality of life,” says Dr. Lands.

For grandparents, this may seem like working on flexibility so they can play on the floor with their grandchildren, she adds, while people who have to walk a lot for work may want to focus on endurance training.

“The deadlift, for example, simulates the motions of lifting and placing objects down, reducing the chance of injuring yourself when carrying shopping or items or picking up socks off the floor,” Chapman says.

You can learn how to do a deadly patch the right way below:

2. Engage in physical activity to feel good, not compulsive

Moving your body can be a wonderful thing – as long as you listen to it, too. “I am a firm believer that physical activity, when done in reasonable amounts and for the right reasons, can positively impact health and fitness,” says Dr. Hill. (Just look at Benefits of walking a hot TikTok girl!) She lists boost in moodIncreased focus, increased energy, improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety, and improved body image are some of these positive effects.

Find how to frame the exercise. Phrases like “I have to” and exercising when you’re hurting or missing other things can be red flags. “Exercise can become compulsiveand there are many people who are considered “fit” by society but spend so much time in the gym that they feel guilty about not exercising and missing out on things like relationships, sleep and general enjoyment of life,” Dr. Hill explains. “This is not fitness, nor wellness. in my book.”

3. Set sustainable goals including rest days

And of course, set realistic and sustainable goals – using SMART method It can help you – so you can stay steady and avoid overburdening yourself. Find an exercise routine that you can do consistently throughout the week and week that fits with your lifestyle and [is] Chapman says. “That could be two 30-minute at-home workouts a week…there’s no point trying to train four to five times a week if that’s not sustainable.”

Finally, let rest days be rest days – without feeling guilty. “I Huge advocate for rest days Training days are just as important,” she adds, explaining that they can help your muscles and central nervous system recover and allow you to perform at your best.

bottom line

In the end, focus on living your best life, not changing what you see in the mirror. And if fitness isn’t valuable to you, that’s okay too! Dr. Lands encourages you to stick to your personal goals, knowing that you are worthy of respect regardless of your fitness level or ability. “The pursuit of fitness, if required, and customized to the individual, has the opportunity to positively influence physical, mental, and emotional health, even if it has no effect on the physical appearance of the body.”

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