What do ‘fit’ and ‘in shape’ really mean?
Many people use the terms ‘fit’ and ‘in shape’ interchangeably. However, the connotations behind these words are different. Being ‘in shape’ inherently makes people consider the exterior features of the person. On the contrary, there are many people who are very fit, but maybe don’t look like a model or body builder.
Pictured to the right are two olympic gold medalists, Ashton Eaton and Michelle Carter. Ashton has been dubbed by many to be the fittest man in the world, and few can argue against this. He is a two time gold medalist in the olympic decathlon and definitely has the ‘shape’ of an elite athlete. You may notice Michelle Carter looks a bit different. She is a gold medal shot putter who also suffers from a thyroid dysfunction. Most people who see her on the street would probably not define her as ‘in shape.’ However, she is still a strong and fit athlete who can outthrow Eaton by almost two meters.
Both Ashton and Michelle are at the pinnacle of their respective sports and both are great examples and models for what many of us should strive for in our own goals for healthy living. Being in shape and having bulging muscles and low body fat is great, but being fit and having good strength and endurance, as well as a healthy diet is just as, if not more, important.
How does this apply to physical therapy?
The biggest goal I have for anyone I get the opportunity to treat is to live and move with as little pain or limitation as possible. It’s my job to use the best treatments to achieve this goal and then the patient’s job to continue a healthy lifestyle. I know not everyone is going to be a marathon runner or body builder, but I do believe almost everyone can be fit. Almost everyone is able to have sufficient strength and endurance to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimize pain and limitation.
For so long the mantra was “look good to feel good”, but more and more people are realizing if they feel better through regular exercise and a healthy diet, they also have a better body image and more positive attitude. There are always excuses that can get in the way of meeting your fitness goals: age, disability, illness, etc. However, you can perform a simple search on the internet and find thousands of people who have overcome these same excuses and stay fit.
If you look at the picture on the left, notice how 70 year old legs compare to 40 year old legs. If you stay active and “commit to fit,” there is next to no difference in how your body looks on the inside in many ways.
At Flex we offer several services to help you meet and maintain all your fitness goals. If you need help getting over that hurdle of pain or weakness that is preventing you from meeting your goals, call us and start with some physical therapy! If you have struggled with your weight and that is your biggest limitation, we offer the Ideal Protein Weight Loss program and can coach you every step of the way! If you just want some guidance on how to meet your fitness goals as fast as possible we have personal training and yoga available! These are just a few of the services we have available. Call us today at 712-256-1800.