Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Health and fitness are NOT the same

A healthy person may find it very difficult to carry out a 5k race and so while they may be appear to the the epitome of health they are actually unfit.

When I speak about health and fitness goals I should really make it clear that they can be both completely different. It may be better worded as health and/or fitness goals.

When we look at some elite athletes in any sporting field we automatically think they are healthy as well. But the truth is that just because you are fit does not necessarily mean that you are healthy, and just because you are healthy does not mean that you are fit.


Confused yet? Let me explain.

In simple terms fitness is the ability to do physical activity whereas health is the amount of freedom from disease.

Health is not just the absence of disease, but also the optimal functioning of all body systems. So that means that your kidneys should be working well.

Your immune system should be firing on all cylinders, the ability to inhale and exhale the right amount of air and even the old reproductive organs should be working to their full potential!

Now comes the confusing part for some people, just because you have everything in your body working perfectly, does not guarantee you are fit.

A healthy person may find it very difficult to carry out a 5k, deadlift their own body weight or physically play a 5-a-side football match. So you could be healthy but unfit.

Now let’s look at the flip side of this, you can be fit but unhealthy. As I mentioned fitness is the ability to carry out physical activity or tasks. It’s the pressure you exert on the body when striving towards completing or competing in these tasks which can put the body in an unhealthy state.


For instance, 50 per-cent of all people who have done more than 100 marathons in their lifetime have heart damage.

Boxing is a great sport but we have all seen the long term damage it can have on brain function and health.

Some rugby players may be under six foot and 18 stone plus which makes them obese but they can still get about the pitch and I bet you they could stop you if you ran at them!

When fitness is carried to the extremes, it makes you quite unhealthy. Even when you are training to be physically fit you are putting the body through so much stress which creates inflammation and if you don’t give it the right amount of rest and recovery techniques, for example sleep, nutrition etc. then it can lead to health issues over time.

Now before you start thinking about quitting the gym or your weekly training routine, remember this will not happen every time you train and even if you are training at a high intense level to be extremely fit then following the correct recovery methods will help keep your body healthy.

Ideally, we want to be both fit and healthy. In fact, health is a prerequisite for fitness.

We now know you can be healthy and unfit or fit and unhealthy, but if you are looking to perform at the highest level then you have a better chance when you are both fit and healthy.

There may be times when you have to push your physical fitness and mind so much that you are close to breaking point but after those extreme bouts it is important to look after your health.

Give the body and mind the right amount of time to settle and recover before you decide to push it again.

Now the decision is yours, does it suit your lifestyle and goals to be fit but unhealthy, healthy and fit or can you get the best of both worlds and be fit and healthy.

For more info or to book a place call Gary on 07708089130 or email

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