What does it mean to be ‘fit’?


Does it mean losing some weight? Further, if you are not overweight, does it mean you are healthy & fit? Does having good muscle mass mean someone is fit? Before we get to answering them, let us understand what does ‘being fit’ mean –

According to the American College of Sports & Medicine, there are 5 components to Physical fitness, namely –

1. Body Composition

Your body is primarily a combination of bone + water + muscle + fat mass. The percentage amount of fat & muscle in your body determines your body composition based fitness! Higher the fat% in your body, lower do you rank in body composition based fitness parameter and higher are the risk of chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes etc. A healthy male would have a fat percentage ranging between 12 – 18%, while a healthy female would have a range between 15 – 25%. Resistance training (Gym based) with a structured calorie deficit diet will help you improve your body composition.

2. Cardio-Vascular Fitness

Reflects the functional capabilities of the heart, lungs, and muscles relative to the demands of specific exercises such as in running, cycling, etc. Cardiovascular exercises helps in improving the health quotient of your heart, lungs etc. However, excessive cardio is not always recommended as it is muscle depleting in nature. Also, cardio can cause lower back and knee injury, wear & tear, etc, especially for someone who is overweight and with high body fat%

3. Flexibility

refers to the degree to which joint moves through a normal, pain-free range of motion. Yoga is an amazing fitness routine that will help improve your flexibility quotient, apart from improving the reflexes, posture, stability etc. It also touches your mind – body & soul!

4. Muscular Strength

As the name goes, it refers to the strength of your muscles to lift, pull or push a load. Higher the muscular strength, the higher is your ability to push or pull heavier weights.

5. Muscular Endurance

Very important for your daily life, this parameter refers to the time period for which you can endure a physical task physical strain.

All these parameters are equally important to stay healthy & fit. Just one parameter alone will not help in improving your fitness levels. For example, a Sumo wrestler has great Muscular strength, but terrible body composition and cardiovascular health.. and perhaps a very bad muscular endurance too. A marathon runner might have amazing cardiovascular health, but poor muscular endurance.

In a nutshell, a true blue fitness would mean a combination of all the 5 parameters in its right quantities

So, does losing weight actually mean you are becoming fit? The answer is – No! Similarly, just because you are not overweight does not mean you are healthy either! What do we take away from this? Losing weight should only be one among the many other results of your fitness regimen, as you improve your overall fitness quotient!!

Leave a Reply

Our Books