Sickness Wellness Fitness Continuum


This week, April 2nd through the 8th, is
National Public Health Week sponsored by the American Public Health Association. As part of that, I was inspired by TraciAnn Hoglind, who is a BU MPH student, to
share some health and wellness-related information with you. I’ll post a new
video each day, just like she’s doing, and will wrap up the week this Saturday
with a special announcement about an upcoming program that I’m designing.
Today’s topic comes to you from Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit,
and it has to do with the “Sickness / Wellness / Fitness Continuum.” Many of you know that I’ve been doing CrossFit for a while, but I assure you that this
information is not specific to CrossFit. In fact, I’m committed to sharing
information that’s beneficial for people regardless of their fitness routines.
With that said, let’s switch to the Continuum: Sickness / Wellness / Fitness.
These are all measures of the same thing: our general health. Each point on the
continuum represents various measurements, including: blood pressure,
resting heart rate, body fat percentage, bone density, cholesterol, flexibility,
muscle mass, mental health, though it’s harder to measure, and the list goes on.
Towards Sickness you’ll find chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart
disease, and obesity. Those who fall in the Wellness category would fall within
what is often called the normal range in health care, with respect to things like
blood pressure, body fat percentage, cholesterol, and mood stability. Toward
the other end of the continuum is where we find Fitness, again represented by
various measurements, including: muscle– increased muscle mass, flexibility, and
coordination; and decreased body fat percentage and resting rate–resting
heart rate. These lists are not exhaustive. Living our lives in a way
that puts us closer to Fitness offers a protective factor against Sickness. Think
about it: if a person who falls in the Fitness category gets sick, they have to
move through Wellness before they get to Sickness. Contrast this with someone who
gets sick but who started in the “normal” Wellness range. They move more easily to
Sickness. So how do we get ourselves over to
Fitness? It’s about quality and quantity of movements and nutrition. It’s not just
about eating less and moving more (quantity), like we see again and again
from fad diets and big sugar corporations. It’s the quality of our
movements and our calories that matter too. Look if it was easy, we’d all have
done it by now. We’d all be deemed fit and protected against chronic diseases.
It’s not easy, but it is possible. Ideally we’ll all be moving more exercising to
the extent that we’re all physically able. In another video this week, I’ll
talk about some ways we can increase our activity levels despite the busy lives
we lead. It can be done!

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