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What does it mean to be fit?

April 13, 2011

Fitness is going to the gym in the early morning to run for an hour on a treadmill followed by some squats, lunges, situps, pushups and pullups.  The workout is immediately followed by a protein bar or shake.  After shower, we then eat a balanced breakfast consisting of oatmeal, walnuts, and soy milk.  The mid morning snack includes a piece of fruit with some probiotic yogurt. For lunch, we munch on some spinach with olives, tomatos, goat cheese, and a slice of chicken.  For dinner, we eat quinoa with broccoli and salmon.  Does this sound about what a fit person does?  Well, that is how we are marketed.

So what does it mean to be fit?  Let’s first define the word fit using the Merriam-Websters Dictionary.  There are many meanings that define the word, so let’s look at the ones that relate to our topic of a fit human:

1.  adapted to an end or design : suitable by nature or by art : adapted to the environment so as to be capable of surviving

2. to put into a condition of readiness

3.  to be suitable for or to harmonize with : to be seemly or proper for : to be in agreement or accord with

4.  being in such a state as to be or seem ready to do something

5.  sound physically and mentally

There are some key words that really pop out into the reality of being fit.  The first is in number 3 of harmony and accord.  A human with harmony has balance not only in standing on one foot, but also in our actions and reactions to external or internal stimuli.  Secondly, number 4 offers what many try to improve which would be the ability to perform functions.  Going through various exercises to gain strength does not necessarily transfer in a new ability.  For example, if one wanted to have the ability to crawl or climb, but lacked normal hand function an exercise in the fitness center could not improve that. Next is number 2.  Putting oneself into a condition of readiness is the goal of everyone who decides to get in “shape” (another misused word, please look up shape in the dictionary.  In reference to fit, it means it fits like a puzzle piece.  Shape does not refer to a condition of the body.).  Being conditioned or prepared involves previously being in balance and harmony, but also being able to perform the function that would get one in condition in the first place.  Being conditioned also means one can perform the function flawlessly without error or excessive stress to the human body.  Following these three is number 1 which is having the ability to adapt to the environment around you.  This may be as simple as being comfortable in the rain or not losing focus in a loud arena.  With all four of these together we get a fit human that is both sound physically and mentally.

Being fit is more than just what you see in the mirror.  I have seen many who look it, but cannot act fit.  It is progression of development of the human body to achieve  a level of performance that can respond to any stimuli with precision and efficiency that relates to their personal needs.  This may be an athlete, but it is also a retired lady who would like to work in her garden.  Everyone has their own fitness goal, but the avenues traveled to achieve them are numerous.

One Comment leave one →
  1. TonyTruax permalink
    April 13, 2011 03:35

    The media wants us to think being fit is what is being portrayed by them when in fact were all perfect the way we are or we just need some slight improvement through sports and fitness training.

    Check me out at

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