The words “health and fitness” go hand in hand, but only when used in this order. Try reversing them – fitness and health. It doesn’t sound quite right does it? There is a good reason behind the order of these words. It reflects the order in which they are developed.
Before we develop and achieve a level of fitness, we first need to have a certain level of health. While we know that developing and improving fitness ultimately leads to greater health, it is impossible to achieve this without a certain baseline of health.
This factor is an important part of exercise program design. The exercises that are appropriate for one person are not necessarily suitable for another due to variations in health which ultimately affect each persons level of fitness.
It is also the reason that it is important that we look after health first before adding too much load (additional weight or longer time). This includes the movement of the joints, the flexibility of the muscles and the efficiency of our breathing. Without addressing these components first, we limit the potential gains and can actually increase the risks associated with certain exercises.
Another vital part of health which impacts on fitness levels is the effectiveness of our recovery. This includes nutrition, hydration and of course sleep. These factors directly impact on our health levels and in turn affect our ability to build upon our fitness.
The two terms are so interrelated that it is impossible to have a poor level of health and a good level of fitness or vice versa! How do you rate your levels of health and fitness?