Because, it is in fact, not the same. You can be fit without being in particularly healthy and you can definitely look super fit without being healthy at all. You can also be pretty healthy without being fit. Yet, these two words seem to go together like like hand and glove or boobs and bra.
It seems to be a common belief that if you are physically fit, can run fast or play tennis several times a week, you are healthy. Yet, many people who do spend a few hours every week being physically active in some way, are in fact not very healthy at all. They might eat lots of sugar loaded food or chemically processed food, that is actually unhealthy for the body. Or they might binge drink every Friday and Saturday (and Sunday – hello Sunday sessions..) and eat Fast ‘Food’ on their way home every night (as their only meal that day) – but, they still manage to show up to footy practise once a week and play a game every Saturday afternoon. And people around might look at them and think; he’s pretty fit and healthy! I agree to that he might be fit (to a certain extend), but healthy? I think not!
No amount of exercise can undo the harm of toxins, chemicals and excessive amounts of sugar and processed foods that you eat. You might look fit, but your body is still unhealthy.
You have the other side of the scale, the skinny-fat (love that word) people who are scared of anything unhealthy and eat salad every day, but never move their asses (anywhere else than from their chair to their car to their couch). These people might look fit (and healthy), because they are skinny (and for most people skinny=healthy, fat=unhealthy), but research shows that you are better off having a little too much body fat and be fit and active, rather than having less body fat and being unfit and not active. Most of these skinny-fat people have plenty of visceral fat or abdominal fat (also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat) and that’s the kind that we should all try to avoid (you’re actually much better off having big thighs and flabby arms).
Where am I going with this? Obviously I am a fan of both being fit and being healthy and I do both the eating good food and moving my ass every day (shake that booty, shake that booty…). And I would like each and every one of you to do the same! Being healthy and fit should be a way of life – and fit doesn’t mean that you have to be able to run a marathon tomorrow. You need to define fit for yourself and for your life. If you are a stay home mum, fit might mean that you want to be able to lift your kids up without having back pain or being able to do all the house chores without having to have a rest. For a busy CEO fit might mean being able to sit in hour long meeting without any back pain (yes, it is probably one of the most common problems in the western world) and having the energy to being able to focus for the entire meeting. But if you are a serious tennis player, being fit means being able to succeed, being quick enough to catch those serves and strong enough to hit the ball hard enough. What is fit for you?
What about healthy? Is that all the same for all of us? I don’t know. Healthy for me is being well so I can do the things I want to do. Healthy so I can live a long and happy life. Strong so I can make the choices in life and don’t let life make the choices for me. Feeling energised from the food I eat and exercise I do. I think being healthy is almost like making a nice, big soup. You got to have a lot of ingredients to make it great. And some fluid (we’ve talked about this one before). And most people who like to make soup, also have a secret ingredient that makes their soup the best. I think being healthy is the same. You have to add all the common ingredients to it (being active, vegetables, protein, fresh air, adequate fluid intake, less stress etc), but you also have to add your secret ingredient for a healthy life. This secret ingredient might not make sense for anyone else than yourself. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s this ingredient(s) that makes you and your life healthy. So use it and use as much of it as you need.
Some secret ingredients might be; laughter, good friends, a close and honest relationship to your mother, meditation, coffee, happiness, vitamin C, a hug from your son, a daily run, an apple a day, having lunch by the sea, 9 hours sleep… Your life and imagination is the limit to this. What do you need to have in your life to feel healthy?
Can you have a healthy life, if your body is healthy, but your mind is not?