What is “True Fitness”?
Most people apply the word “fit” loosely, and will use it to describe anyone who is visibly “slim” or “muscular” or “young”, etc. They also use it to describe someone who can accomplish a physical task e.g. “run a marathon”, or “climb a mountain”, or “bench press 200lb”.
Is a person “bench-pressing” 200 lb. fitter than a person pressing only 20 lb.?
Is a person running 22 km. in 2 ½ hours fitter than one walking 5 km. in 1 hour?
Is a person with a Body Fat % of 18 fitter than one with a Body Fat % of 30?
(The obvious variables like sex and age being equal)
What if the person pressing 200 lb. suffers a shoulder injury that requires a surgery a couple of years later?
What if the person running 22 km. has a desk job and sits at a table all day long, slowly developing cervical spondylosis that restricts his ability to exercise 5 years later?
What if the person with a body fat % of 18 has a strong family history of Diabetes and becomes insulin dependent by the time he is 35?
Physical fitness is only one small part of overall good health.Fitness tests are designed to measure each aspect of physical fitness, but their biggest flaw is that they measure a single aspect of fitness, and they measure it only MOMENTARILY. Whereas these tests are important to design new exercise plans, or determine suitability of sportsmen, they seldom reveal how healthy your life will be. Fitness rating is not important in the long race of life.Here is my uncle who lives in USA. He is 82 years old, and has the enthusiasm and ability to drive 500 miles to catch a music show. He has the strength and stamina to walk up a steep fortress to enjoy its beauty. He has the zeal to travel to different parts in India whenever he visits, and the patience to tolerate all the obstacles that such a travel brings.
He has never run a marathon, never bench-pressed 200 lb. (or anything for that matter), and probably never checked his Body Fat %.
He has been “Unfit” by most acceptable standards of fitness, but I think he makes a great example for “True Fitness”.