Are you really in shape?
Posted October 29, 2017 by Matthew Romans
Many of you jog or bike or go to the gym a couple times per week in pursuit of fitness. But are you actually in shape? How can you tell if you are truly fit inside and out? Just because a person can run 5 miles or bench press 300 pounds does not mean they are fit and healthy.
By true fitness, I mean full physical functional ability (no movement or strength limitations) and being free of diseases of western civilization (ex. T2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.)
Below are some markers of true fitness, as well as several markers that people think are good indicators of fitness, but really have little or no correlation:
Good indicators of fitness:
-Resting heart rate - 60bpm or lower is a good indication of fitness.
-Resting Blood pressure - 120/80 is a good target range for most of us.
-Blood sugar and insulin control.
-Bone Density - good bone density levels help avoid injury as we age.
-Blood Lipid Ratios - A Triglyceride to HDL ratio (mg/dl) of 2 to 1 or less is ideal. 4 to 1 or more is too high.
-Body composition - are you carrying more than 10 extra pounds of visceral fat around on your belly, waist, thighs, etc.? Is your body fat percentage over 25% if you are female or 15-16% if you are male? If so, you are not in great shape!
-Lean muscle mass and muscle strength - this is critical to health as you age. Can you lift 40-50 lb or more without hurting yourself? Can you sit down on the floor and get back up without using your hands, or at least without using an aid such as a chair? Can you walk/hike including hills for an hour or more without becoming too tired/sore/uncomfortable? If not, you are not in good shape.
-Aerobic capacity - can you recover quickly (in a minute or two) from a sprint or rigorous activity?
The more of these indicators of fitness that you achieve, the more in shape and healthy you will be.
Poor indicators of fitness:
-How far you can jog - you can build up your skill and enough lower body strength to jog many miles at a time, but could still be overfat, muscularly flacid, and have bad heart. Remember Jim Fixx, who wrote the book on running, died while jogging at age 52 of a heart attack.
- How long you can cycle or swim - see above regarding jogging.
- Leanness - simply being thin is not an indicator of fitness. If you do not have adequate strength and lean muscle mass, you are at risk for injury and Osteoporosis.
-Any individual strength metric - many individuals go to the gym and demonstrate strength by bench pressing or dead lifting some large amount of weight. While these people may have some strength, they are often cheating and using terrible form, risking injury, and not addressing their beer gut, high blood pressure, or other real fitness markers.
Amazingly, there is one activity that improves every good indicator of real fitness mentioned above: High Intensity Slow Motion weight training. This is what we offer at Total Results. All of the above markers for fitness can be achieved in just a few minutes each week, with very little risk of injury! This revolutionary activity stimulates the body to make critical changes inside and out, and when combined with a natural, moderate diet and a healthy lifestyle allows you to achieve a lifetime of fitness!
Do not wait any longer to get in shape!