The modern-day fitness industry has become a multi-billion dollar business with an overwhelming amount of information available at our fingertips.
Yet, despite this abundance of resources, the perception of fitness has become increasingly distorted.
Social media platforms are filled with images of chiseled bodies, quick fixes, and miracle diets, promoting the idea that fitness is solely about aesthetics. This warped perception has resulted in unrealistic expectations, dangerous practices, and an unhealthy relationship with exercise.
In this article, we will delve into the distorted perception of modern-day fitness and explore how it has impacted our understanding of health and wellness.
Fitness = Mass or Ripped?
Bodybuilding, a sport that emphasizes the development of muscle mass and definition, has had a significant impact on the distorted perception of fitness.
While bodybuilding can be a healthy pursuit when done correctly, it often prioritizes aesthetics over overall health and fitness.
This emphasis on extreme muscular development has led to the misconception that being as big as possible or being shredded equates to being healthy and fit. However, this narrow definition of fitness disregards other important aspects such as cardiovascular health, flexibility, endurance, and overall physical function.
This skewed perception of fitness perpetuated by bodybuilding has not only caused harm to individuals pursuing the sport but has also influenced the broader cultural perception of what it means to be fit.
That is not to say gaining muscle has nothing to do with fitness -in fact, it is a major part of being fit. However, it is not the only aspect of a fit, functional body.
What Fitness Really Means
True fitness is not solely defined by physical appearance or the ability to lift heavy weights. Rather, it encompasses a holistic approach to health that allows individuals to engage in a variety of activities and daily tasks with ease and enjoyment.
True fitness means having functional strength, agility, and endurance to perform everyday activities such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, and playing with children. It also means being able to engage in various physical activities, such as hiking, swimming, and cycling, without limitations.
Achieving true fitness requires a balance of strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance, as well as proper nutrition and recovery.
Ultimately, true fitness is about leading a healthy, active lifestyle that enables individuals to enjoy life to the fullest. As Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, famously stated - "no man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." This quote highlights the potential of the human body and the importance of physical activity. The human body is an incredible machine that is capable of remarkable feats of strength, endurance, and agility.
Neglecting our bodies and failing to explore our physical potential is a disservice to ourselves and the capabilities we possess. Physical training not only strengthens our bodies but also enhances our mental and emotional well-being. By embracing our physical capabilities and engaging in regular exercise, we can live fuller, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.
To sum it up, when it comes to fitness, there is no single aspect of physical capabilities that defines one’s fitness.
Instead, it is a mix of strength, mass, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, among many other physical properties like agility, speed, and coordination.
The masses should step away from the idea that true fitness is defined by the amount of muscle mass and fat and transition to an ideology based on the body’s innate, diverse capabilities.
Hike, climb, dive, swim, sprint, and engage in more than just hoisting heavy objects against the force of gravity.
Enjoy your body, for it is an insanely capable machine. What is your definition of fitness? Let us know in your next training session!