The principles of Health and Fitness are important to differentiate as an individuals good health does not necessarily equate to their positive levels of fitness .

Good health is related to physical wellness, as in eating clean and fresh food, drinking a sufficient quantity of water per day, having a good nights sleep, maintaining even levels of stress, and being happy with oneself and relationships. A full medical check up may show that you have low levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and positive levels of HDL (good cholesterol), a healthy liver function, hormonal balances in check, all of which is fantastic as this is good health. And yet,  you may find climbing a flight of stairs or running to catch a bus an immediate assault on your cardiovascular system or lifting a heavy object is a strain, and the ol’ bending over may be difficult as the tightness in your hamstrings is restrictive.

Good fitness levels relate to your ability to maintain sustained cardiovascular output such as in a powerwalk, run, jog or cycle, to be able to strength train with sound coordination and power as in the gym with resistance of barbells, dumbbells and cables,  or even the simple movement of own body weight push ups . Flexibility allows your muscles and joints to move through their range of motion without discomfort and thus support the natural postural equilibrium. Applying the FITT principle to your training will ensure that your fitness levels are always increasing :

F is frequency – how often you perform a particular exercise/sport.
I is intensity – when applying intensity choose between easy, moderate or vigorous.
T is type – what kind of exercise is it?
T is time – time under tension, interval splits, how long for?

The trick is to create a balance of good health interwoven with sound fitness levels. We all have different likes and passions when it comes to food, sport and leisure, that’s why I think the best way to increase your fitness levels is to get involved in a sport or physical activity that you’re inspired to be doing. If you like watching the Tour de France, why not take up cycling? Rather than watching the latest dance show on TV, enroll in a dance class and get moving with a local school. All people can create amazing differences in themselves by doing at least two full body resistance training sessions a week, this builds strong muscle, connective tissues and increases bone density.

Running is a great way to get outside and breathe in the fresh air, perhaps more challenging for city dwellers (just run close to the trees). There are Run Clubs every where and are a fun way of developing your cardiovascular strength whilst meeting other people too. The sun provides us with Vitamin D which assists the development of numerous hormonal processes, as in serotonin, which is the body’s natural mood stabiliser, so running in the sun or playing a sport outside is an essential to positive health and fitness, particularly in Northern European climates as the winters are long with reduced sunshine.

So the moral to the story is to eat healthy foods, drink water, exercise regularly, stretch, make love and listen to the music, and I guarantee you will be Fit and Healthy.

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