Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Health versus Fitness

Physical health is generally referred to as the absence of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or metabolic disease, the absence of risk factors for early death, and/or the absence of signs and symptoms of disease. Risk factors may include:

  • high blood pressure 
  • cholesterol 
  • high triglycerides 
  • high blood sugar
  • high waist circumference 
  • heart irregularities
  • obesity 
  • sedentary lifestyle 
  • smoking 

Risk factors for disease may be measured and classified into low risk, medium risk, and high risk. Health risk assessments are available from your doctor, and other trained professionals. HRA's are often performed as part of a worksite wellness program to ascertain population information for program direction. These disorders tend to be preventable with attention to diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, and therefore, amenable to intervention.

Physical fitness is a measure of five components, flexibility, body fat, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and cardiovascular ability. These assessments are performed by a qualified professional, and are a valid measure of your body's ability to perform. Although physical fitness testing is a performance measurement, it is also related to overall health. Physiological fitness tends to mirror physical health. Enhancing fitness enhances health. Fitness testing can:

  • educate participants about their present fitness and health
  • provide data for exercise prescriptions
  • provide a baseline
  • motivate
  • create awareness

The information gained from health risk assessments, fitness testing, and a health and exercise history screen, provides the fitness professional with a foundation to build an exercise prescription, and help individuals achieve their goals.