As we begin another year, health – getting healthy, staying healthy, and everything from losing weight to gaining muscle – is on many people’s minds. You may be one of those people, and if so, good for you. That’s exciting. There’s only one problem: Health isn’t always easy to define. For example, our grocery stores are filled with processed foods marketed as healthy meals. But, how many of them are actually healthy? Few, if any.
We can set some parameters, and when we do, health becomes something measurable. We can determine if we are moving closer to or further away from health through science. In this sense, defining the terms are essential.
According to the World Health Organization, health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”
That’s helpful, and it reminds us that health is broader than we might sometimes think. For that reason, I like better this definition from Precision Nutrition even better:
“Deep health comes from a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods. It comes from sufficient exercise combined with genuine rest. It comes from clean air and clean water. It comes from real human connection and sincere emotional expression.”
As much as I appreciate both of these definitions, they are still subjective. The need for health markers – things we can measure – looms large to gain some objectivity. Things like:
- Blood pressure
- Weight and body fat percentage
- Bone density
- Labs analysis of blood draws – including lipids, hormone levels, liver and kidney function, etc.
Additionally, through metabolic testing, we can get even more granular by examining the following fitness measures:
- Resting metabolic rate
- Mitochondrial health
- Fat vs. Carbohydrate metabolism
- The body’s general ability to handle stress
These sorts of measurements provide tremendous clarity, but they also underscore the need for the assistance of a trusted professional – someone who can analyze the data and provide sound recommendations. Here’s one reason why: Fitness and health involve different metrics, and the truth is a fit person isn’t always healthy. For example, excessive training might create noticeable improvements in a person’s physical fitness and appearance. Still, a constant state of fatigue will inevitably contribute to poor sleep and a state of chronic stress – none of which are healthy. The good news is the numbers never lie, and something like a resting metabolic test allows us to understand better what’s happening below the surface.
Of course, improving your overall fitness is the path toward being a healthier, happier you. The key is to analyze the objective data, learn how your body operates, and understand what it needs to perform optimally. That’s where we can help.
With the new year already underway, there’s never been a better time to focus on the health measurements that matter most. Contact us today to schedule an introductory session that includes a resting metabolic test. After establishing a baseline, we can discuss how to move forward with an exercise and nutrition program that prioritizes your health and wellbeing – now and in the future. No matter what your long-term fitness or weight loss goals are, there’s a place for you here. We can’t wait to meet you.