Can you be fat but still fit? … The debate rages on. No matter what your body size, you need to exercise to build and maintain inner health. This article explains the importance of turning yourself from fat to fit.
Fat to Fit
Although we can state the obvious – being overweight and active is better for your health than being an overweight couch potato. The question remains, are we putting too much emphasis on skinniness as a measure of health and wellbeing?
More than 65 percent of the American and Australian population are considered overweight or obese, and most are on some sort of diet as a result; often, with unsuccessful results. This begs another question: Are we going about things all wrong?
We are led to believe that if we don’t fit into a certain clothes size or show the right number on the scales, we are doomed to nasty health problems and, ultimately, premature death.
Body Mass Index (BMI) categorisations such as ‘normal’, ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ are based on numbers and do not necessarily tell us the whole story.
So what does ‘being fit’ really mean?
‘Fitness’ can be defined as your ability to meet the demands of your lifestyle with comfort and ease and with enough energy in reserve for life’s emergencies. In other words, fitness is your ability to perform in your world according to the goals and dreams you have for your life, and not somebody else’s. However, it is important to look at it in a couple of other ways too. Number one being your cardiovascular and muscular fitness; and number two being your inner fitness (i.e. your digestion, elimination processes, organ function, blood pressure, etc). Regardless of body size or weight, it’s the latter that will actually dictate a route to a long life.
This doesn’t mean, however, that we can start queuing up at the ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffets! Being overweight – and where you carry that excess weight – still poses health threats, particularly if you carry excess fat around your middle. Heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver and insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes) are all major health risks for everyone, but can be exacerbated for people who are overweight or obese. At the end of the day there is a level of fatness for which no amount of fitness can compensate. This is why you should try to turn fat to fit.
Skinny people problem
Interestingly, the same can be said for people who are overly lean or too skinny. Studies have shown that when measuring mortality rates, lean people who lead inactive lifestyles suffer the similar severity of health risks to those suffered by inactive overweight people. The health risks are apparent for everyone at all fitness levels, which means that simply being lean doesn’t get you off the hook!
The bottom line is, no matter what your body size you need to exercise to build and maintain inner health and to keep your body as metabolically active as possible.
It is worth the effort to stay as lean as possible. If you carry excess weight, particularly around the waist, it’s important to lose some of it. Extra weight around the belly can cause inflammatory processes, which disrupt blood sugar and insulin levels, causing the liver to store more fat. Exercise can reduce this inflammation and allow your vital organs to do their job more efficiently and effectively, which keeps your body performing optimally.
So, in answer to the question, can we be fit and fat? – the jury says ‘yes’.
And with regard to which one should demand more of your attention and energy to address, in a nutshell, if you can walk away with a doctor’s report of straight As (i.e. good cholesterol and blood pressure levels, healthy liver function and a healthy blood analysis) then you’re on the best path possible for a life of longevity. But, this is not to say fitness should not be ranked high on your priority list, because remember – being fit will ensure you have the energy required to live your long life to its fullest. Do whatever you can to turn your fat to fit!