“A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.”
– Lao Tzu
How to view health and fitness
I think one of the most dangerous beliefs that people have when starting their journey of wellness is that there’s an endpoint.
“I want to lose 20 pounds.”
“My doctor says my blood pressure is too high.”
“I want to get up the stairs without running out of breath.”
Don’t get me wrong, those are great starting points. But if left as endpoints, then our journey stops there.
So how should we look at health and wellness? We can start by asking ourselves, “how long do I want to be healthy for?”
What can a healthy lifestyle do for you?
Everyone wants to be healthy. But why? If I even tried listing all of the benefits of being healthy, most of you probably wouldn’t finish reading this post. So I’ll keep it short.
You won’t have to worry as much about disease and illness
You’ll learn how to feel energized, awake, and productive all day
You can experience physical activities to require a level of fitness
But the thing I think we really need to understand is that health is earned, not given. It’s something that we need to protect, because not everyone is born with that blessing.
What if you lost your health today?
Let’s do a quick exercise. Think about what would happen if you lost your health today. I know it’s kind of morbid, but it’s really important to know.
Imagine yourself in the doctor’s office and your physician shows up, takes a deep breath, and then words roll out “I’m afraid that you have (fill in the blank) and you might not make it”.
That would suck. Unfortunately, many have to face that challenging reality, and I’m definitely not trying to say we can be immune to disease.
But we definitely have a pretty large control of how soon it happens.
The fitness-sickness continuum
One of my favorite concepts taught in CrossFit is the Fitness-Sickness Continuum. It’s basically a spectrum of health and well-being that we’re able to define with specific metrics such as the ones in the image below.
The cool thing about that is that it gives us a measurable approach on how we’re able to fix unhealthy conditions that might lead to sickness, but it also shows us what we’re able to actively do in order to maintain a healthy body.
But wait, here’s the best part.
The concept of the Fitness-Sickness Continuum basically states that the closer we are to fitness, then less likely we are to slip into the “Sickness” end of the spectrum if anything did come up in life that throws us off the wagon.
Like a pandemic that pretty much shut down the world…
Anyways, the point is that this system gives us a well-defined system to maximize health in the long run.
Where does a healthy lifestyle start?
I believe that these 4 elements are the key to physical wellbeing. So I challenge you to ask yourself the following question right now.
What is the one thing that I can do to improve my diet, sleep, exercise, or stress management?
And start from there. Because it’s that single step that starts the journey of a thousand miles.