Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France, is a great example of physical fitness. But at one point in his life, this world-class athlete was so unhealthy he was ravaged by cancer. Is he healthy today? It’s hard to say. I would bet he’s healthier than the average person, but I would guess he’s not as healthy as he could be. Men who exercise regularly and consume large quantities of bodybuilding supplements and energy drinks are not healthy. Have you ever read the ingredients on some of those protein powders, muscle gain formulas, and weight loss pills? Filled with everything from artificial colors to sugar, these concoctions do not benefit the body.
Steroids are another example of how health and fitness are not necessarily synonymous. With a proper fitness program, steroids can elevate one’s fitness to a level that is tough, if not impossible, for one to achieve by natural means. But, as we all know, steroids are not healthy. Like many perfectly legal performance enhancement supplements and bodybuilding supplements, steroids are dangerous. You may have seen yoga practitioners with acne, runners with seasonal allergies, or ironman competitors popping Excedrin for their headaches. These are not healthy individuals.
Fitness and health can certainly complement each other. And you cannot be healthy without some degree of fitness. But health is about living life without the need for prescription drugs. Being healthy is living without allergies. Living healthy means you don’t get diagnosed with Type II diabetes or arthritis in your forties or fifties and blame your age or genetics. Living healthy is living without aches and pains. Living healthy is taking responsibility for your own health and not blindly putting it in the hands of doctors.
Being both physically fit and healthy is an amazing feeling. Imagine waking up after a great night’s sleep full of energy with no aches and pains, at any age, clear headed, and ready to take on the day. For some people this isn’t possible. But for most people, including a great many who think they have no choice, health is a viable option.
Editor in Chief