Over the weekend I spent countless hours with our coaching staff coming up with what we believe to be the 10 most important principles on health. We have adopted these as truths at RxFIT and plan to send them to every new member upon joining the RxFIT community.
Over the course of the next 10 days, I will go into depth for each principle — today being #1. For your convenience, I copied all 10 principles below:
- Health is synonymous with fitness.
- Optimal health is achieved by athletes who prioritize sleep, nutrition, exercise, mindset, and connection with others.
- Go to bed early.
- Strive for more plants, not supplements.
- Eat less to lose weight. Eat more to gain weight.
- Train to improve performance, not aesthetics.
- Constantly vary workouts with functional movements and high intensity.
- Dedicate time to think, read, and write without distractions.
- Loving relationships improve longevity.
- Doctors are experts in medicine. Coaches are experts in health.
Yesterday in Salt Lake I was driving around and saw a billboard that was a picture of Intermountain Hospital that read, “Nursing you back to health.”
I turned to Karli and asked, “What exactly is health?”
What is Health?
Everyone knows what health is, yet no one has been able to define it well.
If you asked a friend to go hike Y-mountain with you, but she couldn’t get up past the first switchback, you wouldn’t call her healthy.
Yet you would call a diabetic who just got off of dialysis healthy.
So who’s actually healthy?
The world would have us believe that health is being, “free from illness or injury.”
But based on that definition, you’re healthy until you’re sick/hurt. So LeBron James is healthy until he rolls his ankle and has to sit out three games…
Or I’m healthy until I get a temperature of 100.
Not a very good definition…
You and I can agree that a healthy person is able to do anything, anywhere, at anytime, with anyone.
In other words, he/she who is healthy is also physically and mentally fit.
What is Fitness?
Fitness can be defined as increased work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains.
Work capacity is the ability to perform real physical work as measured by force x distance / time (which is average power).
Modal domains are disciplines such as hiking, swimming, weightlifting, or calisthenics.
Age domains are simply different time periods during your life.
Fitness therefore is being able to do anything (work capacity), anywhere (modal domains), at anytime (age domains) with anyone. And because that’s our same understanding of health, fitness and health are therefore synonyms with each other.
With this new definition, health can now be measured and predicted. If I can measure, observe, and repeat data concerning your fundamental physical units of kinematics (mass, distance, and time or MKS), I then can tell you if you’re healthy or not. This is true of the planets, automobiles, and now, health.
Let’s look at a back squat, running a 5k, and doing as many push-ups as possible in 10 minutes:
Back Squat: I would measure how much you weigh, how much the barbell weighs, how far the barbell travels from your knee at lock out to when when you squat to/below parallel, and how long it took you to complete the repetition.
Running a 5k: I would measure how much you weigh, how far you ran (5k), and the time it took you to complete the run.
Push-Ups in 10 Minutes: I would measure much you weigh, how far the distance is between your elbows being at full lock out to your chest touching the ground, and divide that by 10 minutes.
This would then give me three numerical values in foot-pounds/min. I then could average those three numbers and have a single value of your fitness.
In the words of Greg Glassman, and the ability to sustain that fitness throughout your life is a defining measure of health.
Health, therefore, is nothing other than sustained fitness.
The fitter you are, the healthier you become. And then maintain that level of fitness for as long as you can to be healthy.
Health is being able to do anything, anywhere, at anytime, with anyone.
Health = fitness