• Steven Shuster, MS, CISSN

So You Want to be Fit: What IS Fitness?

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

So, You Want to be Fit?

What is fitness? Most people who come into a gym or seek out a personal trainer have the desire to get fit; but for a lot of people, the definition of fitness is sort of nebulous. There’s the general idea that certain people are more fit, and fit people tend to have a certain look, but it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what that means.

In this series of posts we’re going to explore the concept of fitness starting with the core components. We will discuss how they fit together and make up the complete picture. With a working definition of fitness, we'll next consider how to define your fitness goals.

Defining what that means (Part 1):

As mentioned above, the first step once you have decided to get fit is figuring out what that means to you. If you ask 10 fitness professionals what it means to be fit, you might end up with 12 different answers. Sure, there will be common themes between each answer, but the details will be different. And that is OK. In fact, it is a good thing because ultimately part of the answer needs to be, “it depends.”

Simply, fitness is a measure of capability. That is, one who is more fit is one who is more capable. The reason that the definition of fitness is chronically debated is that it is relative to the task. For example, some people look at marathon runners and think that they are the fittest people around. And they are, for running a marathon. When it comes to powerlifting, a marathon runner is most likely not fit. Some people run into trouble when they try to define fitness without having a specific and defined way to measure it. When describing fitness, relative to a task, it is helpful to break it down into its components. We will discuss each component in this series of blog posts.

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