Few things bother me more than looking back on a situation and feeling like I could’ve done more or should’ve done something differently. I’m not just referring to “I could’ve studied more for a test,” or “I should’ve turned down that last drink.” I’m talking about reflecting on the really big things, which I tend to do all the more at the end of the year - How have I improved my relationships, my family, my community, my career? Right up there at the top of that list is my health.
Without our health, we cannot be successful at home, or work, or really with anything in life. I guess that is why the flight attendants always remind us to “put on our own masks first.” When I think about it, without my health, where would I be? Hmmm, I should spend a lot more time on my health!! So, if everyone from our doctors to our flight attendants relentlessly preach to us to make ourselves a priority, why don’t we? Why don’t we make staying healthy and taking care of ourselves a priority? I think it’s because, up until now, I’ve taken my wellness for granted until something breaks.
By the grace of God, so far I have avoided the “ics” that get 30% of us – those nasty things that are largely out of our control – microbics (like a flesh eating bacteria), genetics (like cystic fibrosis), kinetics (like a car crash) and toxics (like lead poisoning).
So everything else is apparently under my control. This is such a simple concept, but I’m just now realizing how true it really is. I need to take this seriously!
The coolest thing I learned in my recent Crossfit Level 1 Certificate Course at CrossFit Atlanta was what Greg Glassman refers to as the “Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum”. In a nutshell, fitness is a hedge against sickness. (See the image at the top of this post).
There is a multitude of measurable parameters that can be ordered from sickness (pathological) to wellness (normal) to fitness (better than normal) - Things like your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, heart rate, body fat, muscle mass, bone density, flexibility and strength. These are the markers that predict chronic disease – like heart disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and many cancers. When you are fit and a health challenge comes along, your fallback on this continuum is first wellness before sickness. A healthy body is much better equipped to fight disease and heal from injury!
For example, if you are fit and your resting heart rate is 50 beats per minute, it will rise to 70 bpm (well) before it gets up to 100 bpm (sick). I figure it would be a shame to have to be reliant on medications for things I could’ve or should’ve been able to avoid by treating myself to a proper diet and fitness routine. Have a look at this great article that describes the theory in greater detail: http://journal.crossfit.com/2016/08/fitness-luck-and-health.tpl
When I am fit, I am better prepared for whatever is thrown my way. This is what keeps me going to 30A CrossFit every week!
Want to learn more? Check this out this video: