Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thin = Fit ??? Or is it?

I can bet that 90% of the people have always thought that being thin is the ultimate road to fitness…Being thin is considered as being fit.
While having a thinner body frame is definitely a plus point healthwise, but being Fit demands a lot more!!!

Fitness is a mixture of basically 5 components which in simple terms are –

Muscular strength – strength of different skeletal muscles in the body
Muscular endurance – ability of a muscle to prolong an activity repeatedly
Cardiovascular endurance – ability of the heart to respond to a stress applied over a period of time
Flexibility -- elasticity of different muscles
Body composition – distribution of fat mass and muscle mass in the body

Thin people are usually seen to possess lesser muscle mass, which implies lesser muscle strength. This, however cannot be assumed as a general rule! Muscle strength is an essential component in all daily activities, like lifting your office suitcase, daily grocery, even putting your bike on main stand!!
I have also personally seen many thin people getting breathless after climbing 2 floors!!!! The cardiovascular endurance component is the key here.

While all these components can be developed optimally through a proper exercise regime, individual differences exist, which sometimes hamper with the desired results.

Which brings us to the remaining 10% of us, like me, who have had the jaw-dropping experience of knowing and working with not very “thin”, but extremely fit people, who can jog for an hour – NON -STOP !!!
The are many factors at play while considering the above fact. However, the basic point is that any exercise regime should aim at making the person more fit and not more thin……

So what is the Moral of the Story : Being fit is more than being thin or fitting into a size 24 pair of jeans!
Or may be, “Its all in the mind” !!

Which reminds me that according to one of my friends (who wants to live beyond 120 yrs), logically speaking, since all major complications have a common solution – losing weight, “thinness’ can be equated with “immortality”!
While I call that the heights of exaggeration, if this thought is enough to motivate him to hit the gym at 6.00am sharp, well……

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