The most common answer I get from people is “I want to get fit” and that followed by “I want to feel good” and then “stay healthy”. Who could argue with that?
But now to the tricky question. What does it really mean to be fit, or to be healthy?
I challenge you to ask you doctor what it means and probably they will be able to refer to good values in your blood, BMI and “regular exercise”. For the doctor it is most important to keep you out of hospital and therefor even if you might be on some sort of medication you would be considered fit.
The real answer to the question what being fit and healthy really means is that it can actually be measured and objectively evaluated. In CrossFit we have a very easy and straight forward definition of fitness. Fitness is health and health is fitness, and we measure it by work capacity.
Work capacity is the definition of your health and your fitness. Work capacity shall be measured over broad time and over modal domains. This means that your current fitness shall be put in perspective of your fast and coming future. This also means your fitness cannot be one sided as in only being good at running 5k runs three times a day. If you want to understand more about the definition have a look at the video below.
So what should we be measuring? The answer is we should be measuring as many things as possible and stay in tune with science and also what our bodies say. To only rely on current science can be counterproductive as science per definition will have to change over time. Here are some of the things we need to measure and check: 10 physical skills for a human being, blood pressure, insulin resistance, sleep, social network, diet, body fat and d-vitamin.
If we start to monitor those parameters over time it will help us to define your level of fitness and health.
To monitor and test everything would be impossible but we can stick to the simpler ones which would be: max output strength, stamina, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, sleep & insulin resistance. Keeping track on those few parameters will be an easy way to establish a baseline in understanding of your health.
Our health and fitness map has many of these parameters build inside it and this is why we also use it as Escapist CrossFit to help us to assess our own health and fitness.