Updated: Sep 9
Here is the-one aspect of fitness that you don’t hear about enough; the sickness, wellness, fitness continuum. The idea is that we can place any measurable metric of health on a continuum. As one moves from sickness to wellness and then fitness, these metrics will all move in a positive direction.
Our assumption is that if everything we can measure about health will conform to this continuum, then it seems that sickness, wellness and fitness are different measures of a single quality health.
Your total blood pressure reading is determined by measuring your systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats.
Blood pressure readings fall into four general categories, ranging from normal to stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension). The level of your blood pressure determines what kind of treatment you may need. To get an accurate blood pressure measurement, your doctor should evaluate your readings based on the average of two or more blood pressure readings at three or more office visits. 195/115 mm Hg you have a problem, 120/70 mm Hg is healthy, and 105/50 mm Hg looks more like an athlete.
The body fat percentage (BFP) of a human or other living being is the total mass of fat divided by total body mass, multiplied by 100; body fat includes essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions.
Body fat can be measured by Skinfold Calipers, Body Circumference Measurements, Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA), Hydrostatic Weighing, Air Displacement Plethysmography (Bod Pod), Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), Bioimpedance Spectroscopy (BIS) and more.
Bone density, or bone mineral density, is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. The concept is of mass of mineral per volume of bone, although clinically it is measured by proxy according to optical density per square centimetre of bone surface upon imaginG. A bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. It is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking a bone.
Triglycerides are fats from the food we eat that are carried in the blood. Most of the fats we eat, including butter, margarines, and oils, are in triglyceride form. Excess calories, alcohol or sugar in the body turn into triglycerides and are stored in fat cells throughout the body. Having a high level of triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease. But the same lifestyle choices that promote overall health can help lower your triglycerides, too.
A simple blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range:
Normal — Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol)Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)
Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test, which is sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile. You'll have to fast before blood can be drawn for an accurate triglyceride measurement.
High triglycerides may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (arteriosclerosis) — which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Extremely high triglycerides can also cause acute inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
High triglycerides are often a sign of other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels.
High triglycerides can also be a sign of Type 2 diabetes or prediabetesMetabolic syndrome — a condition when high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar occur together, increasing your risk of heart diseaseLow levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism)Certain rare genetic conditions that affect how your body converts fat to energy
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.
Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited, but it's often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which make it preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.
Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion. Exercisers who include flexibility training as part of a balanced fitness program enjoy many benefits. Stretching can help to decrease stress and improve the way your body moves and feels throughout the day. Improved flexibility can even lead to better posture.
Muscle mass includes smooth muscles, skeletal muscles and water contained in the muscles. Where the skeletal muscles are the most visible when there is no fat layer. Muscles consist of water and protein. This is why it's important to include protein in your adjusted eating schedule.
There is a difference between gaining muscle mass for men and women. Men have a higher muscle production than women; often this is used as an excuse when it comes to growing muscle mass. This does not mean that women cannot gain muscle mass. In fact, women can experience big gains in power and muscle mass as well and they should train their muscles the same way as men do.
Building muscle happens in the gym, but also in the kitchen. Building muscle mass is not only about going to the gym and lifting. There is an important rule to remember: eating for muscles is just as important as lifting. Combine training with eating well.
Your health can be measured on the continuum shown above. If you are close to the sickness zone, you should seek medical and professional help to decrease risks of health related problems. If you are more in the wellness zone and fitness zone, keep working hard and you're doing great.