"Nearly every measurable value of health can be placed on a continuum that ranges from sickness to wellness to fitness. Though tougher to measure, we would even add mental health to this observation. Depression is clearly mitigated by proper diet and exercise, i.e., genuine fitness.
For example, a blood pressure of 160/95 is pathological, 120/70 is normal or healthy, and 105/55 is consistent with an athlete’s blood pressure; a body fat of 40% is pathological, 20% is normal or healthy, and 10% is fit. We observe a similar ordering for bone density, triglycerides, muscle mass, flexibility, HDL or “good cholesterol”, resting heart rate, and dozens of other common measures of health. Many authorities (e.g. Mel Siff, the NSCA) make a clear distinction between health and fitness. Frequently they cite studies that suggest that the fit may not be health protected. A close look at the supporting evidence invariably reveals the studied group is endurance athletes and, we suspect, endurance athletes on a dangerous fad diet (high carb, low fat, low protein).
Done right, fitness provides a great margin of protection against the ravages of time and disease. Where you find otherwise examine the fitness protocol, especially diet. Fitness is and should be “super-wellness.” Sickness, wellness, and fitness are measures of the same entity. A fitness regimen that doesn’t support health is not CrossFit.”
Essentially what Coach Glassman is suggesting here is that no matter what your age is, no matter what your “fitness level” is, your health is what stands alone as our over all goal.
“Sickness” indicates those who have pathological diseases, diabetes, congestive heart failure, obesity, cancer, etc. Some of these illnesses are simply out of our control no matter how healthy you are. However, the likelihood of falling into the “sickness” category drastically decrease as your HEALTH improves.
“Wellness” is the category that we all see on charts at the Doctors office, in magazines, on the internet, this is your average person. Stable blood pressure, average heart rate, within normal limits for body fat %, some measurable muscle mass, etc. Many people who consider themselves to be “fit” still fall under the “Wellness” category because they are just average on these tests. Or they “fall within normal limits.” We want to take it a step further.
“Fitness” is the category we are striving for. We want to have ABOVE average blood pressure, we want ABOVE average resting heart rate, we want to be more flexible than the average person, we want to strive for high endurance capacities, we want to have efficient and effective muscle mass. No matter what the measurement is, in order to improve our HEALTH we want to strive to be ABOVE average. And strive to maintain that for the duration of our life.
Obviously age is a factor we can not control, and some things will just come with age. But its our charter to fight that every single day we wake up. Things like diet, execise, family activities, social activities, etc. We do not want to be that 70 year old person who has become sedentary, needs assistance living, can’t play with grand kids. We want to be that 90 year old person who still can take care themselves, be active, be social, and BE HEALTHY!