What does being physically fit actually mean to you and can anyone acheive this?

For many people on these forums being fit is desirable, but I feel like each person has their own definition of what that means and I want to hear your opinions.

For example:

Is being fit just the same as being healthy?

Is it a certain level of strength and musculature?

Can anyone regardless of weight realistically achieve this?



  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
    edited February 2017
    Being physically fit and in good health often go hand in hand, but not always.

    Someone with well rounded fitness is going to generally have a good cardiovascular base as well as being reasonably strong. Beyond that, specialization would come into play.

    I'm not a particularly good runner for example, but I can easily go out and knock out 30-50 miles on my bike at a 15-16 mph pace without much issue save for I might be a little slower in the end. As I'm a cyclist, I have no desire to put on a ton of mass (i.e. a body builder) and I don't train to squat a gazillion pounds. I'm reasonably and functionally strong. I consider myself to be pretty physically fit...

    I know overweight people who exercise regularly and are physically fit...they're just overweight...your weight doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your fitness. I know lean people who don't do *kitten* and can barely walk around the block.
  • Cylphin60
    Cylphin60 Posts: 863 Member
    I have to echo cwolfman13 somewhat. I have decent mobility, good stamina and pretty decent overall body strength. I can't really think of any physical competition I could hope to win, but I can do a 3-5 mile hike up a trail without caving and regularly outwork co-workers in a physically demanding job who are 15-25 years younger than myself.

    I'm 57, male, and about a year into taking my health very seriously, mix of strength training and cardio.
  • IceQueen1986
    IceQueen1986 Posts: 32 Member
    You'll get so many answers.
    Let's say you ask a long distance runner what he defines as fit, he might tell you that if you can run 5 km or more you're good..

    Then you go and ask a strong man competitor what being fit is and he'll probably tell you being fit is being able to lift 200 kg log in an overhead press.
    But he won't be able to run like the long distance runner who in return won't even try the strongman lifts.

    Then you might ask a crossfitter what being fit is and she might tell you being fit means being able to run, swim and lift heavy stuff but she can't lift what the strongman is lifting and she won't be able to run as far or fast as the long distance runner.

    And finally, you might ask an old lady what fit is and she'll tell you that climbing up 3 sets of stairs wile holding grocery bags is fit..

    Being fit is something we define based on where we stand.
    To me, being fit is being able to do what I want and it doesn't matter if it's running, swimming, climbing, dancing or lifting heavy stuff and putting it back down. I wanna be able to do it.

  • aelunyu
    aelunyu Posts: 486 Member
    The definition of being fit has evolved for me over the years. I'm sure many of us that started in their teens and early 20s would agree that the first impulse to become fit was in some way connected to the desire to be attractive. A fitness of ego, if you will.

    After a decade of training and learning, being fit meant learning the aspects of "fitness", applying them to our lives and reaping the rewards of a lifestyle so many have abandoned in their 20s. I wanted to be strong.

    Now, at 31 my definition of fitness still bears the hallmarks of those two previous versions of myself. But I have to concede to the fact that I take longer to recover and I can no longer train as aggressively as before. I am persevering.

    I don't think you should be asking if my version of "fit" is achievable, unless you first achieve your own version of "fit".
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,344 Member
    There is no singular definition of being "fit". It's entirely dependent upon one's own goals, biases and interpretations. A bodybuilder will have one definition of "fit"; a marathon/ultra runner will have another, a triathlete another, a bicyclist yet another and a powerlifter another. A 70-year old woman will have a different definition of "fit" than a 21-year old man will, and a sedentary office worker will have a different definition than somebody who's training to compete in Ironman triathlons.

    Can anybody achieve it? It depends on what your definition of "fit" is. If "fit" to you means being an elite/championship level athlete, then no - not everybody can achieve that. If "fit" to you means having good cardiovascular capacity and reasonable strength, with healthy/athletic weight and bodyfat levels, then yes - just about anybody in reasonable health without prohibitive medical issues can achieve that.
  • mom22dogs
    mom22dogs Posts: 470 Member
    I think being fit is having the functional strength to do what you need to do for your daily life. I belong to a medically oriented gym at a hospital. It's in their physical therapy area. I'm always hearing them talk about having functional strength to keep being able to do what you need to do - get up out of a chair, go up and down stairs, carry things, turn, reach, bend, lift, etc. They set up a lot of older people with exercise programs that work on these things.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    For me, being fit means that I am able to do the physical activities that I want to do. I can run long distances without stopping. I can lift heavy things. I can hike up a mountain without constantly needing to stop to catch my breath.

    Healthy, on the other hand, means that I'm working to nourish my body properly, and taking what steps I can to prevent illness. I'll eventually develop health problems that I can't control--it happens to everyone--but I'm trying to decrease the likelihood of that happening, and have as much time without illness as possible.

    For my personal goals, these things are complementary goals but are not the same. I think that I can improve my health by increasing my fitness, and vice versa.