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What is good health?

Good health and performance are a trade off. Find the balance with both to achieve more and live more.

Not too long ago I had a narrow view of what good health is. Particularly as it relates to men’s health.

I thought that the more muscular, leaner and stronger the body is the more healthy it is.

This is in part due to the type of advertising in the fitness industry. In reality the fitness industry is more about selling a lifestyle and a look than good health.

If a survey was carried out among gym goers it would find that the main reason people went to the gym was to improve the way they look. Improving their health would be further down the list.

While being muscular, lean and strong is better than the alternative, it’s a narrow view of looking at maintaining good health.

When your focus is to be jacked and shredded people often take it too far until it’s becomes unhealthy. It becomes an obsession and takes over their life.

good health
This does not mean good health

A male body with less than ten percent body fat is usually not considered healthy. While you may look good it can mess with your hormones, skin and organs.

The human body is composed of a series of complex systems which require a deeper knowledge and more thorough application to maintain.

When you think of good health men often think of the wrong things. Or, like me, equate an aesthetically pleasing body as a healthy body.

Speak to a group of doctors and each one will give you a different definition of what good health is. The reason why is because there is no clear definition.

How can there be a clear definition of what good health is when the human body is so complex? Besides, the medical community is far from having this whole health thing all figured out.

There are markers to good health. Weight, body fat percentage, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cell count, sleep quality, appearance and so on.

Markers don’t give much away. They don’t tell us how vibrant we are and how long we have to live.

Then there’s mental health to take into account. The science is much further behind the current understanding of physical health.

Good health is complex and no one knows exactly how it is defined. After all, we are essentially deteriorating matter from the day we are born.

My definition of good health is, if your mind and body are in sound agreement with no aches, pains or diseases. It is not how fast you can run or how much weight you can lift. That’s performance. Good health is being a fully functioning human of sound mind and body. That includes:

  • wake each morning feeling rested and positive about the day ahead
  • are capable of doing resistance exercises like lunges, dips, squats and pull ups
  • can do extended cardio like running five miles or cycling 20 miles with ease
  • can extend and stretch your body with relative ease
  • blood work panel show that each biomarker is in the optimal range
  • body fat is in the 10 to 13 percent range
  • follow the 80/20 rule on your diet. 80 percent of the food you eat is healthy
  • colds and flu don’t last long
  • resting heart rate is below 60bpm
  • know what hereditary diseases you have in the family
  • have good solid relationships
  • have a good philosophy about life
  • sex drive is good

Good health is about maintaining a perfectly normal human body. It’s not about how much your one rep max is or if you can do an Ironman triathlon.

Exerting yourself physically can often cause premature aging. See Wayne Rooney.

Equally you don’t want to die in a perfectly preserved body. Your life is a gift so your body should be ladled with scars, markings and stories to tell.

You need to push yourself in life. Physically and mentally.

Rooney is prematurely aging because he’s pushes himself to be one of the best football players in the world. He’s had global success and made millions doing it.

There’s a trade off between good health and performance. Find the balance between the two for an optimal life.

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