Fit, well, healthy, & pretty

When my illustrious editor at the Enterprise-Journal Newspaper asked me what I was going to name my series of columns that I was starting to write, I had no idea.  I just knew I wanted to write about health and fitness topics with a somewhat anecdotal tone.  He suggested that the column’s title should be 2-3 words that describe the general topic of the column and off the top of my head, I said, “How about Fit, Well, & Healthy?”  And he made it so.

Even though that was sort of a spur of the moment decision, I think it’s a pretty good name because it describes the kinds of things I like to write about – health, wellness, fitness.  I also like the title because those are very broad categories so I’m able to tell lots of different stories so long as I can sort of shoehorn them into one of those categories.

The title also describes my expertise – fitness, coaching, general health and wellness, rehab, mentoring, that sort of thing – without ever suggesting that I am dispensing medical advice because I am not.  I am not a Medical Doctor, I do not play one on TV, and I didn’t even stay at the Holiday Inn Express last night. I tell anecdotes about my experiences in the very broad domains of health, wellness, and fitness.

But then I got to thinking that some folks might think the title is just three synonyms thrown together, but fitness, wellness, and health are not the same things.

Fitness is the most specific of the three topics because it implies a specific task or activity.  You cannot really be fit in general – you are either fit or unfit for a certain activity.  To be fit for an activity is to have the physical and mental capacity and skills to take part in that activity safely and productively.  You can be fit (or in shape) to play football but still be unfit for other activities, like swimming or climbing mountains.  If I were to write about how Elise and I trained to prepare for an 8-day hike up Kilimanjaro, I’d be talking about fitness.

Healthy implies a lack of disease or a lifestyle that promotes a lack of common diseases.  When I write articles about risk factors for heart disease or COPD, or how to quit smoking, or that sort of thing, I am writing about health topics.

As an aside, you can be both healthy and fit without conforming to society’s arbitrary and subjective standards of aesthetic beauty.  You could be too fat or too skinny, a muscle-bound jock or a pencil-necked geek, and still be fit enough to totally rock your chosen activities and healthy enough to live 100 years without having a physician pester you about chronic disease risk factors.

Wellness is a more holistic, overarching term that implies a state of mental, physical, spiritual, and social wellbeing.  Wellness is also the most general of my topics, sort of like a miscellaneous catch-all that allows me to write about almost anything I please.  If I’m writing about World War II veterans I’ve met then it is a wellness topic because it is generally good for you spiritually and socially to respect your elders. 

Wellness is also the subject that blends most perfectly with all the lifestyle content at because Travel, Adventure, Conservation, and Food are all aspects of Wellness.

So, now that you have a better idea about what my Fit, Well, & Healthy column is about , stay tuned Dear constant Reader, because I’m just getting started.