Are You Fit or Healthy?

by Exercise, Health

A discussion that came up the other day. We were talking about health and fitness. Now we say people are a fitness coach or a health coach or a trainer and all these different things. And it’s kind of like everyone just gets thrown into this one specific hat.

But in reality, health and fitness are very, very different things. 

And what we want to look at is that you can be fit without being healthy. In fact, if you go too deep into the fitness route without fulfilling your body’s need for health, then you can be very, very unhealthy as a result. You end up pushing harder and harder, you want to get further and further but how does your life actually look as a result of smashing it too hard?

And now I speak from personal experience. I used to go to the gym, smashed these hard sessions, go into ‘beast’ mode, really do strict diets and all these different things. 

And as a result, I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my business.

And I see a lot of people driven by their ego when it comes to the way they want to train, the way they want to diet, putting a name on it and all these different things. Whilst building their business. So therefore people are pushing their work, pushing their training, pushing other things in their life, not potentially having the healthiest diet side of things, because it’s not sexy to say to someone you’re only training two times a week.

It’s not sexy to say you’re not training to failure or any of these different things. It’s not sexy to say, oh, I’m just doing something specific to myself. 

And that’s where we have to look at completely taking our ego out of it where we say, hang on, this isn’t working for me where I’m at right now. I need to make sure I adapt this and change because yes, there are some very, very fit people.

In fact, let’s look ahead to things like the Tour de France, some ultra endurance events or the Olympics where we’ll have some very high, high levels of fitness. 

But they are specifically fit for their individual sport. 

I’ve worked with professional athletes before, people that have been in the Tour de France people that have been in the world championships, people that have actually been in the Olympics before.

And when we actually looked deeper into their bodies, they show signs that they are not healthy. And that’s one of the frustrations I had when I was specifically working with endurance athletes – my goal was to get them from A to B as fast as possible, then we’ll look at health. Not let’s look at health and then get you to A to B as fast as possible.

It was simply well, we’ll deal with the repercussions afterwards. 

And many of these athletes are paying their bills based on their results. So I totally totally understand it is a job for them. And that’s where, when I look at clients, how are we going to structure their potential training, how we’re going to structure their nutrition, some supplement protocols and the mindset work.

How much actual stress are you under and what is actually showing up in your body that something deeper is going on? So you have certain things like getting a lot of brain fog going on, you have energy fluctuations. 

You have times where you just cannot sleep through the night without having broken sleep, or you feel yourself waking up too early or not being able to get to sleep just random cravings, high level of anxiety, poor digestion and bloat, bad skin, all these different things that are signs that your body is not where it needs to be.

So when we look at training, when we look at the ways we get someone to be healthy. It’s not uncommon for me to say to someone who comes to me and says, “I want to be healthy and I want to drop some weight”. And I say to them, “okay, we’re going to stop training for a couple of weeks”. And they look at me and they say, well, “I don’t think that really works because I need to burn more calories. I need to sort all this diet stuff out and I need to smash it in the gym. I need to push harder.’ 

But more is not always better because what happens with your body? 

I had a discussion with a client yesterday and she said she’s been resting for a long while, and I explained rest to your body and rest – like the way we vision rest as a high performing entrepreneur – they are different things.

I explained to her about the certain things that had gone on since she had an injury in February. She said “I’ve been resting since the injury”. 

No, this went on in your life, then this went on in your life. Then there was an illness in the family. Then there was something going on in your business. There was probably about five or six super, super stressful things that were going on in her life at this time where she said, she’d been ‘resting’. 

Now in an ideal world, you get that injury and then you want to rest and recuperate and recover.

You won’t have these excess stresses because the body sees stress, both physiological and psychological stress as the same thing. And it has the same reaction of pushing you into the fight or flight mode and pushing you to that point where it overloads the central nervous system. 

Therefore, if you’re in a state where you’re trying to push your business to the next level, or you’re trying to really develop a massive, massive idea, is it really going to be a good thing to push hard training?

No, we need to get a good balance here. 

It’s not to say we don’t go to the gym but we design a specific training based around the stress that your body can undertake right now. And that is going to change from week to week. That’s one of the reasons that I have such a high level of contact with my clients so one week they might do two sessions the next week they do three sessions.

And what we can do is look at recovery. Especially if you’ve got an Oura ring or an Apple watch – they do it on Fitbit – is rather than just looking at your readiness or your overall level of recovery, have a look at something called your heart rate variability, your HRV. 

“What’s HRV?” I hear you ask.

When I’ve said to clients to check your HRV. I hear ‘Great it’s this, what should it be?” and I tell them it should be above 60. “What is it?” 

Sometimes I hear 12 13, 14, 20, 23. All these different low, low numbers. And it just allows us to see where our body actually is when in a stressed state. And what we need to look at is how can we increase that number? 

We get good nutrition that actually meets our needs, and we get the right vitamins in there, the right minerals, the right hydration and that means good levels of hydration.

We start to manage our blood glucose levels. 

We prepare our body the right time by going to sleep at the right time, the right way.

Because if you are one of these people that wakes up once, twice, three, however many times during the night, because you need the toilet or whatever it is, that is not normal!

Unfortunately it is massively common. But it is definitely not normal

And you want to be looking into the reasons why your body is waking you up. Usually because of stress, because of poor blood glucose management and some underlying things that could be going on there. So look at working at the foundations, as we’ve said but consistency with routine, the right foods, hydration, managing your blood glucose, getting your sleep right.

Not training too hard. And when you do start training, try to push a little bit more training with your mind and your brain to make sure you’re not overdoing it. One of the things I do is be really specific with the training I eventually give to clients and why I’ve got the reputation I have is because we build up that body from these foundations. 

So work on those foundations, leave your ego out of it. You do not need to be doing 75 minutes hard or smashing hard five, six days a week.

We do not need to be going into full on bodybuilding training, full on CrossFit training. You do not need to be doing stupidly long fasts, or detoxing supplements or any of these things – or extreme diets. Simply work out what is going to work for you. Get the accountability to do it and get going.

Now, if you need help with that, you know exactly where I am. Simply drop me a message, comment and we can chat about how to work on getting your body built specifically for your needs, your goals and make sure you’re not becoming fit. 

You’re become healthy.