Can it be Possible to be Fit but Unhealthy?

The words “fit” and “healthy” are usually synonymous. When you think of someone who is fit, most people picture someone who is healthy and vice versa. However, this is not always the case. Remember Ryan Shay? For those who don’t, Ryan was an Olympic marathon runner who passed away during the U.S. Olympic Marathon trial1. He died at age 28 from a heart attack1. In order to prevent such untimely and tragic occurrences you must first understand why “fit” and “healthy” are not always indicative of the other.

Being fit is the ability of our body to perform based on things like strength, stamina, and body composition2. The basic definition of good health is the absence of disease2. However, it has come to mean more than that. It now includes Fit But Unhealthy Picyour ability to handle stress and your psychological well-being2. Pushing your body passed an appropriate physical stress level can often cause poor health. Symptoms include but are not limited to Bradycardia, autonomic imbalance, thyroid disease, adrenal disease, hypertension, inflammation, malnutrition, increased oxidative damage, and anemia3. All of these ailments can hide just below the surface of a seemingly healthy individual.

All is not lost, there are things you can do to check and alleviate these potential problems. The first step is start by monitoring your body composition using seca mBCA 514 or seca mBCA 525. Many of the aforementioned symptoms can be spotted when you get routine assessments from these devices. Second, many diseases stem from stress, both physical and mental. So just relax! Overtraining and mental fatigue will lower your body’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria. Lastly, remove highly processed foods from your diet. Doing so will help you achieve optimal fat oxidation and keep you both fit and healthy4.


[1]Maffetone, Philip. Athletes: 
 Unhealthy Is 
 Game? Publication. Dr. Philip Maffetone, 2008. Web. 28 July 2016. (1)

[2]Lee, Lexa W. “Can a Person Be Physically Fit and Still Unhealthy?” Chron 2016 (2)

[3]Maffetone, Philip B., and Paul B. Laursen. “Athletes: Fit but Unhealthy?” SpringerOpen. Springer International Publishing Ltd, 26 May 2016 (3)

[4]Maffetone, Philip B., and Paul B. Laursen. “Can an Athlete Be Fit but Unhealthy?” Competitor Group Inc., 27 May 2016. (4)

1 Response to “Can it be Possible to be Fit but Unhealthy?”

  1. 1 Ruth-Anne West August 22, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Yes. I’ve spent $12k out of pocket treating iron deficiency anemia over the past 6 years. The doctors who’ve treated me blamed heavy periods and yet I barely get them. People say ‘oh you’re a vision of health’ because I eat salad and run all the time. The body clearly tells a different story. Thank you for writing this.

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