Being thin doesn’t mean being fit

Spoke to another person in the gym last week that was stunned by her body composition analysis.

Her fat was a fair bit above normal, and she was in shock.

She is, by society’s visual image parameters, healthy and fit looking. When I asked her how the summer had been she thought it was clear what the device was accurately reading: almost no physical activity, lots of unhealthy food, beverages and laying around. This particular lady is quite young, and so the body can remain thin during this sort of time period, but eventually, things shift.

Lots of the first changes from inactivity and unhealthy food occur on the inside, invisible to the mirror.

A person can ‘look’ healthy for a few years, but eventually it catches up.

Like a marbled steak, people of this sort carry their fat internally, in the muscle, between the organs etc. and appear thin, but in reality and are not fit or healthy.

People who look thin often think they do not need to exercise, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Everyone needs to exercise. Everyone. Period.

We are designed for movement, all of us. Without it, so many things fail.

1. Blood sugar and insulin are designed for exercise. Without exercise, our muscles become insulin resistant and we can develop diabetes.

2. Cholesterol is shifted from bad to good with exercise. No exercise means more LDL and a higher risk of serious health issues.

3. Exercise helps your immune system work better, meaning you get sick less and are more able to fend off nasty colds and flus, or recover faster if you do get them.

4. Few things reduce depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder like exercise, especially if you go outside!

5. Exercise gives you more energy too, by keeping your metabolism running high, exchanging fluids, oxygen, sweating out toxins, jostling your intestines to help with digestion and so much more!

6. Exercise helps your posture, no matter what your body fat percentage. Better posture means less aches and pains as you age, and better movement!

7. De-stressing is a HUGE benefit of exercise, and again, has nothing to do with your appearance. Life can really get to us sometimes, and exercise lets us be present to our body, and move out the negative stress hormones like cortisol which can do so much damage.

8. Better sleep! A good workout helps the body set up to have a much better sleep, but don’t work out right before bedtime or you will still be too wired to rest.

9. You are smarter when you exercise. Your brain gets more oxygen and you can think more clearly after exercise – this is one of the really sad things about schools today, removing activity from the daily ritual.

10. You will be HAPPIER! Some serious mood enhancing hormones are released when you exercise – so go let those endorphins out!

Thin or thick, fit or fat, healthy or not, old or young, exercise is something everyone needs to do, every day!

Scott McDermott is the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.