CHAPTER 1 Connecting Fitness and Nutrition FITNESS VS. HEALTH— WHAT’S THEDIFFERENCE? Fitness, nutrition, and health all exist in a similar space. They all impact the human body, and being vigilant about all three is generally considered to be good for you. Is there a difference between being healthy and being fit? Howdoes nutrition play a role in all of it? Let’s attempt to answer these questions. Let’s start with health. Technically, health is defined as “the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially: freedom fromphysical disease or pain.” Feeling sick or rundown has an impact on our overall health. The same goes for being emotionally stressed, malnourished, or physically unfit. Fitness and nutrition, therefore, are both things that can impact our health. Youmay have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Inmany cases, that’s true. Your cells are constantly growing, dying, reproducing, and otherwise changing in response to their environment. Part of that environment comes from food andwater. Your diet quite literally provides the nutrients to build cellular structures, as well as signal storage, transformation, and distribution of information. Exercise has a similar impact. Assuming you don’t overexert yourself too often, exercise is considered eustress . As the opposite of distress, eustress refers tomoderate or normal physiological stress that is beneficial for the experiencer. Running, for example, can seemhard at first, but eventually improves mood, heart health, andmetabolism. Basically, exercise is another outside stimulus that alters internal physiology (a.k.a. health).


Connecting Fitness and Nutrition

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