First, can you be healthy without being fit? No. Being physically fit is a major component of being healthy, but it’s not the only one. The other components are nutritional and mental/emotional/stress management, each of which are comprehensive topics themselves.
Second, can you get fit in one workout? No, that’s crazy even to suggest it. So, fitness is cumulative.
Third, by definition, anything that is cumulative qualifies as something that can be compounded, meaning the more you do, the greater the benefit. The more fit you are, the more healthy you have the potential to become. However, lengthy aerobic exercise such as two-to-three hour runs in preparation for marathons and all day events such as ironman triathlons can be very stressful to the body because extended endurance training causes increased cortisol levels, which result in accelerated aging from oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, depressed immune response and muscle breakdown, not to mention abnormal wear and tear on joints and connective tissue such as cartilage and ligaments.
So, how does one get the greatest benefit of compounding fitness without the negative effects of over-training? It’s accomplished by engaging in regular (meaning 5-6 days/week), short interval, high intensity training sessions. This is where you move, pant and sweat for a minimum of thirty minutes nearly every day.
Real Life Movements
And here’s the method by which this can be accomplished. The key is to incorporate functional training through:
By incorporating variation, frequency, and intensity, you will develop the 10 elements or facets of fitness – endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance. And you will also experience the benefits of training movements versus training muscles. Functional training is defined as using the entire body instead of isolated muscle groups which is common to the “machines” used in gyms or specialized athletic event training.
Benefits of Full-Body Functional Movements:
• Quicker, more efficient workouts
• Scalable for all ages and fitness levels
• Greater range of motion – better for joint health and injury prevention
• Mimics real life body movements – develops coordination and agility
• Greater compounded health benefits
Finally, remember these key concepts:
• You can’t “out train” a bad diet: just because you had a good workout doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat a donut, a bagel or a Frappuccino; those foods will still be damaging to your body.
• Under-recovery goes hand in hand with over-training: not allowing the body to sufficiently recover from intense workouts is similar to the damage two hours on the treadmill can cause.
Now get moving!