Fat, Fit or Both?

Posted: December 9, 2011 by jerkmag in CRISP -- health
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ll admit it: I’m guilty of prematurely judging people based on their weight. But before you start rioting in the streets, trying to discredit me as a health blogger, hear me out. I’m not saying overweight people aren’t worthwhile people; I just don’t associate being overweight with being fit.

That was, until I read multiple articles claiming that overweight people could be just as fit, if not fitter, than thin people. And if those articles didn’t change my mind on the subject, my experience at the gym a few days ago sure did.

A girl who was noticeably bigger than me hopped on the treadmill next to mine about a mile into my own run. Long story short: she kicked my ass. (Yes, I am one of those people who glance over at their neighbor’s progress on the treadmill. I’m competitive. Get over it.) Despite my best efforts to stay in the game, she actually ended up lapping me. And when I was finally finished and was gasping for air, she was still going.

This isn’t so surprising, according to the NPR.com article, “Can You Be Fat And Fit? More Health Experts Say Yes.”  A cardiologist at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute claims that “’fitness’ now trumps ‘fatness.’”

Health experts agree that a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) isn’t as telling of one’s health as a fitness test would be, since muscle weighs more than fat.  How to know if you’re fit consists of three tasks: You can walk 30 to 60 minutes without having to stop, you can climb two flights of stairs without becoming winded, and you are able to do mild to moderate aerobic activity.

Basically, overall health and fitness isn’t as tied to weight as was once thought. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up your daily gym routine and healthy diet–those are the things that make that little bit of extra cushion acceptable.

As for the girl at the gym–she’d better watch out. I’ve been slowly upping my workout regimen. The next time I see her, it’s on.

-Amber Brenza

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