Expand Your Definition of Health

Is your health & fitness the best it’s ever been? If you answered ‘yes’ congrats! The follow up question would then be ‘what could be better?’.

For those that aren’t experiencing the best health, what could be better? Would it be to lose some weight and take stress off certain joints? Would it be to increase mobility and range of motion so movement is easier and pain-free? Would it be to increase energy, do more and keep up with friends and family? Maybe it would be to have a release outlet for daily stressors and to have a more relaxed mindset.

When we take stock of our health, fitness and performance, most people aren’t satisfied. More than just not satisfied many aren’t happy with their health, with the way their body looks and how they perform in sports.

For some people the level of dissatisfaction gets to such a point that it changes things beyond their health. They opt out of social gatherings due to a lack of confidence. They stay home rather accept invites to reunions, parties and other fun events. When it comes to sports, they may abandon the idea of competing or even just participating in a sport. Skiing hurts their knees too much. Their shoulders are so bad they don’t play tennis more. And running always sets off their back and hips.

Maybe you can relate to some of these situations? You may feel as though you’re caught in a catch-22. You know what you want. And you have an idea of what you need to do. But you don’t want to do the wrong things and waste your time, or worse, get injured. And there’s always the challenge of finding the time to fit in one more thing into your day.

Below is a solution that hasn’t been mentioned before.

Probably our best health and fitness tip ever.

Probably our best health and fitness tip ever.

And it will work for everyone and for all goals.

There are two parts to this solution.

  1. The first part is to identify the weakest link when it comes to your health.
  2. The second part is to expand your definition of health to include the weakest aspect of your health.


Below I’ll explain both of these in greater detail.

In terms of identifying the weakest link in your health you need to look at the components that contribute to health. This could be your mindset, your rest, your nutrition or your training. Let’s look at a few  examples to see how this applies.

Client Joe has a weight loss goal. He trains intensely 5 days per week. He eats to create a caloric deficit comprised of whole foods, fruits, vegetables and drinks lots of water. Joe believes in his goal and is highly motivated to achieve it.

Joe also spends his evenings watching TV and gets about 5 hours of sleep per night.

Without getting into the science of how less than optimal sleep impairs a weight loss goal let’s just agree this is the weak link in Joe’s plan.

Other weak links include:

  • not eating enough or too much
  • not drink enough water
  • drinking too many calories
  • not believing in or being motivated to achieve the goal
  • not training frequently or intensely enough

Once you identify your weak link you need to add this to your definition of health.

For example, every day there are things we will do for heath. Think of things like:

  • going to sleep
  • eating
  • drinking water
  • breathing
  • taking a shower
  • brushing your teeth

99.9% of us will agree these are our daily health habits. Sure you can find exceptions to the rules i.e. intermittent fasting, but for the most part these habits apply daily.

Think of when people get tripped up on their health efforts. They will make mention of time and travel, among other reasons, fornot sticking to their health and fitness habits.

‘I was away for work all of last month.’

‘We had company staying with us for the last couple of weeks.’

‘Work has been incredibly busy.

‘All my time and finances are devoted to the care and attention of my kids.’

‘It’s too hot in the summer to think about exercise. I’ll pick it up again in in the fall when the weather cools.’

Sound familiar?

Hey, guess what? I’ve been guilty of using these excuses in the past. And I’m sure the other coaches at OPP have been as well.

So I’m not here to judge but instead to identify with you and offer a solution.

Here’s another way of looking at this…

When any of the situations above arose did you abandon your health habits?

Did you go on that trip for work and leave your tooth brush at home? Did you stop eating, drinking water or breathing when you got busy with family or hosting guests?

Sure there may have been disruptions in your normal routine but for the most part you stuck to your health habits.

Going forward you need to expand your definition of health. Just as you will always shower and brush your teeth you will always address the weakest link in your health and fitness regardless of where you are and how busy you get.

Your definition of health will be unique to you. And must be adhered to like other rules in our lives. You will always stop for a red light or stop sign. Going forward your new  expanded definition of health now includes your weakest link.

If you need help determining your weak link reach out to one of our coaches at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. You can email us athletetraining (at) shaw (dot) ca or call (250) 212-2972.




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