What is good health? Is it being able to run 100m flat in sub 20seconds? Is it being able to play with your children, nieces and nephews in the garden all afternoon without back breaking pain? Or is it to be able to climb a flight of stairs without losing your breathe?
Health and fitness is many things, but its unique to everyone, we all have our own perception and belief systems about what is good health and fitness. And there lays the problem, wheres the standard? Even more problematic for us, no one person, organising body or lead in the industry will ever be able to set the standard. Most sports and health professionals will claim they hold the keys to good health and fitness, when actually, its a large combination of everything which brings us to a good state of wellbeing. This includes everything from your physical and mental health, how fulfilling your relationships
The Illness-Wellness continuum is a basic logical chart which we can use to bench mark and measure where we are, at one end is disease and premature death, the other, wellness and high level health. We see that the closer to high level wellness we are, the more physical active and aware of nutrition we will be. The closer to poor health and disease, we find that medicine, and lose of normal body function we become.
This is a really basic tool to measure where you are right now and highlight the importance of maintaining good levels of physical activity, good nutrition and to be mindful of your mental health as its all part of the same package. Wellness is not a 12 week programme, it is not a fad diet, its for life. At different times in our life we will certainly be at a different point of the scale, but we should always be striving for our optimal health to avoid premature death. Right now, the choices you make each day will affect where you are on the scale, do not push yourself down the scale by neglecting your health.
At Phoenix Strength, we have used this scale to act as a guide and base for our athlete levels.
We have 3 athlete levels, HEALTH, FITNESS and PERFORMANCE. The programming at each of these levels will reflect a stage on the wellness continuum.
We believe that ALL individuals should hold at least the level of Neutral, aka, the comfort zone, roughly level 4-6. This is being able to understand the basic mechanics of the body and maintain an average to good level of fitness as well as be able to independently train around 3 times per week. How this looks in real life, you should have little or no ailments in the body. Back ache, neck and shoulder pain should not be a regular feature in your day to day life, if and when you do have any issues, you also know a few basic tricks to relieve yourself of discomfort rather then visit a Physiotherapist for these small muscular releases. You will have an average level of strength, be able as male or female, do manual labour in your home, lift and move heavily objects, climb the stairs without being out of breath, generally live a better quality of life day to day. This is the minimum level. Everyone should hold this level of wellbeing and meet the standards set out in the programming for both weights and movement.
At this level, an individual will be proficient in following the Health programming. They will be able to meet all the prescribed movement and weight standards before progressing to Fitness. Individuals at this level will be striving for progress with their wellbeing, rather then just meeting the minimum standard. On the scale they will sit around the 6-8 mark. This will mean increased strength, more complex and dynamic movements and training around 4-5 times per week will be a regular occurrence. An individual here may be fit to run around with children all day, feel no additional pressures or anxiety about being completely any household chores and life administration (sometimes things can get pretty hectic!), energy levels will be high, the body will work well. Someone may also participate in recreational sports such as distance running, triathlon, cycling. Progressing from Health to Fitness will make you feel fit for life. Maintaining this level of wellbeing to us is the ideal.
Here, individuals will be fitter then most. Sitting on the scale at 9+, they will have a proficient level of knowledge and understanding of the body and be comfortable with training 5+ times per week. They may take part competitively in sports at weekends, looking to gain personal bests. This level of programming would also act as a good supplement to follow while practicing other sports. At this stage no day to day challenge will phase you, your strength and conditioning will keep you feeling fit and healthy, ready to tackle anything life may throw at you.
We believe that all individuals could work towards gaining a good level of wellbeing at the level of Fitness.. Of course over a longer period of time, through consistent practice some may begin to need fresh challenges, these maybe within the levels of Performance. In an ideal world everyone would be smashing the top level fitness, but we appreciate that this may not be the goal for everyone and that it isn’t realistic, but of course, the higher up the scale, the further away from premature disease.
Now you understand exactly what to expect at each level, all thats needed now is to join the community and get started!