Those who play sports have often heard both terms. Wellness and fitness appear as concepts that are incorporated into a sentence, if we go to pilates, if we attend a gym or if we feel that we have oriented our lives towards a healthier approach.
Now, is wellness the same as fitness?
The truth is, no. Although they share some characteristics, certain differences highlight that the final objective is not shared and that not all disciplines or exercises are indistinct for one or the other.
Let’s see what each idea is about and try to figure out if you are a fitness person or a wellness person. That is, if you are focused on physical results or achieving global well-being.
What is fitness?
Fitness is a process and a lifestyle that focuses on taking care of the person’s physical appearance through the performance of certain exercises. Of course, this training has an impact on better heart health parameters, for example, or metabolic health. However, the basic orientation is the maintenance of a harmonic body, with strength and resistance.
In fact, the first 3 letters of the word correspond to basic fitness criteria:
- The F is for frequency. It refers to how often we exercise.
- The I is for intensity. It refers to the intensity with which we do the training.
- The T, finally, is for time. This is the time we dedicate to routines.
So, we can say that fitness seeks to improve strength and endurance through routines that are repeated several times a week, continuously for months, increasing intensity as progress is made. This involves having a plan and setting goals.
The objectives in question are usually linked to figures, goals, records or personal brands that are intended to be beaten. For a runner it will be the minutes that can be cut to a distance. For someone who attends the gym it could be the weights to lift in so many repetitions.
The aesthetic aspect is not minor within fitness
Although more and more attention is paid to general well-being (wellness, as we will see later), it is clear that these workouts define the figure according to certain current parameters of beauty, which are nothing more than cultural canons.
Even so, training will bear fruit in the cardiovascular system, in the regulation of cholesterol and blood glucose, in stress control, and in brain function. But to take advantage of this consciously we have to go to wellness.
Fitness at home
Fitness exercises can be practiced in a gym, outdoors, at home or in a combination of these spaces.
What is wellness?
It is often said that wellness is a philosophy of life that unites the best of two worlds: fitness and mental health. There is no unanimous definition, but it could be understood as a process of making conscious and comprehensive decisions to have a better quality of life in all aspects.
Although is not reduced to being well. It must be considered that the movement, as such, brings the spiritual to the fore, at the same level as the physical and mental. This is why many critics of wellness label it a sect or a pseudo-religion. It is criticized for the possibility of “addiction” that exists among staunch practitioners, who would tend to take extreme actions in pursuit of achieving the supposed well-being.
Leaving the debate aside, we could divide your areas of interest into 6. All of them would work together and none is more important than the other:
The physical: this would be the fitness of wellness. It is exercising, but also eating correctly so that the body performs its physiological functions in a healthy way.
The intellect: activities to stimulate memory, problem-solving and creativity are necessary. The mind is exercised as the muscles are.
The social: community networks are important for wellness. It is postulated that people achieve well-being when they participate in their community, bond with other human beings, and contribute to others also reaching happiness.
Work: employment cannot be just a way to get money. This philosophy states that at work there must be personal fulfillment and contribution to the community.
Emotions: mental health cannot be separated from what we feel. Managing stress, reducing anxiety, achieving healthy relationships with others are elements that contribute to wellness.
The spiritual: perhaps the most discussed area, about which we have already advanced something. It is about finding a purpose for the human being, a reason for being that justifies the other actions that are taken. For some it will be a traditional religion (such as Christianity), for others, it will be methods of connecting with the higher through meditative practices (such as Buddhism). The options are diverse and are not limited to the religious expressions that are mostly known.
Meditation in wellness
Meditation is an unavoidable part of wellness, as it is proposed as a way to improve mental health.
The 2 fundamental differences between fitness and wellness:
There are 2 differences between fitness and wellness that stand out above the rest of the comparisons. One is the ultimate goal of and the other is the method that is applied to reach that goal.
For fitness, the central thing is the body. Training and even feeding routines are established so that the body acquires a certain shape and, at the same time, allows us to achieve marks. For example, we set ourselves the goal of having ripped abs in 6 months. Or we conscientiously prepare for a marathon that we will run in 1 year.
Wellness has a general and long-term objective that covers the entire arc of life. It is to live well, happily, with a physical condition according to age, preventing physical and mental illnesses.
As for the method, the work of the physicist will focus on the exercises and the combination with a consistent diet. On the other hand, if we seek global well-being, then we will add meditation, mental exercises, choosing a job that makes us happy, fostering friendships, and everything that contributes its grain of sand to the quality of life.
Learn about the differences between health and wellness
Are you fitness or wellness?
It is difficult to validate the question that separates fitness people from wellness people. There are those who relate that his path was from the first to the second. There are others for whom general well-being is an unattainable concept and consider that body care is in itself quality of life at its best.
Now you know the differences. But the most important thing is that you choose to take care of yourself. If you do, the term goes to the background.