I've touched on it briefly before, just as achieving a high level of endurance does not equate to a high level of general fitness (marathon runner vs crossfit athlete), a high level of general fitness does not necessarily equate to health. I was inspired to write this post when reading Movement by Gray Cook. A line read "it's a matter of health versus fitness."
I've participated in many endurance events. After spending so much time running long and slow I realized I was pretty shitty at short and fast/heavy and I questioned my fitness. I used to think being fit meant you could run far, I really did. Then, while researching minimalist shoes I happened upon CrossFit and was absolutely destroyed by their basic workouts consisting of weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic conditioning. I had a new definition of fitness. I wanted to be able to run long and slow and short and fast, jump high, play sports, balance, lift heavy shit from the ground to overhead , stand on my head and eat hella grassfed beef. That's what I have been doing for the last couple of years and I have been diggin it. I've gained muscle and feel healthier. Weird right?
A few weeks ago I came across a video put up by Josh Rubin of East West Healing and Performance regarding body temperature. We all know normal human body temp is 98.6. He mentioned that in a stressed state, the temp lowers and that by taking our temperature more frequently we can keep an eye on our health/metabolic rate/stress. Rats with higher metabolic rates live longer than rats with lower metabolic rates. Running cold and having a heart rate under 50 bpm perhaps was a bad thing... The viewing came about whilst I was experiencing on occasion, cold nose, cold hands and feet and a lot of fatigue. I had run a marathon a week before and had been working long hours. I took my temp and I was an icy 97.5. Metabolically stressed much? Those who know me know I am a pretty relaxed fellow but it appears not so according to Mr. Thermometer, and Mr. Thermometer don't lie. I asked a client of mine who is a nurse if she sees low temps frequently and she said almost all patients she sees have a temp under 98. NOT OK. Josh Rubin is all about Ray Peat and I have been looking into his stuff and find some if it very compelling. It has also lead me to check out some of Matt Stone's stuff. I'm becoming less aggro about Paleo and trying to be a little less stressed, eat more carbs and get my temp up. I just took it and I am up to 98.3. That is the highest reading I have had in the 2 weeks I have been taking it. Know what I did last week? Nothing. It was my deload week as I am currently doing 5/3/1 and the rest is built into the program. I started drinking more milk and more carbs and eating more frequently. It has raised my temperature and also, interestingly, now I remember my dreams when I wake up. Say what? Ya heard!
So what is the point of this post? Well, I guess just to say that my thoughts on fitness are progressing once again. Just as my perception of fitness was broadened from endurance to all energy systems it appears that it is again getting broader, from general fitness to general health and how the former may disrupt the ladder. It's almost common knowledge now that endurance athletics are bad for you. Constantly taxing the oxidative pathway, a bunch of aerobic exercise creates free radicals and cancer. No Bueno. Get off the elliptical and lift some weights. Now everyone wants intensity. But we will find that you can't go hard all the time or you will get burnt out. Too much Lactic acid, training the glycolitic pathway (read:CrossFit) is bound to have negative results as well, we are just not sure what they are yet. We need global fitness. We need to sprint, go for a long hike every now and then, do Tai Chi/meditate 3-7 days a week, lift heavy weights with 2-5 minutes between sets every week, eat organic whole foods consisting of 80-100 grams of protein PER DAY and we need to smash ourselves with HIIT every now and again too.
So that's that. Keep it real, keep it fit, keep it 2 legit 2 quit y'all.