Is there a difference between “Being Healthy” & “Being Fit”?  

The short answer is YES!  

For many years we have been sold a lie by the “Fitness Industry” the lie that health and fitness are one in the same, or that they even have the same goals, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Next time you visit your local gym just look at the garbage foods and drinks they sell in the vending machines, full of caffeine and chemicals, do they really look healthy to you?

Most people have Average Fitness Goals, but I believe its because they don’t know whats actually available to them.  Keep reading!

Average Fitness Goals:
– Lose fat, – Build muscle, – Get stronger, – Improve endurance/conditioning, – Improve athletic skills,  – Improve flexibility.

These “Fitness Goals” are very good goals to have and something everyone should strive for, and some of them are even good for your health, like losing weight and getting stronger.

Average Fitness goals are usually achieved in Big Gyms / Corporations by using a variety techniques, I have listed a few below.  These techniques can help you to “physically” look better and even have more energy but usually offer no “Internal Health Benefits” and more times than not they cause injury, sometimes requiring physical therapy and even surgery to fix mostly due to improper structure issues.

Exercises commonly used by Big Gyms / Corporations
-Weight lifting/training  -Strength Training Using Equipment  -Tire Flip Workouts -High Impact Aerobics / Exercises  -Spinning Classes  -Competitive Sports  -Jogging in Place  -Burpees  -Squat Jumps   -Froggy Jumps  -Side to Side Jumping Lunges  -Long Jumps  -Plyojacks  -Trampoline  -Jump Rope.

and the list goes on and on…

These types of High Impact exercises have one basic thing in common, they are all designed to make you look better on the outside, but offer no real Internal benefits.  Unfortunately most people are happy to sign up for these results until something rips, tears, or goes terribly wrong.

This outdated exercise model has been used since 1939, when Jack LaLanne opened what is now believed to be health club in the  U.S.A.  located in Oakland, California.  Fitness then began to be commercialized and these big Gyms/Corporations were set up with goals not to improve health, but to exploit the peoples desire to be fit and in shape.  The desire to look like those models in the ads and commercials with the six pack abs and unrealistically so called “perfect bodies”.  Its interesting to note that most if not all of these BIG GYMS will use a disclaimer at the bottom of the advertising that usually says something like this: “These results are not typical”.

The Hard Truth!
Most people driven by competitive sports or body image alone have such a high drive to achieve or win, that most if not all concern for health goes right out the window.  Sadly, both of these objectives can be achieved while targeting and focusing on health, but the methods used are very different.

Most people that walk into a gym desperately need basic training exercises to correct poor structural issues before ever starting any exercise routine. If the skeletal structure is misaligned, the strain of the exercises will fall on areas within the body that are not capable of supporting that extra pressure thus causing injury.

Most Gyms just sign you up and let you have at it without much instruction at all, and sometimes for an extra charge you are given “X” amount of sessions with a personal trainer for extra guidance.  Unfortunately, most fitness trainers are NOT properly trained in structural alignment, so they don’t understand of the importance of it.

Because of this lack of understanding and training in this field, they neglect to address this basic problem. Without proper alignment, the type of exercises listed above can be very injurious to your skeletal structure, your joints and your connective tissues.

The science of today’s world shows a whole new way to approach health & fitness… Keep Reading!

Finally, The Good News
There is an exercise that will give you a complete healthy workout focusing on the internal and external and ALWAYS addressing the skeletal system first before adding any pressure on the body.  This exercise is perfect for any age group, and for all stages of your life.   This exercise is called Tai Chi.
Why Tai Chi?  Because Tai Chi is Low Impact and directly focuses on all of these bodily systems listed below at the same time.

Below are just a few of the many Health Benefits that can be gained by doing Tai Chi.

Real Health Benefits – Internal and External
1. Cardiovascular Health (Healthy Heart, Veins & Arteries, Controlled Blood Pressure)
2. Muscular / Skeletal Health (Tone, Muscle Mass, Bone Density and Bone Health)
3. Joint and Connective Tissue Health (Strong Healthy Elastic Joints, Shock Absorbency)
4. Digestive Health (Adsorption, Digestion & Excretion)
5. Mental Health (Psychological Well Being, Helps Aid in Depression, Anxiety, and Psychological Stress – Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation)
6. Nervous System Health (Calmness, Sensitivity, and Pain Relief)
7. Balance and Flexibility (Helps Reduce or Eliminate Falls and Injury)
8. Weight Loss (excellent overall)

and this list continues, but I think you get the picture here…

Do you see the difference?  You can be fit, and still be very unhealthy.  Or you can have both but you have to choose wisely.

Tai Chi has been studied, tested and approved.  Endorsed by Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, The Arthritis Foundation, and many other prestigious Health Organizations because it works.  Harvard Medical even wrote a book about the benefits of Tai Chi called: The Harvard Medical Guide to Tai Chi  (a must read).

If you want to learn Tai Chi in Colorado Springs, visit our school the Tai Chi Association of Colorado Springs.  To learn online visit: .  There is no time like the present, don’t wait until something goes wrong or breaks, start learning today!

Article written by Julie Paler, The Tai Chi Association of Colorado Springs

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