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It always amazes me how many times I hear reference to someone who is skinny as being ‘fit’. Let’s be clear: ‘Skinny’ does NOT equal ‘in shape’! Not all skinny people are fit and not all fit people are skinny. While there are those who are slim and in great shape, there are also those who are slim and would not be able to jog half a mile without stopping to rest. Likewise, the person who appears, by society’s standards, to have a less-than-ideal body, could be in phenomenal shape.

It saddens me that people perceive ‘skinny’ to be ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’. There are many factors that influence why someone is naturally thin, including both genetics and environment.

While some of these skinny individuals may appear healthy, this is not necessarily true. Oh, but they have a six pack! Ok, actually, they don’t really. Everyone has abdominal muscles just as they have biceps, quadriceps and hamstring muscles. These individuals just have such a low level of body fat that their abdominal muscles are visible.

So why get fit and not skinny? Keep reading…

Health. If you are aiming to be skinny, you will likely not eat enough. Your body needs fuel to exercise and that fuel comes from a balanced diet. Not eating enough will result in your body feeling too tired to workout. Studies have shown that regular physical activity also may help prevent many major illnesses.

Strength. By getting fit, you will feel more energized and it will take you less effort to do the things you found tiring before. I’m not just talking about being able to do more push ups or being able to dead lift ‘x’ amount of weight. There are everyday things that we do that take energy and, without sufficient strength to do them, they can be cumbersome.

Confidence. Seeing and being aware of the physical changes you are going through while getting fit will instill confidence and promote a feeling of being more comfortable in your own skin.

Mental health and well-being. When you focus on getting fit, not only will your mood improve, you will also encounter positive changes in self perception. These psychological rewards are a great reason to focus on doing regular physical activity, and can instill long-term motivation.

So, the next time that you see someone who is really skinny, don’t just assume that they are more fit than someone who clearly works out more often. Focus on getting fit, not thin!

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