Fitness Magazine

The Misconception of Being Fit Means Having Six Pack Abs

By Becca1122 @fitnesscrazedd

There were many comments, many direct messages about nailing six pack abs after I posted my fitness video, "Get Toned under 5 minutes at Home", online. Many even asked whether will they get six pack abs by doing the workouts demonstrated in that particular video. Six pack abs are perhaps the most coveted body toning result that majority of people dream of. Many follow extreme diets and are willing to find fastest route to achieve six pack abs. To our generation six pack abs are an achievement and a glory. But what is the contribution of six pack abs into our overall health and fitness level? What is the relationship between being fit and possessing six pack abs? If one does not have six pack abs does it mean that he or she is not fit? How do we define fitness and six pack abs? These are some questions we should try to reflect on to understand some basic myth and misconceptions regarding our fitness, abs and body.

How do health and fitness experts define fitness? Fitness is not associated to a certain waist size or fitting into your favorite jeans. According to US Department of Health, fitness is related to five components which are body fat percentage, cardiac endurance, flexibility, muscle endurance and muscle strength. Can we see six pack abs in the list? No. Health is a broad subject. Health can not be determined by one body part of our body. To be fit, first of all, we need a balanced body fat ratio(depending on height, gender and ideal weight). Then we need a fully functional heart that can sustain activities such as running, jumping, swimming, etc. Then our muscle and tissues should be able to stretch in order to support wide range of movement and body posture. Our muscles should be able to sustain impact of rigorous activity of daily life such as walking, jogging, running, climbing stairs, etc. And lastly, our muscles should be able to generate force to counteract resistance. Only by ticking all these five boxes, one can call oneself fit.

Now let's come to our abs. Abs are made of our core - lower belly, side oblique, upper belly and back. A good and strong core is essential to tick all the five boxes that determine our fitness. A strong core will help us stand sturdy, walk faster, climb better, jump higher and carry weights better. Strong core doesn't mean to have defined packs. Six pack abs are a result of genetics, diet and lower fat ratio. Six pack abs are surely beautiful but not necessary to lead a healthy life-a strong core is. A strong core doesn't need to divide its muscle into six packs.

So in a nutshell, six pack abs are a fruit of hard labor in the gym, clean eating and healthy lifestyle. It is like a jewelry while a strong core is your neck. There are many athletes, martial artists, trainers, etc. who do not have six packs. But they can outperform most people in terms of their lean muscle mass and endurance. It is clearly a huge misconception to associate six pack abs with being fit. Six pack abs look great but you are still fit if you have an overall functional fit body that performs great.

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