What it Means to Be “In Shape”

“I need to get in shape.” That’s an incredibly common phrase without a definite meaning. Getting in shape can translate to losing a few pounds, gaining some muscle, improving cardiovascular fitness, or whittling down a marathon time. It might seem like getting in shape is synonymous with getting healthier, but that’s not always the case.

Being healthy is easier to define than being in shape. By definition, to be healthy is to not be diseased. Everything in your body works the way it’s supposed to work. Good health can be a result of proper diet, exercise, and good life choices. However, someone can be perfectly healthy, yet feel as though they are not in shape.

Being in shape and being healthy are not the same thing. Some people view being thin as being in shape. You can be thin and be healthy, but being thin doesn’t make you healthy. Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes, and some are thinner than others. If your definition of being in shape means being thin, you might eat less food than your body needs to be healthy. People can be in their desired shape and not be healthy.

Good health should be your priority. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in better shape, as long as that means that you’re being healthy. Some people are naturally more muscular or thinner than others, and basing your definition of being in shape on a certain body type may not be realistic for you.

The best way to get in shape and maintain good health is by regular visits to your primary care doctor. A primary care physician helps you make healthy decisions based on your body’s needs. Scheduling appointments with your doctor on a consistent basis promotes wellness and good health. Here is a list of physicians in the MANA network.