What Does “Fit” Look Like? Challenging a Misconception Propagated by Internet Fitness Images

David Schutz

It’s important to be motivated to get fit, but sometimes the images we see on the Internet that show “fit” people may actually discourage some people. For example, Google “fit middle aged person,” and most of the images you’ll see are of people with lower body fat and more muscle mass than is actually required to fall into what the medical and scientific establishment consider fit and healthy. That isn’t to say that the people in those images aren’t healthy – the point is that being healthy and fit doesn’t mean you have to look like the people in those images. And the problem is that these images may actually discourage people from becoming fit, because they’ll look at those images and think “Oh, I could never achieve that, so why bother…”

Here are a couple of images:

Fit after 50

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The point is that all these pictures show people that are exceptionally lean and or muscular, far more than required to be fit. Is there anything wrong with that? No, if you have the time and the energy to pursue this level of fitness, go for it. But don’t be confused into thinking that you have to look like the people in these pictures to be fit.

The chart below from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is one of the most commonly used body fat charts, and shows the amount of body fat percentages in different categories of fitness. Women have a higher body fat percentage than men, which is required for having babies.

Fit after 50

The purpose of Fit after 50 is to encourage people to make lifestyle choices that lead to achievable and sustainable levels of fitness, promote healthy aging, longevity, and prevent cognitive decline, so you can lead healthy, productive lives, relying on others as minimally as possible, and live to your full potential.

OK, so what’s a realistic example of how I should look? Take a look here:

Fit after 50

The purpose of Fit after 50 is to encourage people to make lifestyle choices that lead to achievable and sustainable levels of fitness, promote healthy aging, longevity, and prevent cognitive decline, so you can lead healthy, productive lives, relying on others as minimally as possible, and live to your full potential.

OK, so what’s a realistic example of how I should look? Look at these pictures here:

Look, the point is, that you don't have to have body fat in the 10-15% range to be fit.  If you achieve that, more power to you, but if you're in the 20% range, BE HAPPY!

Now, How do you measure your Body Fat Percentage?

I’m a fan of a very simply to use method of determining your body fat percentage using a tape measure. It’s simple and pretty accurate.

Fat Percentage Calculator
Measuring System
Sex
Height (Cms)
Neck Girth (Cms)
Waist (Cms)
Hips (Cms)
Your Body Fat
Body Fat Category
Calculations are based on a US Navy Formula

There are other ways to measure a healthy weight and whether you have increased body fat. A common one us by finding your Body Mass Index, or BMI.

You can find your BMI with this simple calculator using your weight and height. It will then characterize your BMI as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator
Measuring System
Height (Cms)
Weight (Kgs)
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Normal BMI range

The calculations are based on WHO recommendations.

2 thoughts on “What Does “Fit” Look Like? Challenging a Misconception Propagated by Internet “Fitness” Images”

  1. Apart from all of these lose weight fast diets, yet another thing that will gain topmost priority inside your list is usually to stick to a strict routine. Most of people are overweight as a consequence of processed food consumption. It’s season suggestion to invest your time and effort attracted to the pain you are gonna eat tomorrow.

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