DEFINITION OF FITNESS
Today when hearing the words “fitness” or “being fit,” one thinks of working out at the gym or the ability to perform in some sport. Even in the more general sense of fitness as “a measure of the body's ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities,” (1) it is still the physical capabilities of the body that are referred to.
In ancient Greece the ideal man was young, tall, athletic and had a bronzed skin. Beauty was highly esteemed and considered as important as physical prowess. But the Greek ideal of beauty was not merely aesthetic. Beauty was often considered an outer manifestation of inner qualities, like courage and self-control. (2) Before an athlete could participate, the judges of the ancient Greek Olympic games evaluated him on behavior, character and morality, as well as the more standard attributes such as power, stamina, and resistance. (3)
Fitness certainly has aspects that go beyond “physical” fitness, as your body can be in perfect shape and still you may not “feel fit.” Taken in its most general sense, fitness also includes an emotional state – a happy, unencumbered joyful state of being – and a mental state of focus and coherent clarity.
The physical, emotional and mental aspects of feeling fit all combine to produce our general state of fitness. The Center for Fitness Research works to establish fitness on all levels of our being through promoting golden mean coherence.
CENTER FOR FITNESS RESEARCH – ASHLAND, OREGON, USA