Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can't get healthier?

  1. Aug 13, 2006 #1
    If you do everything you are suppose to like world level athletes do. Is there such a thing as a perfect health. I mean can your health always get better? So you can never be healthiest your body can be b/c your body can always get healthier.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2006 #2
    It's an odd question, of course you can always improve your fitness, but what are you looking for? If you say the ultimate in fitness is a Marathon runner, they tend to die earlier than other athletes, because of the stresses it puts on their bodies? There is no peak as such. What is it you are looking for, fitness or health? These are widely differing subjects.
  4. Aug 13, 2006 #3
    World level athletes train their bodies to do a specific task. They don't do it for their health.

    Morever, "perfect health" is really a mundane concept. It's just another way of saying, "not sick, injured, or suffering from the effects of aging." If you're capable of going through the day without much pain or strain, without the assistance of medicene, chances are you're in perfect health.

    World level athletes can get sick, injured, and aged like rest of us, anyway. No one is immune from everything.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2006
  5. Aug 14, 2006 #4
    When I say perfect health, I mean good blood regulation, nice heart beat rate, no blood clots, etc. More than 99% of the people I know have blood clots in their body. I believe swimmers are the healthiest. But then again, can their body improve? Not become more powerful, just improve as in getting healthier.
  6. Aug 14, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    You can't do better than your own genes allow, and everyone is different in this. There are individuals who live really super healthy lives, yet have inherited cardiovasular problems. You can inherit cancer propensity too, like the famous BRCA genes that tend to produce breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

    But whatever hand genetics has dealt you, you can choose to live the healthiest life permitted by that. And if you can afford it, advanced medical care, it will help too. Look at Vice President Cheney. Absent some repeated, very expensive, interventions, he would have been dead years ago. I have a friend who had four kidney transplants before one took. He is living a (conditionally) healthy life now, but for a decade his life was maximally fragile.
  7. Aug 14, 2006 #6


    User Avatar

    That's great! I love medicine!
    Sounds like you mean cardiovascular fitness. The best way for that is to do very painful amounts of aerobic exercise, running being probably the best. Chroot would say bike 1000 miles if he were here. :biggrin:
  8. Aug 16, 2006 #7
    So are you saying there is a limit to how healthy you can get? You are saying there is a deadend? There is such a thing as a perfect health?
  9. Aug 16, 2006 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There is a trade-off for elite athletes. They may have great cardiovascular fitness, and muscle strength, but in the process, they damage their joints and bones (stress fractures are common), and disrupt other aspects of their physiology (female athletes are prone to amenorrhea due to their low body fat and high energy consumption). So, no, there is likely no such thing as perfect health. You always are balancing strengthening one system at the expense of another.
  10. Aug 17, 2006 #9
    Perhaps, athletes was a wrong example, I don't care about performance, I care about pure health, can it always get better?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook