The measured percentage of body fat is a much better indicator of fitness. If a man is in the range of 14-17%, he is at no greater risk for obesity-related diseases than the average trained athlete.
There is myth that people who are in competition condition are in superb health, but this simply isn't so. People who push for maximum performance are plagued with injuries and compromised immune systems.
I agree with your first statement but,
Your statement "People who push for maximum performance are plaqued with injuries and compromised immune systems" I hope is only your opinion, because it is completely inaccurate!!!!
Yes you may find some athlete's who have weak immune systems but this can not be directly linked to their training, you will find just as a high a percentage in the average person & and even higher percentage in obese people.
On the news all you will hear about are the high profile athletes who die in the late twenties and early thirties because of heart attacks and such, but you will never hear of all the thousands and thousands of overweight people who die for these very same reasons in there late twenties and early thirties!!!!!Why? becuase of the same reason you will hear all of the horrible MOB stories, because that is what sells.
my sphere of study (major) at the university was "statistics" the very first thing you learn is you can prove "ANYTHING" with statistics, for proof just pay attention in the coming months to all the economic gurus for each of the political camps (Republican and Democrate) and watch how each will prove the other's economic policies are wrong by the simple use of Statistics!
What you may confuse with a world class athlete being in shape and dying at a young age in 99% of the time is not due to "Pushing the body to the maximum" but may have to do with hereditary reasons beyond their or doctors control, could also be contributed to abuse of performance enhancing drugs, or an adverse interaction between drugs. Just in the same way that Cigarettes and alcohol can affect a person's health and can be the cause of early death.
There are many factors to a person's health that go WAY BEYOND being a "world class athlete" for example a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol. Both these factors can lead to a heart attack, that has nothing to due with being in shape or even being fat, and there are no medical links to a weak immunne system and being a world class athlete.
Your statement is just as much a "myth"
We all should strive to be in the best health as we possibly can.
The average person does not need to push their bodies to extremes, but you do need to push your body beyond it's comfort level (normal resting heart rate) to achieve results (agree with Tom T in an earlier post by him of elevated heart rate for 45 minutes at least 3 times a week). This can be done in thousands of different ways, a nice brisk walk, swimming laps, weight training, etc......
Doing this you make your heart and body stronger, but at the same time when your heart rate is elevated you also run the risk of stressing the heart and body beyond it's recuperation point, and this could lead to cardiac arrest.
People must understand that this can occur at only 1 heart beat above normal resting rate, and is not simply the case of a Highly trained athlete dying because he was in too good of shape.
I totally agree with that, I know of two young (early twenties) people who were at the peak of physical fitness (one a dancer one an athlete) and both died because their immune systems could not fight off fairly common illnesses.
and there are many more cases of a normal or obese young person dying also from a simple common cold that their immune systems could not fight off either. Is the percentage of athletes dying due to this reason higher than others? The news may lead a person to believe this but would they also report that Joe Average just died of a common cold?