The exercise pillar is the foundation, and the gateway for optimal health and wellness. I say this because most people feel that if they start to move their body and exercise, good health will come. It makes sense to feel this way, but make sure that you also invest some time in the other four pillars. Besides, what is the point of exercise if you are not putting good things into your body, and getting proper rest Focus on moving your body daily in any way, shape, or form.
You must plan for exercise just like you would plan anything else. It must become a habit, not a New Year’s resolution. Make sure you balance your workouts with strength training, cardiovascular training, mobility work and recreational activities, and always focus on having good posture. Use exercise to help improve overall strength, mobility, and cardiovascular health. And make sure that you are balancing out your workouts so that you reduce the risk of injury and pain. Our bodies were meant to move so let’s get going.
In this day and age it gets harder and harder to try and follow a healthy nutritional plan. Even though we know more now than we ever have about proper nutrition, our food environment is still considered pretty poor. This is because poor quality food is cheap and readily available and high quality food takes a little more money and work.
We are a fast pace, I want it now, taste good society. I never tell a client that proper nutrition is easy because it isn’t. It takes some work to properly fuel your body, but the reward is well worth it. I feel that instead of going cold turkey and cutting out all of the bad nutrition in your daily intake, instead have a daily checklist of habits that you want to develop. Here are some examples.
- Drink plenty of clean water each day.
- Eat healthy fats such as fish, flax seeds, almonds, and avocados at least 2 times per day.
- Eat a large green salad each day, or supplement with a green food powder or wheat grass cubes.
- Eat a serving of complete protein at each meal.
Out of all the pillars of health, rest and rejuvenation has seemed to have taken a back seat in the busy individual’s life. This is the component that I see many clients struggle with the most. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done, and then get the proper amount of sleep. Sleep is the foundation of the rest and rejuvenation pillar. Sleep affects everything from fat loss and immune function, to hormone levels and energy. If you don’t get enough sleep you are more likely to not exercise, eat correctly, have a good attitude, and lead a healthy lifestyle. Getting a high amount of quality sleep has an affect on all pillars of health! Strive for eight hours each night.
Other methods of rest and rejuvenation are deep breathing (3 deep breaths), foam rolling and massage for soft tissue regeneration, hot and cold therapy (hot and cold baths and showers), and Yoga. Another way you can rest and rejuvenate is to simply do nothing! Take 10 minutes each day to not look at your phone, computer, TV and just sit there in silence. This one is tough.
Reduce stress in your life. It sounds simple, but it’s one of the most difficult things to do. Given that stress has been linked as a co-factor in 95% or all disease processes, a keystone of holistic, alternative health and healing is learning how to effectively manage stress. This learning process begins with recognizing or identifying the types of stress affecting you and how these stressors (that is, what demands a change from you) are showing up or manifesting as symptoms in your life.
Say “NO” to self-hate!!! This can be an overpowering feeling. We are often so desensitized that we chastise or dismiss ourselves without realizing the ramifications. Saying no to self-hate is a critical part of the healing process. Watch yourself for negative thoughts about your personality, body, strength or worth and then say no to it. Sometimes, it can be hard to say no to these strong voices, but by just saying it, you’ll start to feel yourself growing stronger.
One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to learn to monitor your attitude and its impact on your work performance, relationships and everyone around you. Having a positive attitude, which is choosing to approach difficult circumstances with a productive mindset, can benefit you on several levels. The Mayo Clinic states that a positive attitude can lower your stress level, which is good for your health. A positive attitude can also improve your relationships and change how your boss perceives both you and your work. An article published in the January 2007 Gallup Management Journal notes that the components of a positive attitude, collectively called positive psychological capital, can be learned.