The 8 Pillars of Health and Wellness

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Primary Blog/The 8 Pillars of Health and Wellness

Living a healthy life is more than eating your veggies and hitting the gym 2-3 times per week. To live a whole, well-rounded, healthy life we, must take a step back and look at the entire picture.

When I ask most people how they are doing, the answer is generally "fine" or "pretty good, I guess." But when I dig a little deeper, I find out that they lack energy or struggle to stay motivated and focused. Or maybe they have lost a few inches but are having a hard time keeping them off. They may have made some improvements towards living a healthy lifestyle, but they still seem to miss the mark.

When you first decide to make healthy changes in your life, you most likely have chosen a new diet or nutrition regimen, you've committed to working out a couple of days a week, and you hope to see changes relatively quickly. Failing to look at health from a whole life perspective is where most people miss the mark. To make lasting, healthy changes understanding these eight pillars of healthy living will increase success and overall satisfaction.

#1- Sleep. Sleep is essential to your health. Significant studies show the effects of sleep on your energy, mental clarity, weight management, productivity, and overall well-being. Research shows that getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night reduces your risk of obesity by up to 60%. That is huge! There are no two ways around this, and if you fail to have quality sleep, your health will suffer.

#2- Stress Management.
Whether it's acute stress such as making a deadline or listening to your kid's bicker or chronic stress such as a sick family member or financial strain, we all have pressure in our lives. Poorly managed stress can lead to an increase in cortisol (hello belly fat), hypertension, depression, and emotional eating, to name a few. Having the proper tools to manage your stress is essential to a healthy life. Non-food controls such as reading a book, meditating, taking a hot shower, going for a walk, calling a friend, or journaling are a few examples of non-food control stress management.

#3- Hydration. Our body is composed of up to 60% water! No wonder water plays such an essential role in our health. Staying well-hydrated helps ensure that our organs function as they should, aids in digestion, increases energy, helps with weight management, and helps to keep our skin looking bright and young. Aim for a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces daily.

#4- Exercise. We all know that exercise can help with weight loss. But what you may not realize is the importance exercise has on your mental and physical health. Physical activity can improve your mood, energy, metabolism, and overall sense of well-being. Shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes per day of mild to moderate exercise. Taking a walk with a friend, trying a new fitness class, hiring a trainer, or grabbing an accountability partner will make achieving this goal not only manageable but more enjoyable!

#5- Nutrition.
Nutrition is about much more than just calories in, calories out. What you put into your body directly affects how you move and feel. Ever eat a big plate of pasta and immediately feel like you need a nap? The simple carbs from the pasta spike and then drop your blood sugar, resulting in post-meal fatigue. The same happens when you eat a sugar-filled donut or other simple carbohydrates such as baked goods, white bread, and white rice. I'm not saying that the occasional treat is terrible; I encourage conscious indulgences. The key is to eat empowered. First, load up on fruits and veggies, then complex carbohydrates and high-quality protein. Be mindful of how food makes you feel, and focus less on the calories and more on the quality and quantity.

#6- Self Care. " You can't pour from an empty cup." I love this saying because of the truth it speaks. We tend to give first to our kids, spouses, and jobs, taking care of ourselves last. It's no wonder that irritability and impatience sneak into our lives. Taking time for yourself is far from selfish and essential to our mental health. Get your nails done, get a massage, read a book, draw yourself a hot bath, or play a round of golf. Set aside time at least once per week to fill your cup. The rewards will reach far beyond the activity itself.

#7- Love. I'd be remiss not to touch on love. Physical touch brings healing and comfort; emotional connections allow us to feel safe and secure. Physical and emotional connections are the very heartbeat of the human experience. Whether it is a close friendship, a parent-child relationship, or a life partner, having deep, meaningful relationships allows us to live and give entirely. Be intentional with your relationships, nurture them, and love on them.

#8- Live Consciously. We only have one planet. It is not given to us but loaned to us for future generations. Choose foods that are in season and are grown sustainably. Select organic whenever possible. Shop locally to reduce pollution and support your neighbors. Consider how you can make one slight difference daily to keep our world healthy and watch it compound.

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Hi, I Am Jaime Duggan

CEO Of Empowered Health

Your dedicated healthy lifestyle coach and certified personal trainer. I'm here to guide you through a transformative journey of wellness, offering personalized strategies for proper nourishment, effective exercise, and quality rest. Beyond the scale, we'll focus on holistic well-being, emphasizing sustainable, empowering habits for a happier life. I cherish family time, wholesome cooking, joyful physical activities, and reading, which fuel my own health journey. Ready to become your best self? Let's embrace this wellness journey together!

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