The Four Pillars of Health
Health is one of the most important aspects of living, and yet it is also one of the most overlooked. Indeed, while maintaining a good level of health throughout one’s lifetime is important, it can be easy to ignore the body for weeks, months, or even years, ending up in major health complications that can prove to be detrimental in the long run.
The importance of keeping a healthy body is ever-so relevant nowadays, especially as we recover from a global pandemic that had everybody questioning their health and lifestyle choices as the world remained locked indoors for years. And while being healthy may sound easy and basic, there are definitely quite a few factors to consider when one tries to improve his/her overall well-being.
This casually short but highly informative article talks about the 4 pillars of health, and how focusing on these 4 pillars/foundations will definitely boost your overall well-being, allowing you to maximize and live your life to the fullest.
What are the 4 Pillars?
The 4 Pillars of Health, as they are aptly named, are the following: Food, Exercise, Water, and Sleep. All equally important, and with each pillar carrying its own set of benefits and disadvantages if not properly achieved, the 4 pillars are essential to attaining the right level of health and wellness in order to function properly and be at one’s best. Let’s look into the following in more detail, shall we?
The 1st Pillar: Food 🍎
One of life’s most essential and basic needs, Food is an integral part of becoming and staying healthy. Nutrition that our body uses on a daily basis for energy and for maintaining the various mechanisms in our body generally come from this pillar, and so a healthy diet is definitely the way to go if you want to achieve overall health.
Consider making various swaps to your daily intake of food, such as trading heavy carbs like white rice, pasta, and bread for whole-grain versions that have more fiber, or removing foods that contain high levels of sugar and trans fat entirely from your diet and replacing such with more organic and cleaner alternatives. Snacking, while a relatively fun thing to do on a regular basis, should be kept to a minimum.
But don’t worry! There are now a lot of different alternatives and methods that you can explore if you want to have a more balanced and healthy diet while not sacrificing the taste and the overall experience of your food intake. For example, you could partake in delicious health trends such as acai bowls, poke bowls, and fruity smoothies. Suffering while dieting is already a thing of the past, and you can definitely adopt a dietary lifestyle that fits your needs and wants at the same time.
The 2nd Pillar: Exercise 🏋🏼♂️
Ah yes, the dreaded Exercise. The 2nd pillar puts emphasis on doing physical activities in order to stay fit and in shape, in accordance with your fitness goals. Studies do indeed show that moving your muscles, especially on a regular basis, produces and releases much-needed endorphins, organic chemicals that help you deal with overall stress. You’ve probably experienced this before: going for a jog after a particularly stressful day and ending up feeling refreshed and relaxed afterwards. Yup, that’s your endorphins doing the work for you.
The good news is you don’t need to do too much during your exercise sessions. We recommend consistency rather than volume, and so a 30-minute exercise session each and every day is appropriate. You can do your research and go for home workouts, such as calisthenics and yoga, you can also enroll in a gym if that’s what you’re going for, or you can even involve yourself in sports for that extra aspect of fun and competitiveness. Either way, moving your muscles each and every day is a key requirement for this particular pillar of health.
The 3rd Pillar: Water 💦
Water, the free-flowing manifestation of life. This downright basic but incredibly vital source of life is easily overlooked because of how many other forms of fluids one can consume in today’s world. One should never forget that while a person may be able to survive their whole life without exercise and a few days without sleep or food, our human bodies generally cannot thrive without water, even for just a day or two. Our bodies are primarily composed of water, after all, and so it should stand to reason that we replenish it with water ever so often.
According to experts, the recommended daily water intake falls under the 8x8 rule, or eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This may not apply to everyone though. Because we all have different bodies and various health demands, the 8x8 rule may not be sufficient for a particular group of people. As such, it’s necessary to stay consistently hydrated by drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day, and increase the intake depending on your stress levels, physical activities, and on other factors such as the type of weather or if you’re under any medication.
The 4th Pillar: Sleep 💤
Last but certainly not least, we have Sleep as the 4th pillar of health. A lot of people nowadays, especially those belonging to the generation known as “millennials”, have a consistent issue with sleep deprivation. Being too reliant on digital devices has caused many to fall prey to the urges of sleeping late and waking up early, and some people also get sleep deprived due to working too much. Always remember that sleep is an essential part of health, and one cannot function and be at their 100% without a good night’s rest. Add on top of that the fact that our body generally has a circadian rhythm that it follows, wherein sleep is primarily supposed to happen at night.
The 4 pillars of health may seem incredibly basic, but you’d be surprised how many people you know (or even you) don’t have a firm grasp on all 4. It’s crucial to have a strong understanding of how each and every pillar helps us with our overall health, and having the right balance between all 4 is detrimental to our wellness, on both physical and mental aspects. As a starting point, we recommend that you make a simple checklist on whether or not you’re following the 4 pillars religiously, so that you can make necessary adjustments to your own lifestyle should you find yourself lacking in one or two of these pillars. We’re hoping that this article serves to benefit you in your quest for a better you.