Most of us have much room for improvement in our health and wellness. We could be happier and calmer. We could implement a regular exercise routine and eat more unprocessed, healthy food to feel better physically.
Unfortunately, if you’ve just boarded the health train, the abundance of conflicting and complicated health advice may leave you running for the hills rather than working to accomplish your goals.
That’s why the 7 pillars of health, laid out by Dr Don Colbert1, might be the health solution you’ve been searching for.
What are the 7 pillars of health?
These 7 simple and helpful healthy habits are the ideal way to begin your journey to optimal health and wellness. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Optimise your diet to fuel your body. This helps you ward off disease and improves your immune function, performance, and energy levels. Don’t overthink this one. Eating well means emphasising eating real2, fresh food while avoiding processed foods.
Pro Tip: Focus on eating as many different fruits and veggies as possible to boost your gut health3!
Did you know that your body is made up of 60% water? Water helps us maintain a normal temperature, promotes healthy joints, protects sensitive tissues, and allows us to detoxify4 our bodies. In fact, it is such a fundamental need that life on Earth couldn’t exist without water!
Use the following tips to help you consume more water:
- Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
- Serve water during meals.
- Choose water over sugary drinks.
Pro Tip: Sugar’s not the only culprit! Drinks with artificial sweeteners have been shown to intensify cravings5 and disturb gut health5, resulting in weight gain6.
Our bodies are designed for movement. Physical activity can improve brain health, help manage weight, reduce disease risk, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve focus, mood, and mental health (hello, endorphins).
These benefits are just too good to ignore. Take an exercise class, go for a walk, or do jumping jacks in your living room! Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or demanding for you to experience some of these benefits for yourself.
Sleep is essential7 to every process in the body, affecting physical and mental health, our ability to fight disease and immunity, and our metabolism. This is why ensuring we get enough sleep can revolutionise our health and wellness.
Pro Tip: Did you know what we eat impacts our sleep? Substances such as caffeine and alcohol can negatively affect our sleep patterns, while healthy foods like fatty fish, pistachios and bananas might benefit melatonin production, leading to deeper, easier sleep.
Stress has a significant impact on mental health. When it becomes overwhelming or enduring, the risk of psychological and physical health issues increases, leading to anxiety, depression, chronic pain, compromised immunity, and disease, among others.
Instead of giving in, manage your stress by practising self-care and implementing calming activities such as massage, yoga, and meditation into your routine.
Holistic health practitioners8 recommend that everyone detoxify actively and regularly for a healthier body and mind. In today’s world, we are routinely exposed to toxic substances: Daily products such as household cleaners, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, gasoline, alcohol, pesticides, fuel oil, and cosmetics all contain harmful chemicals9 that must be actively drawn out.
Keep in mind that toxins influence not only the body but also the mind. Excess toxins may manifest themselves10 as relationship or behavioural problems, fatigue, chronic digestive issues, or even cravings.
Do more things that bring you joy with people you care about. Science has shown that strong social ties are linked to a longer, healthier, and happier life. So, find situations in which you can connect with people. You won’t regret it.
Today’s Daily Action
Think about the 7 pillars of health and how you can implement them into your daily routine without feeling like you’re disrupting your life too much.
Write out a plan and stick to your new habits11! It might feel challenging at first, but the results will be SO worth it.