The fitness industry is littered with “fads” and “gadgets” that promote the latest and greatest “hack” to helping us becomes the very best versions of ourselves.
Diets, workout regimes, and recovery protocols keep consumers excited about finding the best kept secret to feeling, moving, looking, and thinking their absolute best.
The reality is that long term success on developing healthy and sustainable habits really comes down to some very simple practices and protocols. These elements, done consistently overtime, will yield the largest overall outcomes in your health than Keto, HIIT, or red-light therapy ever will.
The “Foundational 5” are:
Sleep: the single best “legal drug” that will enhance all areas of your life. Dedicating time to creating a comfortable sleep environment that is dark and cool will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Also creating a nighttime ritual where we limit blue-light in our living area, destressing from the day, and preparing the mind and body to fall into a deep sleep will also contribute to overall healthy sleep hygiene.
Stress Management: we all have a limit to the amount of stress we can handle. Family, work, finances, exercise, and even nutrition are all different stressors that either push us towards our goals or break us down if it exceeds our mental and emotional capacity. Finding ways to manage stress helps us strike a healthy balance of all the priorities we are juggling to make sure we aren’t exceeding our limits. This can include breathing protocols, getting out in nature and sunlight, limiting our use of inputs like social media or TV, and surrounding ourselves with people who lift us up.
Nutrition: a very confrontational topic as many people have different views on what is healthy nutrition and the role it is supposed to play in someone’s life. Nutrition needs to be very personalized to the individual that supports their lifestyle, activity level, goals, and provides high mental acuity. Whether our goals are to be healthy, perform at a high level, or look a certain way, proper nutrition should include eating whole foods, sustainable over a lifetime, and provide you the ability to thrive in all areas of your life.
Movement: adopting an active lifestyle mindset is the key to long-term health. It could mean weight training, spin classes, yoga, HIIT, boot camp, going hiking, running, pilates, dance…the list goes on. The key is to find a mix that inspires you and doesn’t add excessive stress (see bullet point 2) that no longer supports your overall goals. We generally recommend doing some sort of weight training 2 to 3 times per week, some high intensity intervals or conditioning 1-2 times per week, some low intensity recovery work 1-2 times per week, and at least 1 full day off.
Hydration: an often-overlooked topic in the land of highly caffeinated, hydration is a key component to all other elements of the “Foundational 5.” Over 80% of our bodies are made up of water as it is essential to life. It supports cell function, hormonal regulation, body temperature regulation, digestion, sleep, recovery, performance…you name it. Making sure we stay properly hydrated throughout the day not only supports our energy levels but will also provide the necessary lubrication for our body to function in all capacities.
These 5 elements, done consistently over a lifetime will provide the biggest impact on your overall health and longevity.
If you feel like you are struggling in these key areas, we’ve created a FREE 30-Day Restart Guide to help you find a rhythm with these pillars of health. You can download it by clicking on the button below.