How to Reach the Four Cornerstones of Health

Everyone wishes they were healthier. Even athletes and dieticians think they could be doing better and they’re probably right. We all have an area of health that we need to work on. Getting healthy is more than just your diet or fitness. Everything works together to bring overall health. Here are some head-to-toe health strategies that you can easily incorporate into everyday life.

1. Exercise

Do something everyday – Get moving at least once a day, even if it’s only a 30-minute walk. Any movement is better than being sedentary. If you’re able to fit in a full workout six days a week, then that’s great! Athletes and fitness enthusiasts should take off at least one day a week to rest and recover.

Do something you enjoy – There’s nothing more arduous than a difficult workout that you dread doing. A fun workout can still be challenging, but it should be enjoyable. Find the activity that brings you the most joy and is sustainable. When you get bored with it, switch to a different one.

Find a group to play with – Exercise with friends can be more fun than solo because you get to be social and motivate each other. Get a hiking group together, go for a bike ride with friends, or join a fitness class to meet new friends.

2. Sleep

Sleep on schedule every night – We are creatures of habit, so establishing a regular sleep pattern will keep you on a schedule like clockwork.
Put away the phone – The lights emitted from your mobile devices will keep you awake, and the content that you’re scrolling through will stimulate your mind.
Relax and calm your mind – This means leaving work stress behind, not working too close to bedtime, and not using your bedroom to work. Your mind should be relaxed and worry-free when you hit the hay.

3. Nutrition

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating. Everyone’s needs, tastes, and lifestyle preferences are different. However, there are general principles that everyone should follow.

Know your ABCs – What you eat should contain the alphabet—vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K; minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium; fiber; and a good balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Eat the rainbow – No, not Skittles. Your meals should be colorful in the most natural way possible such as red tomatoes, oranges, yellow squash, leafy greens, blueberries and purple eggplants. If your plate has too much white or brown on it, then you’re doing something wrong. Neutral colors usually signify grains, meats and sugars. The biggest thing on your plate should not be a starchy grain. It should be a pile of colorful vegetables.

Skip the additives and eat fresh – Preservatives, additives, nitrites, sodium, and sweeteners are used to prolong the shelf life of packaged food, but you can skip all of that junk by eating fresh food instead.

Know your portions – Most of us should learn portion control and reduce calorie consumption. Use a digital scale and measuring cups to keep you on track with accurate serving sizes. You might be eating more calories than you need each day, but you can combat overeating by calculating your dietary needs and controlling your portions.

Avoid desserts – Instead of cookies or ice cream after dinner, have some fruit. You can do the same thing with breakfast foods that are packed with sugar, like muffins and cereal. If you’re a sweets-in-the-morning type, substitute those pastry breakfasts with fruit smoothies or acai bowls.

 

4. Mental Health

A healthy mind is about managing stress, coping with negative feelings and finding emotional balance. Try a stress-reducing technique such as deep breathing or meditation. Journal your thoughts or draw your feelings. Set boundaries for yourself and practice self-care. Takes breaks from your biggest responsibilities, and communicate your needs to others. Don’t hesitate to see a therapist if you’re dealing with mentaCornerstones l health issues that you can’t control.
Once you get a hang of the four cornerstones of health, you’ll start to feel and see the improvements. You’ll feel stronger, more energized, and refreshed. Your hair and skin will show it, your body will feel it and your mind will believe it. Stay active, rest easy, eat clean, and be sound.