The Four Pillars of Optimum Health
Many clients come to Arogya perplexed by a health issue. “I exercise, I eat healthy food, I just don’t understand why is this happening…” When looking at health, food and exercise are essential, however, they are not the whole picture. In fact, there are four main areas of our lives that contribute to our health and well-being, and we must take them all into account.
Food Movement Sleep Relaxation
These are, as celebrity doctor Rangan Chatterjee calls, the four pillars of health.
Visualize your health like a table. If one leg of the table weakens, the structure and functionality of the whole table are at risk. So while a person may eat well and exercise, if they are not sleeping well, or not taking time to calm the mind, their health may be at risk.
Looking at health from this perspective is a whole-person approach that helps to uncover the root cause of what causes so many modern lifestyle-related ailments. Because everything in the body is connected, our health is a combination of everything we do and everything we think. When you change one aspect of your lifestyle, everything changes. Working with these four pillars of health, everyone has the capacity to feel better than they feel right now.
Simple things you can do to strengthen the four pillars of your health:
- Eat whole foods, not refined or industrialized food. It may be hard to avoid industrialized food outside of the house, but inside make a commitment to only have whole, fresh foods.
- Sit with your family at mealtime. Make meals a moment of connection, gratitude, and reflection.
- Make movement a part of your daily life. It might not mean hitting the gym for an hour. It could be more like raking the leaves, carrying boxes, lifting children, walking.
- You can also do quick and easy workouts at home using just your body. Try using a yoga app or online classes to get in some movement while you are at home.
- In just seven minutes, you can complete the New York Times’ Scientific 7-Minute Workout.
- The single most important change you make: no screens for 90 minutes before bed. Just do it. It might take a real shift in habits, but it will make a difference and help you get the most out of your night of rest.
This is an undervalued pillar, but Dr. Chatterjee considers it to be the most important.
- They say one hour of meditation is equivalent to 3 hours of sleep. So while you might not be getting the best sleep, if you can incorporate meditation into your daily life, you will be fortifying all the pillars of your well-being.
- Learning to work with your own mind and ego, training yourself to be present, and opening yourself to love for yourself and others are all important aspects of meditation and relaxation. The effects of these daily efforts have profound effects on all the other aspects of your life (relationships, productivity, willpower to make healthy choices, and much more).
- Try committing yourself to 10-15 minutes of meditation or relaxation a day.