5 Pillars to Build Optimal Health

In order to obtain optimal health and lead the extraordinary life we want for you, we need to look at health span in terms of pillars.  Your pillars needs to be sturdy, and require 5 components:

  1. Consistent exercise (in accordance with your needs)
  2. Quality Nutrition
  3. Sleep
  4. Emotional Health 
  5. Utilization of pharmacology if necessary

This list is actually in order of importance. Generally speaking if you exercise consistently, you tend to eat and sleep better. When you have this trifecta going, you will generally have better mental clarity and less overall anxiety. With a sturdy base in these 4 pillars the utilization of pharmacology becomes a lot less necessary.

Now let’s take a closer look at each pillar.

Consistent Exercise
If you go from couch potato to 3 hours per week of exercise, this has shown a 50% reduction in all cause mortality as people get older. Let that statistic sink in!  Three hours should be something that everyone is able to commit to.

As a society we are becoming more overweight and under muscled.  We will refer to this phenomenon as “sarcobesity”.   

Having adequate muscle mass, especially as we age, has a myriad of benefits with  literally no downside.  On the flip side if you simply focus on strength and neglect your stability, as well as aerobic and anaerobic capacity you will be missing the mark on having the most well rounded fitness.   Luckily at Westchester Fit we program workouts with strength, stability, aerobic and anaerobic capacity in mind.

Quality Nutrition 
There are 3 types of people in today’s world, those that are malnourished, those that are overweight, and those that are at a healthy body fat.  The goal of the coaches at Westchester Fit is to have all of our clients in the healthy body fat range.  Nutrition will look different for each person but the main goal would be to eat a wide variety of healthy whole foods that you enjoy, in the correct portions to support function but not excess body weight.  If you need help with this and would like to schedule a free nutrition consultation please contact chris@westchesterfit.com.

The average American is sleeping approximately 6 hours per night. Current research shows us that upwards of 60% of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep!  While sleep is individualized, the vast majority of us should be aiming for a minimum of 7 hours per night.  Analyzing your habits around bedtime is a good place to start.  We hear health gurus always talking about morning routines, but what about an evening wind down routine?  Here are a few things you can start doing today –  I like the 3-2-1 rule.

3 hours before bed NO FOOD.

2 hours before bed NO LIQUIDS.

1 hour before bed NO DEVICES.

Make sure your room is cold (below 66 degrees) and as dark as possible.  Habits don’t form overnight, aim to go to sleep 15 minutes earlier tonight. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be!

Emotional Health
We have a mental health crisis in this country.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, we all suffer.  I’d argue that without being emotionally healthy, it’ll be hard to lead a healthy life.  Part of the process here is identifying that you have an issue.  There are a myriad of solutions out there at our disposal but we need to access them.  There is a stigma, especially for men, that speaking about your emotions makes you less of a man and that couldn’t be further from the truth!  I have been in therapy for the last 4 years and it has helped me gain so much context on how to better interact with others and genuinely enjoy my life more.  In addition to speaking with a licensed professional, tools such as meditation, journaling, and breath work have numerous benefits as well.

While our main focus here is to help our clients get off of their medications with exercise and lifestyle interventions, there’s ZERO shame in utilizing modern medicine to help you stay your healthiest.

Take me, for example. I’m objectively healthy aside from the fact that anxiety runs in my family.  While I’ve tried to avoid medication for years, I’m finally on the right medicines to help stabilize my mood and anxiety which has made me far more productive and happy!

We can use exercise and nutrition to prevent diabetes, and even get people off of blood pressure medications, but for some, it’s not an option. That’s where we can utilize modern medicine.

Our goal here at Westchester Fit is to help you build these pillars. We start with consistent exercise and see where that takes us. Let’s get to the gym consistently 3 days per week (at minimum) and start there. If you need help, please let us know. We’re literally here for you!

-Coach Chris

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