“What is a healthy lifestyle?” is a question about as perplexing as “what is healthy nutrition?” However, there are many variances too consider that depends on your current lifestyle, your inner and outer environments, and your willingness to change.
Once again, because you are unique, your healthiest lifestyle habits must be considered on an individual basis. Albeit they may vary slightly, they are all applicable for everyone.
Top 7 pillars required for a healthy lifestyle!
There are 7 pillars required for a healthy lifestyle. These pillars are simple but not always easy to follow in our fast-paced society. Because you are a unique individual, some pillars are more applicable than others are.
The first four pillars are fundamental to sustain life at its basic core. The additional pillars are directed toward life in the 21st Century. However, they are all required.
Very few people even consider the quality of air they breathe. This is extremely unfortunate because the majority of our population now resides in metropolitan areas that possess the most polluted air.
Particulate counts (the number of particulates – parts per million per cubic foot of air) are high and the oxygen content of air is slowly diminishing. Many, if not most of the particulates in the air are toxic and includes toxic elements. Albeit there is little you can do to change the quality of the air you breathe, you can take steps to breathe healthier air.
This may be a difficult choice based on employment, housing, and other parameters but keep in mind unhealthy air does pose health consequences. This is evidenced by continual “air quality alerts” common in metro areas.
Hint: when you can SEE the air – it is NOT healthy!
Clean and healthy water is becoming scarcer every day. In fact, some believe drinking water could be the primary cause of another world war! However, due to the constant pollution of the planet – which IS a living organism itself – clean water is rare. Gone are the days you could stop by a stream and drink some water.
Municipal water is chemically treated with myriad chemicals (some even known to be toxic) in an effort to make it potable and safe to consume. This does not necessarily mean healthy. In addition, with water becoming scarcer in large metro areas, many are beginning to install treatment plants to recycle wastewater into drinking water.
Unfortunately, the odds of removing the tens of thousands of manmade chemicals such as prescription drugs, chemical cleaning agents, industrial waste, etc., is not possible. As such, safe or healthy drinking water from this source will remain elusive – regardless what the “authorities” promote.
The best you can do, whether you use well water or metropolitan sources, is have your water tested from an independent source for as many pollutants as possible. The other option, unfortunately, is too purchase verified bottled water from a reputable source.
How much water do you need?
Because you are unique in so many ways, there is no set number of glasses per day. Simply keep in mind if you become thirsty, you are dehydrated. If your lips begin to chap (ever so slightly), you are dehydrated. If your urine is a medium to dark yellow, you are dehydrated. These are just three of the myriad common signs you are dehydrated.
A simple means to figure out your water needs is too monitor all the liquids i.e., coffee, tea, soda pop, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc., you currently consume. Simply keep track or closely estimate the fluid ounces of all the liquids you consume and replace them with the same amount of fluid ounces of water.
Keep in mind, many of the liquids you currently consume contain diuretics and other compounds that increase fluid loss and contribute to dehydration. By eliminating dehydrating drinks, your actual water needs also decrease.
Age, weight, physical activity levels, environment (hot or cold), dehydrating liquids, food choices, medications, and myriad other factors contribute to your specific water needs.
Yes, water is boring and tasteless but it is the solvent for life!
3. Healthy Food:
Today, the term “healthy food” is widely used to describe processed foods, genetically modified foods, fast foods, and myriad other unhealthy convenient foods.
Real healthy foods are grown as organically or in their natural state as possible. They are not “arbitrarily fortified” with nutrients, modified, or chemical cesspools that appeal to sight or taste. This is not healthy food.
‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.’ Francois de la Rochefoucauld, French author & moralist (1613 – 1680)
Healthy foods serve two primary and important functions in human health:
- Properly nourish the mind and body
- Efficiently detoxify the mind and body
As such, find a good source for healthy foods such as a farmer’s market or a farmer’s market co-op. Normally, farmers co-ops will bring farm fresh foods to specific delivery stations in metro areas or possibly home deliveries. It is a convenient way to procure healthy foods.
Healthy foods can pose a bit of a problem if you are addicted to the sugars, salts, fats, and a host of chemicals designed and used specifically for food addictions. Unfortunately, most unhealthy foods are the most affordable and convenient.
Keep in mind; REAL healthy foods do NOT require an ingredient list!
Convenient foods are not healthy – Healthy foods are not convenient!
Shelter serves the purpose of protecting you from your current environment. A shelter should protect you from hot weather, cold weather, not so nice people, or even flesh-eating animals. For most, basic shelter is attainable. No, you don’t need 24,000 square feet of shelter!
Sleep is a variable specific to you. Your optimal level of sleep may be ten hours while someone else only requires seven. Normal recommendations average around eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. This is a good rule of thumb because it does provide the body ample time to perform much-needed repairs provided it is properly nourished.
However, if you are highly stressed and constantly on the go, you may be better off with nine or ten hours of sleep. Unfortunately, as you may know, this is not possible if you are high-strung and stressed. If you are stuck in the four or five hours sleep range, you should focus on reducing your stress, eating healthy, adopting healthier lifestyle habits, and balancing your metabolism.
Once your metabolism is more balanced, the parasympathetic neuroendocrine system releases natural sedative hormones too increase healthy sleep intervals.
Exercise in this context is in the most basic and healthy form. You don’t need to spend endless hours at the gym or even go to a gym. Throughout history, humanity has never relied on a gym. Today, fitness facilities are nothing more than another “convenience” for an overly fast-paced and stressful lifestyle.
As for exercise, keep your ancestors in mind and do away with as many conveniences as possible. Try walking, bicycling, swimming, gardening, park as far away from the door as possible, use the stairs, yard work, or even some simple calisthenics.
Simply put down the electronics and eliminate as many conveniences (elevators, cars, etc.) that contribute to a lack of natural exercise. You are bipedal for a reason!
Two important points when considering your exercise needs include:
- Your current nutrient imbalances – exercise, especially strenuous exercise, may further contribute to nutrient imbalances.
- Excessive or strenuous exercise, commonly recommended by the experts, is stressful and simply creates more demands on already unhealthy adrenal glands.
7. Stress Management:
Stress is as old as humanity; however, we have managed to bring mental stress to completely new levels in the 20th and 21st century. We have forgotten our connection to nature and how all nature reacts to stress.
Throughout nature, the natural stress response is 1) the alarm stage, 2) the resistance stage, and 3) the recovery stage. Unlike humans, nature progresses through these stages rather rapidly and are not “psychologically scarred” for years to follow. Follow the gazelle!
One of the biggest problems with stress is that you probably don’t realize how stressed you actually have become or the myriad potential health problems you may face in the future. This is more common than you realize because of your “built in” coping or adaptation mechanisms for stress.
However, each stage of stress places specific demands on myriad nutrients that clearly reveal the body’s reaction to stress. Yes, even if you are the most laidback individual, your body will reveal if you are stressed through nutritional imbalances.
Keep in mind, mental stress is self-induced and is the result of how you interpret and react to any stressor. You have more control than you realize!
Can hair analysis help me achieve a healthy lifestyle?
Actually, a hair analysis can prove quite beneficial to help improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Of the 7 pillars, a hair analysis can help reveal:
- Air – the air you breathe is one source of toxic element exposures.
- Water – hard water may contribute to excessive calcium and magnesium and soft water can contribute to excessive sodium and potassium. Both have health consequences.
- Healthy Food – knowing which nutrients you need and don’t need is the most important factor for choosing your healthiest foods. (even commercially produced foods)
- Sleep – your metabolism effects the production of hormones required for healthy sleep.
- Exercise – know which type and duration of exercise is the most beneficial based on endocrine gland efficiency and health.
- Stress Management – targeted nutrition is of monumental importance for an effective stress management program!
As you can see, that is six out of seven fundamentals for a healthy lifestyle!
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