If you’re like the average American, you probably already failed your New Year’s Resolution. If one of your goals was to be more “healthy,” it might not even be your fault that you’ve already failed; this is because we don’t have an accurate description of “health.” How is it measured? What goes into being "healthy?"
“Health” can be divided into seven parts, which we call “pillars.” These pillars support the overall building or “system” that is how we are functioning as a living, breathing organism. If we feel “unhealthy,” it is usually because many or all of these pillars are not being worked on so that we can physically, emotionally and spiritually feel our best.Without having an accurate grasp on what “health” is and what it encompasses, our goal to be “healthier” will fail. Here, we will dive into each pillar and what it entails to truly be healthy. It is important to note, in goal setting, that it is very hard to change all of these at once. Focus on the one pillar that is most feasible to change, and use that momentum and success to work on the other/more difficult ones for you.
At the end of each pillar's description, you will self-assess on a scale of 0-5 each (0 lowest and 5 being highest). Then add them up to find your “Health Sum”, with a description of your results at the end.
People make nutrition complicated, but it really isn’t. We overall know what we should be eating: within our means and with as much color in our food as possible. A good rule of thumb is most food that isn’t nutritious is packaged, brown, yellow or lacks overall color. Packaged food is more likely to have harmful seed oils, preservatives and lack antioxidants offered with alternatives/more natural items. (For instance, if you’re at the grocery store, avoid all the middle aisles and stick to the more nutritious foods offered near the walls).
Rate your nutrition on a scale of 0-5: ___
We should be getting 8 hours of restful sleep per night. It is estimated over ⅓ of Americans are not reaching this threshold and over 50 million have a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea, insomnia, blue light from electronics, etc. all play a part.
Rate your sleep on a scale of 0-5: ___
ACSM exercise guidelines recommend a MINIMUM of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days/week or 20 minutes of vigorous activity 3 days/week. (Many variables go into a good exercise routine, but for our purposes now, this is a good start).
Rate your movement on a scale of 0-5: ___
These are all very similar and have some overlap. Do I have a positive outlook on life? Do I partake in prayer, meditation, or mindfulness practices? Do I feel like there is a higher being? Or am I aimlessly going through life with no purpose or reasoning? Do I feel like there is a purpose to why I am here? Am I fulfilling that purpose? Many people who don’t feel like they have a purpose, have anxiety or other mental health issues (mind). Is my job satisfying? Do I volunteer and try to help others (relationships)?
Rate your mind on a scale of 0-5: ___
Rate your spirit on a scale of 0-5: ___
Rate your relationships on a scale of 0-5: ___
Rate your purpose on a scale of 0-5: ___
“Health Sum” of all numbers above: ___
Scores between 27-35: I am very healthy overall, with some things to work on, but overall I am not susceptible to chronic diseases or don’t let daily stressor(s) affect my overall quality of life. I use systems and routines to consciously pour my pillars “full.”
Scores between 18-26: I have some good habits in some areas, but very poor ones in others. This leads to inconsistency with my life, health and relationships. I am more susceptible to flare-ups of prior complaints and chronic pain long-term if I lower my pillars much more.
Scores below 17: I am not a healthy person. What I scored is an accurate reflection of how I am feeling, how much pain I have and my overall outlook on life. I may need more help being accountable and a more lengthy discussion on each pillar I struggle with going forward, before I have detrimental harm to my overall well-being.
If you are looking for help with any of these pillars and accountability listed prior, our well-rounded and evidence-based approach with various backgrounds at both of our locations, look forward to assisting you with what you want to accomplish going forward!
Do you have a question about chiropractic care, fitness or nutrition? We would love to hear from you, and we might even turn your question into our next blog post!
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