4 Pillars of Health
We recently did a podcast with two Chiropractors and we quickly realized that there is a common mission between us. We are both trying to increase the health and longevity of our clients. If we are both pursuing the same goal for our clients, then why is our approach so different? The reason is because there isn’t just one thing you can do to get healthy, there are multiple areas that need constant attention if you are going to build a strong foundation of health. While our specialty is fitness, we need to inspire each other to do more than just coming in crushing workouts. That is just a part of supporting your health, without these four pillars, you will not reach your highest potential of health.
Activity - Humans are meant to move. There are few things we can benefit more from than disciplined, consistent workouts. However, if your goal is health, your workouts should be varied in both time and modalities, making sure you train all the elements of fitness. Specializing in just running, or just weight lifting for example, can actually do more harm than good for your health, especially when taken to the extremes. Show me a world recored marathon runner, or a world record powerlifter, and I will show you an unhealthy individual. Our bodies are happiest when we train short and long durations (aerobic and anaerobic energy systems), heavy and light loads, and multiple functional movement patterns (as varied as creativity will allow). As CrossFitters, in general, we crush this pillar.
Recovery - While it is generally assumed working out makes you stronger, the opposite is actually true. Your workouts are meant to break your body down and when we RECOVER we get stronger. When our bodies recover we are literally rebuilding a better version of ourselves on a cellular level. If our bodies ran off a battery, recovery is when we recharge our battery. Sleep and nutrition are our two major tools to recover, the key is to balance our exertion with our recovery. There is no benefit to working out out beyond what you can recover from. The best athletes are the athletes that recover well, and have a proper recovery protocol.
Structural Maintenance - If our bodies were a car, this would be our mechanic. Chiropractic, Massage, Acupuncture, Physical Therapy, E-Stim, Cupping, etc are all ways to ensure your body is functioning as it should. Each person may respond differently to certain methods, but there will come a time for everyone, when they need bodywork done. If you are able to take the time to educate yourself, a lot of minor maintenance can be done on your own with a lacrosse ball, or some type of self myofascial release. However, more often than not, people can benefit from seeing a bodywork specialist to ensure your system is running as its peak performance.
Mental/Spiritual Growth - There is nothing more energizing than constant learning and pursuit of progress. Putting yourself in a growth mindset is one of the most important tools to not only become more successful in anything you do, but also to become happier overall. Just as our bodies are meant to be challenged, so are our minds. Purposefulness and connectedness are some of the most powerful motivators, even beyond fear of death. If you harness these tools, and put effort into these areas of your life, you will see growth and progress across the board.
The most accomplished athletes recognize and devote attention to ALL of these pillars. The first step is realizing there is more to just showing up at the gym for a good workout, actually devoting time and energy to these other areas is what will actually make a difference. Execution is the key to accomplishing any goal. So what are you going to do to move you towards greater health? Don’t get overwhelmed, start with something small and build on it!
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