There are so many opinions in the health and wellness space it can quickly become confusing as to what is the best path to choose.
As a doctor, I have come to know that among the many variables in our lives there are five key factors that we should focus on to make a difference.
These have come to be known as the “5 Factors of Health” and can be summarised as eat, sleep, train, think, connect.
Eat: What we do with food does not need to be complicated, but it does need to be sensible and it does need to be sustainable as a habit. Put simply, we should be eating real food – mostly vegetables, not too much. If we follow these simple rules, we will take care of the majority of the failings in most diets.
Sleep: The most underrated component of our lives. It is too often seen as a badge of honour that we can get by on little sleep. The reality is that we all need 8-10 hours every night. At the least we need to be getting 7+ hours. If we do not, we will suffer physically and mentally.
Train: We need to train for life, and we need to be ready for whatever life throws at us. Our bodies need constantly varied functional movement, performed at relative intensity at least four times a week. This prescription prepares our bodies for a life of wellness and independence.
Think: Our mindset, or how we think, is an oft neglected facet of our health. But remember, our thoughts dictate our words, our words dictate actions, and our actions determine the outcome of our day. It all starts with mindset.
If we think negatively, we will start to seek negativity and focus on it. Vice versa, if we think positively, we will instinctively seek out those things that reinforce our positive mindset.
Connect: We need other people in our lives. We are social beings and we benefit from being around others, especially when we have a deep and meaningful connection with them.
It is this depth of connection that makes a meaningful difference to our health. So, spend quality time with those that you care for and invest heavily in those relationships.
The key to getting the most out of the 5 Factors of Health is to lean into them as much as we can, while trying to ignore those factors that are outside of our control.
Let’s put all our efforts and energies into maximising the gains that can be derived from the 5 Factors Health, and “train for life”.
Theo Shemansky is a movement specialist at FitMed Pulse. Visit fitmedpulse.com