10 Pillars of Health
A FourOaksHealth basic fundamental is the 10 Pillars of Health. It is simply a commonsense approach to health and health care. There are 6 physical fundamentals coupled with 4 management functions. The 10 Pillars are described below.
Breathing, the first fundamental, is an involuntary action yet is the basis for sustaining life. Since breathing happens without conscious thought, it is taken for granted until an issue presents. The body’s ability to intake and process oxygen is a constant life-nourishing function that sets the stage for living a healthy life. Being aware of one’s breath during exercise and the introduction of breathing exercises or yoga enhances the base function on which to build a healthy lifestyle.
The human body is around 60% water. Not tea, coffee, sports drink or soft drink — water. Replenishing the body’s main substance is vital for proper organ, muscle, brain and neuron function. Dehydration presents itself as lack of energy, inability to focus – and after one is dehydrated – thirst. As many endurance coaches preach, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Keeping hydrated seems simple but with changes in weather or activity levels our bodies need varying amounts of water.
In order to create energy, our bodies require nutrition. Most people get enough calories, but often in the wrong types of food. Not all calories are created equal. A candy bar with 150 calories has a different effect on a body than 150 calories of boiled egg. A diet high in saturated fats and processed foods makes one feel lethargic and craving unhealthy foods. Proper nutrition through nutrient-rich foods allows one to intake the right amount of calories, feel satisfied and perform at peak levels. Maintaining the proper equation of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate and fiber can be a daunting task, but one that your Personal Health Nurse™ implements into your personal health plan.
Proper nutrition lays the foundation for exercise – expending calories, or energy. Exercise levels vary from person to person. For some, it’s running a marathon. For others, it’s walking around the block every day. Knowing your personal fitness goals and establishing an exercise routine is paramount to maintaining a fitness regimen and maintaining a positive mindset toward nutrition and exercise. Accountability to yourself and to your Personal Health Nurse™ help you set and stay on the course toward consistent exercise to maintain health.
In our busy, over-scheduled days, we often cut out one thing our bodies need to improve – rest. Sleep allows the body, mind and soul to recharge and repair itself from the day’s activities and stressors. Much like dehydration, the lack of sleep has numerous side effects. Recent studies have shown that getting too little sleep leads to impaired motor skills (similar to being drunk), lessened ability to perform critical thinking, increase risk of heart disease, lower sex drive, depression, forgetfulness and weight gain, yes weight gain (it has to do with the removal and production of brain chemicals that tell us we are full - this only happens while we sleep) . Bottom line is, we may feel more productive when we remove sleep, but in actuality we are losing effectiveness.
We all have core beliefs, uniquely our own and one’s belief system is foundational to health. Further, we are created to be in community with family and friends that support one another. Being part of healthy relationships provides the psychological basis that allows us to seek self-improvement. One’s mental well-being is largely impacted by our peer group which can encourage and challenge us for personal growth. Complete health must connect the body and the soul. An individual’s deeply held beliefs and spirituality has been shown to impact overall health and psychological well-being. Acknowledging a force larger than ourselves and accepting moral standards keeps us grounded and in common accord with the people around us.
Putting “I wish I were in better health” into action is the first achievement. Accomplishments start with setting a goal of where we want to be. Attaining these goals then drives one’s actions and sets one’s mind with established clear benchmarks and progress points. Goals can be improving nutrition, drinking more water, getting more exercise, anything that gets you to your desired state.
Often overlooked in managing healthcare, safety provides a more relaxed state of mind which allows for self improvement. Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who outlined and our hierarchy of needs, places safety as second only to basic physiological needs like food and water. Appearing higher up the pyramid than safety are love/social needs, self esteem and self-actualization which means that if safety isn’t felt, the others are not possible. Safe habits range from the simplest notion of being careful around the house to wearing seatbelts and helmets, being drug free, temperate with alcohol and practicing safe sex. Safety is a major foundation of good health.
Yikes. Yes, a tricky one many of us don’t like talking about. The reasons we don’t is that a precious few of us have the same measurements we did in our active, teenage years. Also physical measurements can be a direct reflection of our progress in an area of health. These physical measurements can be body measurements, yes, but also heart rate, blood pressure and other health indicators (like the six other health foundations above). As we work to attain the goals, measurements provide you and your Personal Health Nurse™ with feedback on progress.
Perhaps you know a doctor, but statistically speaking, you don’t know your doctor. By not knowing your primary link to your health care, many attributes of health maintenance and proactive health care are not fully addressed. Actually, great health requires relationships with various professionals including those who fit your health needs and goals. As FourOaksHealth’s 10th foundation, we advocate for and deliver to you a Personal Health Nurse™ who is your primary contact; a relationship with your Primary Care Physician; and connection to other professionals who uniquely fit your needs and goals. At the core of this foundation is the ongoing and frequent contact with your Personal Health Nurse™ which provides an easy-to-manage relationship that is dedicated to your health and achieving your goals.