6 Components required to achieve your health goals
Developing your plan for success!
You have a health plan designed to create a balanced internal environment in your body, a plan that will change with you and provide the guidance and structure to keep you in tune with your body. A plan like this is like a blueprint for a house or a business, a tool you can always use as a reference point. Something to refer back to if you need to make adjustments or changes. Your health plan must focus on these 6 components as they are the keys to determining your body's overall health.
6 Components to your plan
- SLEEP - Your battery charger
- NUTRITION - Your fuel
- EXERCISE - Your burner
- VITAMINS, MINERALS, & OMEGA FATTY ACIDS - Your protection
- WATER - Your fluid
- STRESS - Your X-Factor
Each component has a direct effect on how your body functions. The key is; correctly implementing each component of your plan, that will be the determining factor in achieving your health goals permanently.
Do You Sleep Like A Baby?
Sleep - Your Battery Charger
SLEEP is the most important component of your plan! Without a consistent sleep schedule it becomes a much larger challenge for your body to optimally metabolize your food, manage stress levels, and have enough energy for you to exercise. Think of a cell phone. It has a battery that needs to continually be charged. Most people charge their cell phones each night so they start the day with a full battery for the day. Have you ever forgotten to charge your phone over night? and tried to take it with you with only half of a charge? Every time you look at the battery power left you watch it disappear knowing it will soon run out of power and you will lose communication to your world. Your bodies battery is your "Adrenal gland" and works very similar to a cell phone battery. The adrenal gland releases 2 hormones - adrenaline and cortisol. Both keep your energy flowing throughout the day. The way you keep your "battery" (adrenal gland) charged is by getting ample sleep.
How many hours of sleep do YOU need each night to feel re-charged?
Your sleep charges your body like the phone charger charges your cell phone. Sleep allows your body to repair and renew tissue, nerve cells, and other glands. Sleep allows your brain to re-organize it's thoughts and memories, similar to a filing cabinet. We all know that it's not a perfect world and there will be those nights with lack of sleep and you start the day half charged. The big difference between your battery "adrenal gland" and a cell battery is that a cell phone will just stop working, however that's not the case with your body. Your body will keep working but at a less efficient pace. The more sleep deprived your body becomes the harder it is on your body, because lack of sleep creates a hormonal imbalance of adrenaline and cortisol, causing an energy deficiency in your body which triggers a universal metabolic slowdown. This hormonal imbalance creates a negative internal environment in your body triggering water retention, digestive challenges, irritability, lack of clarity, and unstable blood sugar to name a few.
4 Strategies to optimize quantity and quality of sleep
- Learn the number of hours of sleep YOU need to feel rested. Everyone is different, some people require less sleep. The easiest way to figure out the number of hours you need each night is to think back to a time when you woke up from a good sleep and felt rested. The number of hours you slept is the number of hours you should aim for every single night. It doesn't matter what time of day, tailor it to YOUR schedule.
- Develop a sleep schedule - Our bodies function best with consistency and a schedule provides that. Of course life will get in the way and your schedule may be derailed at times but there are 3 steps to developing and adjusting your sleep schedule:
A. Know the optimal number of hours of sleep YOU need each night.
B. Choose a daily wake-up time and bedtime - the same time each day
C. Make up your sleep when you fall off schedule. There will be times when you go out on a weekend and you go to bed 2 or 3 hours later than your regular scheduled bedtime and that OK, just go to bed the next night one hour earlier for the next 2 or 3 nights to make up the deficit. The key is to keep the same wake up time and go to bed earlier to make up for the loss. Controlling your wake up time will ensure you are stabilizing your sleep/wake cycle.
- Maintain a quiet environment - Many people have a T.V. in their bedroom and they tend to fall asleep while watching T.V. This may help you fall asleep however the noise and light will disrupt your sleep cycles. Your sleep goes through cycles; Light sleep, Deep Sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. Once you complete the cycle it starts all over again through the night. It is so very important to reach that REM Sleep numerous times through the night to achieve quality sleep. Deep sleep renews your body and REM sleep renews your mind and if your sleep is interrupted with noise or light from something such as a t.v. on in your room you will not allow your body to get that quality of sleep it needs so much for optimal health.
- Create proper downtime - Nightly downtime will help you in optimizing your sleep. Downtime can be anything that relaxes you, ideally an hour before your bedtime you should start your decompression. i.e taking a bath, reading, a light walk, watch a t.v. show, listen to music... whatever you enjoy that helps you to relax and unwind.
Nutrition - Your Fuel
Your body is like a vehicle and when it's used it runs out of fuel, so the next question is "what type of fuel (food) should I fuel my body with?"
This topic has been covered in depth in my article "Strategies to Mastering Your Meals
Following these strategies is essential to your plan in achieving your inner health goals. Inner health is a requirement for results that will last a lifetime.
Exercise - Your Burner
Your exercise is what activates your muscle to burn your fuel, not all exercise is equal. Read more in my article "Activating your Engine" to learn more.
Vitamins, Minerals & Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Your Protection
How many supplements are really required for optimal health? Are you bombarded with information on the next best supplement on the market?
This topic has been covered in depth in my article "Supplements... Do you really need them?"
Water - Your Fluid
The most underestimated essential nutrient and a core component in your overall health. Do you consume enough water? Find out now by reading my article "Supplements... Do you really need them?"
Stress - X-Factor
You may have already heard of the negative effects of high stress levels. More than likely you and people around you have experienced high levels of stress or are currently living at an uncomfortable level of stress. It can at times feel uncontrollable in a fast paced life style. The reality is we can't avoid the facts: STRESS IS A PART OF LIFE. We have two choices;
- Learn how to manage it
- Let it destroy our body
These 2 choices are why stress is your unknown variable called the "X-Factor"
You could be flawless with all other 5 aspects of your health plan but if your stress is left unchecked it will sabotage your health and prevent your from achieving your goals. You must understand the different types of stress in order to manage your stress and the effects stress has on your body overall. Read more in my article"Stress - How it affects your overall health"