The Chair of Life: Finding Balance in Hydration, Nutrition, Movement and Sleep

In this latest blog, we’ll embark on a journey to unlock the secrets of a vibrant life by understanding the four foundational pillars of health: hydration, nutrition, movement, and sleep.  These elements are likened to the legs of a chair, each one essential for maintaining the delicate balance of wellness in our fast-paced lives.  Take one leg away, ie. neglect one of the four foundational pillars and you still have the three legs of the stool to support you.  It’s not ideal, but for finite amounts of time, it’s okay.  Take another leg away and you’re on the floor, literally and metaphorically! 

Start to become aware of how our bodies communicate their needs, often through subtle signals we might overlook.  Headaches from dehydration, for instance, can serve as an SOS from our system, indicating that it’s time for us to pay attention and take action.  Stiffness and pain in the body are far more of a reason to move and strengthen it rather than to remain sedentary.  I appreciate it is a challenge to manage these health pillars amid the demands of work and family; however, in the long run, it will make things much easier.  The saying, “If you don’t make time for wellness, then you will be forced to make time for illness”, springs to mind.

As we explore the intricacies of each pillar, I want to highlight the transformative power of simple actions.  For instance, starting the day with a glass of water instead of coffee can set the tone for a stress-free morning.  I want to emphasise the importance of listening to our body’s cues and making incremental changes that can profoundly impact our well-being—remembering the lessons learned in the last blog: small, achievable changes rather than trying to do everything all at once.

In episode 3 of the Far 2 Fabulous podcast, Julie and I discuss the impact of caffeine on our bodies, including how genetic factors can influence metabolism.  It’s important to recognise that habits like coffee consumption aren’t necessarily harmful but should be enjoyed in moderation and with an understanding of one’s personal health profile.  Julie shared that caffeine and her genetics do not mix.  I love having coffee as part of my morning ritual; since recording this episode, I have applied habit stacking (listen to Episode 4 for more on this) and pour a cup of hot water and lemon essence when filling the coffee pot.  

Continuing with the concept of movement, which I want to highlight, extends beyond structured exercise routines to include everyday activities.  The goal is to avoid prolonged inactivity and to integrate movement seamlessly into our daily lives, thus promoting better health.  Do things like leave the car at home and instead walk or cycle.  Get off the bus a stop early or park the car further away from your destination.  Make these little changes habitual so they eventually feel normal rather than a chore.

In terms of sleep, I advocate establishing a good bedtime routine, such as minimising exposure to blue light before bedtime, dimming the lights, having a warm bath or shower and cooling down quickly and having a banana, to name a few.  These actions will support the body’s natural rhythms.  Focusing on the other three pillars can provide indirect benefits and enhance sleep quality over time for those who struggle with sleep.

To cap off this blog, I do hope I have offered some actionable advice for you to start implementing these wellness strategies into your lives. Prioritise your health in an achievable and enjoyable way by forming new, joyful habits around the four pillars.  This will help you tap into elevated energy and well-being levels that make you feel fabulous.

It’s about choosing and then creating a lifestyle that brings out the best in you.

You can listen to the whole episode here.

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