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The Pillars of Good Health

With so many different ways to live a healthy lifestyle, it can be hard to know where to start. Today we're taking it back to basics with four foundational principles of good health.

Good Sleep

Quality sleep is the corner of good health. During sleep, your body heals itself, boosting your immune system and reducing inflammation. This precious time is when your body can recover from any intense workouts, enhancing muscle recovery through protein synthesis and producing muscle-building hormones.

Poor sleep has been linked to higher risk of disease, mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, poor energy levels and a weakened immune system. Simply put, without sleep your body simply can't function as it should.

So what should you do if you can't sleep at night?

  1. Spend time winding down: Taking a hot bath, reading a light-hearted book or listening to calming music can send calming signals to your body before it's time for sleep.
  2. Be meticulous about your sleep routine: Get up at the same time everyday despite what time you went to bed the night before, this includes weekends. Getting into a strict schedule will help your body feel tired at the right time for sleep.
  3. Get some fresh air: Help your body regulate its circadian rhythm by spending time outside every day, even just for a short walk.
  4. Reduce screen time: With bright lights and exciting content on the internet, hours scrolling on your phone before bed can send mixed signals when it's time to go to sleep.
  5. Improve your surroundings: Make sure your room is the right temperature (around 18Β°C / 65Β°F) and dark enough for you to dose off soundly.

Still having trouble sleeping? Check out this step by step guide to getting a better night's rest.

Eat well

Getting a healthy diet, and focusing on nutrient-packed foods can do wonders for every aspect of your wellbeing from your energy levels, immune system, skin, mood and much more.

To make good nutrition sustainable, consider what you can add to your diet (rather than what you have to restrict). Check out this healthy eating grocery guide for inspiration next time you hit the supermarket.

Physical Activity

When practiced regularly, exercise has a long list of health benefits that go well beyond weight loss. Exercise can boost your mood, reduce your risk of disease, improve heart health, help you sleep better and so much more.

Pro tip: Small daily goals can transform your wellbeing. From a walk in the fresh air, yoga practice before bed or your 7 minute workout, every little helps.

Seven's personalized plans take out the guesswork so you can focus on what's important. Simply decide on your goal, choose a schedule and Seven will create a plan to help you reach your target πŸ’ͺ

Emotional Wellbeing

Stress is natural, and in small doses can be helpful for productivity. However, prolonged stress can have an array of negative consequences on both physical and mental health.

Some common symptoms of stress are irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, teeth grinding and insomnia. Here are some of our tips on how to stop the effects of stress before they start:

  1. Get active: Working out produces feel-good endorphins which counter stress by making you feel happier and calmer.
  2. Prioritize sleep: Aim for 8-9 hours of good sleep per night. Feeling rested will help you tackle challenges that come your way with energy and focus.
  3. Spend time in nature: Being out in nature has been shown to have restorative effects such as reducing stress hormones and improve mindfulness.
  4. Make time for you: Self care looks a little bit different for everyone, but making time for yourself (even if it’s just 10 minutes) every day can make all the difference.
  5. Set boundaries: Taking on too much? Drawing boundaries can help you re-prioritize, so you have enough energy for the tasks you really need to complete.

There you have it, the four foundational pillars of healthy living! In practice, they're often interwoven. For example, once you start sleeping better, you'll have more energy for your workouts and won't be tempted by unhealthy food.

If you're not sure where to begin, focus your energy on improving one of these areas, and soon you'll notice the rest gradually becoming easier too.

Looking for more healthy living guides? Don't miss Seven's articles on fueling your workouts and returning to exercise when it's been a while.