Yesterday’s post HERE spurred some great thought into how a person ranks exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress management. The point of that post was to get you to think about what those four keys mean to you personally, especially if you’ve never thought about them before.
@nbenson222 said: “All of the above in sync. It’s all about a balance.”
@christie_dane_mom said: “Can they all be equally important? For me, I’m not great at any of these things, but when I try my best they are all equally necessary. When one falls apart, they all suffer. I didn’t have the best examples of loving a healthy life growing up, so I’m still learning and trying to undo the 30 plus years of learned bad habits on a regular basis. I’ve learned a lot in the last 3 years, but it all still takes a great deal of forethought and effort to keep a good balance.”
Both of these statements.
Here’s the order I think is more appropriate:
1. Stress Management
All four elements are equally important as the next. As Nancy said, they are synergistic. Without one, the others suffer. If focus is lost on one the others suffer.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have more focus on one thing during a certain time. This also doesn’t make one more important over another if you’re needing to focus more on one.
It’s especially applicable over the long term. For instance, the short term effects of eating unhealthy may be a little weight gain which is usually nothing to worry about. We all need a break sometimes right?
But hammer that shitty food over a year and you end up 20 pounds overweight with a 100% guarantee that the other 3 elements are left way worse than they were before.
Let’s say your job has you on a deadline for a big project and you’re super stressed out. Remember the word synergy? Eating quality food, staying active, and getting quality sleep helps with stress management.
Doing things like meditation, daily reflections, quiet time can add into the category of managing stress but you have to have the other elements working with you to make those things beneficial.
This is a big reason why people have a hard time sticking with a training program. Generally they’re only hitting one piece of the puzzle and neglecting the other 3. When they don’t see any benefit of weight training, they quit because “it’s just not working for them”.
If you’re not seeing the results you want or just getting into this health thing, just know there’s a lot more going on than you may think. Balance is key here. You can’t increase your fitness (over the long haul) without sleeping, eating well, and managing stress. Same goes for losing weight.
So take a look at all four of these elements together and see which one’s you’ve placed higher than others. After that you can start to address the things that may need a little extra focus to bring them up to par with the others.