For optimal health, we need a degree of balance between and within the different areas of health. For example, just looking at the area of body, it is possible to be very fit and strong without being at all flexible, and the result is that our body is stiff, inflexible and not particularly healthy. It’s equally possible to be very flexible without strength, but that can lead to weakness of the joints. We can be both strong and flexible, but have very poor levels of fitness.
Meanwhile if our body is strong, fit and flexible but we don’t get enough rest, we’ll soon be forced to rest by an illness or injury. If we are constantly stressed or lack purpose, we can expect to be affected by mental or physical illness. Each of the 9 qualities is required, to some degree, for us to be healthy. Neglecting any one quality will adversely affect our wellbeing.
Each of us are different, with our own unique combination of genetics, body shape, preferences, goals and imbalances. There is no one-size-fits-all training regime or lifestyle approach that will be suitable for everyone. But with an understanding of the underlying principle of seeking balance, we can identify where best to focus our efforts.
You can start by looking at the 9 attributes on the model and identifying which area you feel is weakest or most neglected. You will likely make greater improvements to your wellbeing by focusing on this area than by working on something you already do reasonably well.
Using these simple principles for a healthy lifestyle
Using the underlying principles of balance and personalisation can help you determine how best to cultivate any one quality. Here are a couple of examples:
What should you eat? In general, you should eat a varied, balanced diet that also identifies and seeks to address any imbalances you may have developed.
How should you develop strength to be healthier? One major reason strength can be an issue for health is when weakness or chronic tension in muscles affects your posture. This in turn can cause imbalances elsewhere, or encourage joints or other tissues to take on more loads than they can handle. The answer is to identify where is weak and where is tight for you personally, then restore balance by releasing tension and strengthening weakness.
These basic principles are really very simple, though implementing them can sometimes require a degree of expertise and advice from specialists.
I hope this encourages you to think about areas of your lifestyle you may have been neglecting to help you improve your health and wellbeing.
Live Well, Live Long by Peter Deadman