Holistic Lifestyle Coaching use the Foundation of Health principles (originally developed by Paul Chek) to encourage our clients to look beyond just the physical aspects of health and fitness. Your daily lifestyle choices play a key role in how you will look and feel in 5, 10, or 20 years from now. Read the below checklist and see how many out of the 6 foundations you implement on a daily basis.1. Thoughts
Your actions originate from your thoughts, and so these are what reinforce your success in achieving greater health.
Get Clear on What You Want
Being clear on what you need and where you’re headed means you can prioritise your day. When’s the last time you wrote down your deepest desires? Write down 2-3 clear goals today and the associated action steps with those goals and start striving for what really makes your heart sing. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
Think Before You Buy
Your time, energy and money are the biggest investments you make on a daily basis. What are you really supporting with your daily choices, and do these investments strengthen the goals you’ve written down? Get real about the choices you’re making for short term gratification and start thinking about what you really want in 10 years from now.
You are at the helm and your health and well-being are YOUR responsibility. It doesn’t matter who gives you advice or what the status quo is – do your own research and make educated decisions at how these things will affect your body and your life.
Cut the Noise
The glorification of being busy is a modern day paradigm that is leading us to being the most stressed we’ve ever been. How can you cut the noise and quiet the monkey mind? Find a form of meditation that works for you - gardening, dancing, drawing, walking in nature, being still, deep belly breathing - anything that is non-goal orientated and frees the mind from analytical thinking.
Most of us are constantly in a stressful state and tend to over-breathe through the mouth or take shallow breaths, which both wreak havoc on your nervous system and your body’s primary mechanisms.
Breathe with the Belly
If you’re stressed and you’ve got neck and back pain, you’re probably not breathing right! Take a couple of minutes every day to sit still and consciously breathe. Slow your breath down to 3 seconds inhale (breathe into the belly and let the rib cage expand), 3 second pause, 3 second exhale, 3 second pause. This exercise can be done at night before going to sleep as it’s a great way to calm the nervous system and massage your internal organs.
Buy a foam roller and a trigger point ball
Self-myofascial release tools like foam rollers and massage balls or trigger point balls are a great tool to help provide relief from knots or areas of tightness in your body. It’s a great way to physically de-stress the body so it can work more efficiently!
Foam rollers for example, have been designed to allow for optimal opening up of the ribcage which can improve posture and breathing mechanics. We recommend people perform the “Long Lie” on the roller while practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing like the technique above.
Nothing beats water
Two main things here to consider are: chlorine and fluoride. Tap water is chlorinated and chlorine kills bacteria. When you drink chlorinated water, it’ll start killing the bacteria in your body. Friendly bacteria are very, very sensitive to chemicals and can’t survive them well, but the unfriendly bacteria are really tough and they can take a beating. The more tap water you drink, the more likely you are to create a dysbiosis which is an imbalance of pathogenic bacteria in the body
Secondly, fluoride has been touted as a hero for building strong teeth – but it only works when applied topically, not ingested orally.
This also counts for showers and not just your drinking water - Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and absorbs all you expose it to.
So make sure your source of water is from a pure source like Evian, Fiji, Nobles Pureau Pure Water, San Pellegrino Sparkling water or use a quality water filter, like a Reverse Osmosis filter, placed on your tap. Look to see if there is a mineral content label on your water (looks like a nutritional panel), if the total dissolved solids are around 200-300, then you're drinking good water! If it doesn't have a label like this, then you're missing out on all the natural minerals in your water too.
Tap Water vs Filtered Water
Drink 0.033 L per kg of body weight per day, (ie 3% x 60 will give you your intake in litres per day, if you weight 60 kg). Add an extra litre for every coffee or workout.
Add Sea Salt
Celtic or Himalayan salt has a high mineral content with about 90 essential nutrients present. This is unlike table salt, which has been stripped of all of the nutrients during processing. The mineral content within sea salt helps hold more of the water inside your body because it assists with the uptake of water into your cells. This is really important in staying hydrated.
Hydrate - don’t Dehydrate!
Fizzy drinks, juices, sports drinks, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks will use more water to digest them than the amount of water they put into your body. They dehydrate you, not re-hydrate you.
With our Holistic Lifestyle Coaching clients we address nutrition as one of the first areas of priority, because this foundation will affect all other aspects of your health: stress, digestion, circadian rhythm, fungus & parasites, energy levels, immune system, and your training capacity and recovery. You literally rebuild your body’s cells from the food you eat, and so what you’re choosing to fuel yourself with is an important responsibility.
Cut the CRAP!
C- Carbohydrates (processed)
R- Refined Foods
A golden rule to follow when it comes to your nutrition: THE LESS HUMAN INTERFERENCE, THE BETTER! If it comes in a packet it’s a product, not a food.
Go Local, Go Organic and Get Pastured
Healthy soil makes healthy plants; healthy plants make healthy animals; and healthy animals and plants make healthy human beings. Making sure you know the source of your food is an important step towards taking responsibility for your health.
Seek out small local farmers. Get to know the people sourcing or growing your food and speak to them. Ask questions! Find out what farming methods they use and what feed they use for their animals. Pastured animals who have eaten the way they are designed to eat will always trump grain-fed.
The vitamin, mineral and enzyme content are high in truly organic food and these are extremely important for creating a healthy body. You could spend all year counting calories and meeting your daily quota of fats, proteins and carbs, but these macro-nutrients are not a single measure of true nutrition.
Holistic Lifestyle Coaching uses training techniques that build lean muscle tissue (to increase your metabolism), increase your heart rate (which increases heart health) & use functional movement patterns (which will assist your body in everyday tasks).
How much and how often?
We recommend 30 minutes of formal movement every single day, with 30 minutes of intense exercise 2-4 x per week. For most people, workouts lasting longer than 30 minutes tend to deplete the body and will have you training under fatigue which can encourage poor form. Keep it short and efficient, and you should have your warm up, workout and core movements done within 45 minutes.
Holistic Lifestyle Coaching uses circuit style sessions with compound resistance training and our methods are vital for everyone as they promote:
Lean muscle tissue and muscle mass
Growth hormone and testosterone
Bone mineral content and density
Flexibility- functional range of motion
Over exercising with complexity, load or duration will only make the whole process take longer, only do what you have the capacity to recover from. Essentially, exercise is still a stress and you can only get the benefits from the stress stimulus if you’re committed to the other lifestyle components included here.
What Does YOUR Body Need?
Our bodies are a physical expression of every choice we have made since we’ve entered the world. The body will always mould itself around what you do with it, so ask yourself what does your body do in a 24 hour period? Do you drive to work, sit in a chair 8-10 hours a day, drive home and then sit on the couch to watch TV? Then your body will become a result of those environments, usually affecting posture and your ability to move correctly without risk of injury because it will be slouched and restricted. All of Holistic Lifestyle Coaching session’s combine stretches and strengthening exercises that pull the body into proper alignment.
6. Circadian Rhythm
Sleep and wake with the Sun.
Our lifestyle of late night television and artificial lights make it easy to forget that our bodies are in rhythm with the light and dark cycles of day and night. In the evenings it is important to not over stimulate the mind or body so it is best to start winding down from 8pm onwards. This means switching your phone to airplane mode, staying off your computer and turning off the TV. When the sun starts to fade it’s time to unwind so that by 10pm you’re ready to sleep.
When you’re sleeping your body repairs and regenerates all the systems of your body, so you can work to your optimum again the following day. The body uses your sleep phase to go through important cycles including detoxification and rebuilding of cells. Why would you want to cheat yourself out of these vital processes? Get to bed before 10pm, and rise with the sun the next morning.
Get in the Sun
Did you know washing yourself with soap after being in the sun can limit your Vitamin D absorption? The synthesis of Vitamin D comes from the fatty acid secretions in the skin so you want to avoid washing the sun exposed skin with soap for up to 48 hrs after getting sun. Washing the skin will wash away the Vitamin D before it enters circulation.
Getting adequate Vitamin D is essential for health. The easiest way to increase your Vitamin D levels is to get two 15-30 minute sunbathing sessions per week in the middle of the day. This can be broken up into 10-20 minutes daily, but usually shorter is not going to get a decent response and longer than 30 minutes is unadvised because of the risk of getting burnt.