We all have a bank account but what you might not know that you have is that you have a health account.
Just like a normal bank account you have deposits and withdrawals.
If your account has negativ balance, you will start to pay interest rates. The higher the negativ balance is, the higher the interest rate becomes.
Just like with a normal bank account you can make a deposit to get out of the negative balance.
In the context of health, living an unhealthy life for 10 years might not kill a human being but the negativ balance is growing fast and at some point there is no time to pay off the dept.
The good thing is that paying off the dept goes quicker than most people think. (example is going from pre-diabetic can be reversed in about 2 weeks for some people)
The balance can be measured in four categories. Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise and Social connections.
I call these the four pillars of health which lay the foundation of mental health and happiness.
How do we measure the balance?
For most people the prescription will vary and especially if the negativ balance is very high.
From my experience and based on the science I have read about these topics and coached people on doing I would give the general prescription:
Deposit – every person needs 7-8 hours of sleep. All science is very clear on this.
Withdrawal – In a group of 10,000 people everyone with less than 6-7 hours drop about 20% in cognitive capacity.
There is no way to catch up “lost” sleep and if sleep is an issue it should be a priority to fix as soon as possible because it has the biggest impact on phycological health and physiological recovery. The problem is most likely in the diet and lack of exercise. The human body is very resilient so in times of stress (kids, work or social connection) we can still function on less sleep but it leads to a big withdrawal.
If you are in a healthy body fat range and have no symptoms of skin rashes and poor sleep the 80/20 rule is pretty convenient. This means that 80% of the foods are healthy and 20% are less healthy (a withdrawal).
Exactly what is healthy depends on individual genes and allergies. If you have metabolic issues, problems with your sleep or libido the percentages change and in some cases like if diabetic there is no “slack” left to make a withdrawal without serious health injuries.
Deposit – daily movement like walking and using full range of motion of joints in everyday activities. Strength focused training 3-4 times a week and 2 days a week of easier cardio like biking, hiking or jogging.
Use the 10 physical skills endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy on a weekly basis. We call this CrossFit.
Withdrawal – prolonged sitting and inactivity. The body has a simple rule; use it, or lose it. Meaning if you don’t use a joint or a muscle it will stiffen and shrink. Training on a bad diet can also be harmful and a telling sign is the amount of top athletes that are getting kidney stones or getting pre-diabetic by heavy consumption of high glycemic foods. Also the balance of training has to be relevant to the current state of fitness. This is why we have the health and fitness map and scale our movements and workouts to meet each individual where her or she is and from there move them up the health and fitness latter.
Deposit – strong social bounds with whom you can talk about your deepest fears and highest joys. It is not always the amount of people one knows that is important but how strong the bounds are. How much time people need with their close relationships depends a lot on personality type. Introverts might need less people but stronger bounds while extroverts get energy from many social interactions with different social skills.
Withdrawal – no social bounds or highly toxic relationships are heavy withdrawals with very fast impact on our health. The level of importance is quite telling when you know that the hardest punishment in prison is to be alone. Most people rather spend time with rapist, murderers and other nasty people rather than being alone.
Less dramatic way to put this is to see how important it is for our members to train with a coach or other people.
One way to measure your account here is to simply count the amount of deep connection you have and maybe “unsolved” conflicts to see if you are satisfied or not. It might be a sliding scale or a binary, yes or no.
Book a free intro with one of our experts if you want to have help to analyse your 4 pillars of health.