Pillars of health
We’ve been having a lively debate here at lastinghealth about the pillars of health – what they are, how important they are to us, and how many there might be. Is a healthy diet and regular exercise enough to make us feel healthy, or are other aspects of health such as sleep more important to some to support our sense of wellbeing?
Pillars of health are the foundations that support a healthy mind and body, and when we take care to build on them, it can help us to lead a healthier life. They keep our body running and support emotional and mental wellbeing. Each pillar supports the others, but if one falls down the others can be at risk.
Our pillars of health
These are the pillars we’ve been debating, and it’s been an animated discussion! The importance to each of us in the team varies – Susan values her sleep the highest, for Bob it’s a healthy diet using organic ingredients, and for Anne it’s a bracing cold water swim.
- Exercise – maintaining our body to stay healthy, fend off illness, aches, and pains.
- Nutrition – giving our body what it needs to carry out its functions and fend off illness, and keeping our gut healthy.
- Sleep – the importance of a good night’s sleep to protect our physical and mental health.
- Social and spiritual health – spending time with other people, making social connections, and feeling part of something.
- Mental and emotional health – looking after our mental wellbeing, having a sense of purpose, relaxation, and balancing stress.
Tell us what’s important to you
We’d love to hear from you about what’s important for your health – what are your pillars? When the going gets tough, or life gets busy, which ones do you prioritise over the others? Please click through to our short survey and tell us how you rate our pillars in priority for your own health, and share your thoughts about what’s important to you. All responses are anonymous and confidential.
Whilst these pillars are fundamental to our health it’s also worth taking steps to avoid pollutants wherever possible in our daily lives. At lastinghealth we describe a pollutant broadly as something the body doesn’t need which has the potential to cause harm us, because it places a burden on the body.
There is evidence to suggest a body burden of trace pollutants creates challenges for the body’s wellbeing systems. This may be tolerated by some people, but for others it may reduce overall wellbeing, or trigger disease, because that person may be carrying a body burden of pollutants.
The body can repair and renew cells, including cancerous cells, cuts and abrasions to all forms of tissue, and mend broken bones. But this repair system may be challenged if it is also dealing with a body burden of trace pollutants, making it less able to carry out this essential maintenance.
Many health conditions can be improved by reducing our body burden, so we believe that there’s another health pillar – to avoid environmental pollutants wherever possible.