Foundation Health Principles

In this blog we are going to focus and discuss the next three foundation health principles. The previous three were nutrition, hydration and sleep, which can be classified as ‘yin’ or feminine in nature. The next three are ‘yang’ or masculine in nature. The three yang principles are breathing, thinking and moving.

Beginning with breathing, the breath is one aspect that all training methods should focus heavily on. Whether you are doing meditation, yoga, walking, running, weight lifting, or anything else, the connection with the breath is key. Oxygen being the most essential nutrient for the body, it’s important that you keep connection with the breath through movement and breathe from the diaphragm. Filling the first 2/3 of the breath by expanding at the belly and the last 1/3 of the chest is key. It’s no wonder why you feel great after a short bit of aerobic activity, your brain now is getting much more oxygen than you were sitting down indoors. You can achieve a similar outcome just by doing some deep breathing.

Thinking is the next principle to consider. Your self-talk and connection with yourself is very important for achieving anything and improving upon yourself. Taking time each day to set your priorities and what you want to achieve that day through journaling and meditation is a great way to ensure you will get key tasks done. A key relationship to look at is the link between diet, gut health and brain health. There is much science supporting this link, but the key thing to know is that they are in constant communication and are reliant upon each other. For example, approximately 90% of your serotonin (feel good neurotransmitter) is made within your gut. How could you possibly be feeling good if your gut is not healthy? So in essence, a healthy body equals a healthy brain.

The brain will utilise the majority of the blood sugar available at any one time, and this is evident when you may crave simple carbs, sugars and stimulants when you have a heavy period of study or learning. If you are anxious, worried or frightened you will most probably be craving more simple sugars as a fuel source, but this will ultimately negatively effect you when you jump on the rollercoaster ride of insulin lows and highs.

Moving is finally the last one to consider. We evolved through movement and quite simply put, if you did not move or were unable to keep up with the pack, you were left behind. There is no shortage in the science and research as to the benefit of exercise, so to keep it simple there are a few things to consider. Making sure that you train movements and not ‘muscles’ in the gym is important. The brain doesn’t have programs for particular muscles in the brain as nothing works quite in isolation. Key movement patterns include push, pull, squat, deadlift, twist, lunge and gait.  If you’re unsure about this, make the investment of a good coach/trainer who is experienced. This will save you heaps of time and energy by training correctly.

These points that I am trying to make are simply just an outline of the foundation health principles. There are simple principles to follow, and sometimes it can be quite complex but sticking to the basics is something that should always be followed. If you have enjoyed these points, I highly recommend that you read the book “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy” by Paul Chek. His work has a made a big impact upon the way that I think about health and movement and this book is the one I always recommend to people looking to improve their health.

If you missed out on the first newsletter about the first three foundation health principles and would like a copy, just shoot me an email and I’m more than happy to send it out to you.

Daniel Athanassopoulos

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